Showing posts from April, 2012


Thanks to Australia Incognita Blog and Cooees From The Cloister Blog, we learn that from the magnificent sandstone pile of St.Mary's Basilica in Sydney , the following letter was sent to the Clergy of the Archdiocese in the middle of this month :

So, there it is, the backyard of New South Wales is to be tidied up, once the Holy See approves.


Do you readily recall the worst thing you ever did in your life? 

I don't necessarily mean the thing you would least want to be found out or made known. It might be one and the same thing, but it is not necessarily so. I can, and I want to share it with you, not by way of Confession for thank God, that has been done once and for all sacramentally. But, having reflected on it carefully over time- for I still recall it vividly and with deep regret- I believe it might be useful for others to think about, as they go about their lives.

It was a Winter's evening around 7.00 p.m. and I was headed out of TOOWONG Station in suburban Brisbane to catch a  Bus to my home 25 minutes further West.

 Following the failure of our book distribution business and the subsequent loss of our family home, we were living in a nice rented house on the outer Western reaches of the suburbs. To supplement our Aged Pension income which barely covered essentials and left us struggling with residual debts , I …


Mention the name Pontius Pilate, and the most rapid word association for most people is "washing his hands". No doubt his failure to free Our Lord, whom he believed to be without fault, was the gravest injustice in the history of the World , because it was done to God Himself made Man.

Without diminishing that horror by one iota, I think we should accord Pilate great responsibility for putting a finger on one of the main issues of all human history.The issue was critically important then , and it is robustly so to-day.


I came to think about this matter in a three step process. For some years now, my Lenten reading has been "The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ"by the late Archbishop Alban Goodier S.J. In it, Archbishop Goodier leads us very carefully through the scenes of Jesus before Pontius Pilate. He recounts the troubled history of Pilate's term in office which had already seen him in trouble with Rome. He was by no means free to act in a …


Now we come right up-to-date with the pastoral recommendations of the good Father Shelton . And we begin to examine the development of events:

Dear Parishioners,

 We have some disagreements in our parish. There are parishioners who want things to go one way, and others who strongly insist on another way. As the pastor (parish priest), I must sometimes make decisions that some of you may dislike. As Christians, the question for us is: can we express our disagreements fully while preserving, and even increasing, our unity? Our faith in Christ tells us we can.

First, we must remember that we do not create unity in the parish; Christ does. When we find ourselves in some kind of disagreement here, we must first turn to Christ, offering him our praise and petitions. He always welcomes us in our times of need and offers to guide us in charitable dialogue with those with whom we disagree. Making a Holy Hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament befo…


COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU??Originally Posted at our Fraternal Blog : to-day. COMING TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU ??
To-day's portable and powerful electronics are transforming many aspects of our lives, but as yet, their impact on our religious life is probably confined to the private sphere. Yet such is their marvellous capacity that the day is dawning when they arrive in the church itself.
Restraint .... no, please...restraint! I can hear the "But, But, Buts" from here!
It is already happening in some ways :
During my return to visit to Brisbane ( "Urbs Beata") at Christmas, I paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament at St Stephen's Cathedral and , having concluded that pleasure and privilege, I noted as I left, an old bloke ( about my age - but they're still "old blokes") sitting calmly before the Tabernacle reading from his KINDLE E-Reader.He had its protective case open of course and on the left side of the cover was a …


We move from yesterday's introduction to Townsend Tennesseee's Saint Francis of Assisi Parish and its new Pastor Father Brent Shelton, to his own reflections on his intellectual and spiritual awakening as a young boy.

The Boy Who Asked the World a Question (Or, "The War that Helped Produce Father Shelton")
Thirty years ago a now distant 'me' became curious. My first eleven years were childish, but the generals of Argentina prompted the Iron Lady of Britain to make a decision that changed the course of my life. The generals, thinking of land that once was theirs, and the Iron Lady, thinking of people who still were hers, went to war over the windy sheep pastures and cold coasts of the Falkland Islands.
For the first time in my life, I felt the force of right and wrong battling for my assent. Both sides seemed to me to be certainly right, but the outcome would be decided only by bruit force. Just a month earlier, my interests were limited to schoolyard games and …


I hope you will bear with me over the next few days as I lead up to a very important Post of widespread value in t0-day's Church . This first post is by way of background. The following post will introduce you to the very interesting and powerful mind of Father Brent Shelton , as it began to form.But for now, please read on :

Townsend parish celebrates 50th birthdayET Catholic news: Vol. 20, No. 19: Aug. 7, 2011

GIVING THANKS Bishop Richard F. Stika presided at St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s 50th-anniversary Mass on July 16. Above, Deacon Mike Nestor assists the bishop as parochial administrator Father Brent Shelton looks on. Photo by Dan McWilliams St. Francis of Assisi members fill the church for a golden-anniversary Mass. By Dan McWilliams In 1961 an abandoned Methodist church in Townsend was converted into worship space for a new community of believers. This summer that community—St. Francis of Assisi Parish—turned 50 years old. Bishop Richard F. Stika celebrated the parish’s golden-…


Thank you to all my readers.

Yesterday in the midst of the pre-occupations of ANZAC DAY, our 40,000th Visitor as counted on CLUSTERMAPS dropped by! That is very pleasing, because our first 20,000 on CLUSTERMAPS took 10 months to achieve, this time it took only 4 MONTHS!!

These figures are small potatoes as Sir Robert Menzies once said of Australia when he was P.M. but they are mighty pleasing to me in my efforts to promote the greater glory of God and to promote, preserve and serve His Holy, Catholic Church which Dom Gueranger reminded us over a century ago, is "God's project for the salvation of the world".

I continue to marvel at the diversity of places around the globe from which you come, sometimes at evident risk to yourselves as the locations would indicate.Many of the places in Europe , the U.K.and Ireland, and the United States are very familiar to me , many more, totally unknown to me unfortunately. But I pray that God will bless you all.

Once again , thank you and …


“I saw Satan fall like lightening from Heaven” (Luke 10: 18). Every word that came from the lips of Our Lord is priceless to us mere men. Yet we don’t often hear this text read or referred to in homilies, and if it occurs in the readings at Mass it is most often ignored in the homily. Why? Of course we don’t like to think of Satan, but our clergy have a duty to remind us of him and his works.

In the tumult, stress and distress of the post – Conciliar years, when Pope Paul VI could ,with pain ,observe that it was “as if, through some crack, the smoke of Satan had entered the Sanctuary of God” (Homily 29th June, 1972), many clergy adopted the habit of not preaching what they surmised was unpopular. It began with “Humanae Vitae “and the Church’s teaching against contraception. The media say it’s not popular, so we don’t preach it. There are Dioceses in Australia where a priest can face administrative problems if he does. The “smoke of Satan “ lingers even to the extent of not talking abou…

CAREFUL HOW YOU TREAT YOUR CHILDREN or budding artists for that matter!



A regular and kind reader has volunteered the following information:

Bishop David L. Walker of Broken Bay has-

‎573 days

13759 hours

825547 minutes

49532832 seconds

Then he adds :" but who's counting?"

What a fine young man!

Looking at the figures and considering our reader's thought - there is

great Hope. Even as the last of the false "spirit of the Council"people

 do their damndest as they shuffle out of the Sanctuary, at long last!


The troubled waters of Broken Bay Diocese, which reaches into the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, are undisturbed by the presence of Seminarians. Seminarians cause Bishop David Louis Walker no problems at all. Reason?...He has NONE! After 16 Years as Bishop of Broken Bay ,a Diocese of 206,000 Catholics ( approx. 176,000 in 1996) he has not a single Seminarian.

During the time Bishop Walker has been Bishop of Broken Bay the number of clergy has evolved as follows:
1996    : 55 Diocesan and 81 Religious for a total of 136 Priests

2012    :  43        "          "   74        "          "   "     "        117 Priests.

Over the same period the number of Religious has evolved thus:

 1996    :   120 Male and 180 Female Religious

 2012    :     85      "      "      32      "            "        .

The Religious figures are perhaps not as bad as they look. The Diocese had  a number of Provincial Houses of Religious Orders with a high proportion of retire…


The story of Father Francis Browne S.J. who was born in 1880 in Cork, Ireland, the youngest of eight children and Baptised Francis Mary Hegarty( his mother Brigid's Maiden name) Browne. Father Browne was to prove truly heroic and, for other reasons, famous. He survived his heroism to die at 80 years of age in 1960

Fame came to Francis Browne because of his hobby and a crotchety Religious Superior. Yet his early life seemed totally adverse. His mother died eight days after his birth. Then, at age nine he suffered the loss of his father in a drowning tragedy. He was raised by his father's brother, Robert Browne Bishop of Cloyne. The unfolding story could have been titled the Providence of God. Or Only a Priest would suffice.

It was Bishop Browne who gave young Francis a camera shortly before sending him off at age 17 on a European tour when he had graduated from Castleknock College. Upon returning from Europe, Francis joined the Jesuits and spent two years as a Novice. He then at…