News from the Diocese


Catholic Diocese of Wollongong serving the people of God in the Illawarra, Macarthur, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands regions of NSW
  • Invitation for Input into Preparations for the Second Family Synod 2015

    The Second Synod on the Family is being held in October 2015 in Rome. Pope Francis, through the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC), invites you to offer input into the preparation documents for this important gathering. 

    To assist you in this task a simplified questionnaire has been developed by the Australian Catholic Bishops through which you are invited to offer input by 8 February 2015.  Responses to this questionnaire can be made online via

    I strongly encourage you to offer your input into this important area of our Church life and practice.  I offer my deep thanks and appreciation to those who participated in the initial questionnaire in 2013 and encourage as many as possible to take up this opportunity, intended to offer a more focused examination of the matters pertaining to marriage and family life. 

    With all my blessings for the New Year ahead of us

    Most Rev Peter W Ingham DD
    Bishop of Wollongong

  • ARISE: Lenten Program 2015 - ORDER NOW!

    Order your copies of ARISE: Lenten Program 2015, a 44-page weekly program published by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong designed as a six-week Lenten resource for small groups, prayer companions, staff reflections, families and individuals.

    By unpacking the Sunday Gospels during Lent, Sr Moya Hanlen OLSH (Former Chancellor of the Diocese of Wollongong and respected Canon Lawyer) has written six beautiful Gospel Reflections that invite us to deepen our understanding of Jesus’ love for us unto death and to grasp anew the hope his Resurrection brings us. We are challenged to “arise” from our torpor, grasp his out-stretched hand and accompany Jesus on his journey through passion to death and resurrection.

    Sr Moya’s teaching is beautifully complimented by Sr Hilda Scott OSB (Vocations Director, Jamberoo Abbey) and Fr Michael Fallon MSC’s (world renowned Scripture Scholar) Spiritual Direction and Sr Hilda’s Guided Meditation.

    ARISE also includes thought provoking reflection questions perfect for group discussion as well as a sung Responsorial Psalm (see below) and opening and closing prayer for each week.

    ARISE is accompanied by a Triple CD Box Set available for purchase (physical CD’s or digital download). The CD’s contains six professionally recorded weekly Responsorial Psalms written and performed by Tracey Coombes (Holy Cross Helensburgh Music Ministry). Check out Tracey's beautiful Psalms for Week 3 and Week 6 of the program at the following links (or listen to a preview of all the tracks on the Triple CD at the digital download page):


    The CD Box Set also contains audio narrations of the Gospels by Jude Hennessy (Host of the “Journey Catholic Radio Show”) and Gospel Reflections by Sr Moya, Spiritual Direction by Sr Hilda and Fr Michael, and back by popular demand, Guided Meditation led by Sr Hilda (N.B. The Guided Meditation is only available on the CD’s or digital downloads).

    The whole is contained within the amazing artwork of Nelson Colo Matoma who has painted six new watercolour expressionism artworks for the program.

    As always, the cost of the program has been kept as low as possible (from $5.00 including GST) to ensure the resource can be made widely available to local communities.

    Delivery of the Program and CD Box sets are expected to begin at the end of January 2015.

    PRICING (GST Inclusive)*

    ARISE: Lenten Program 2015 Books

    Qty Price $AU (+ shipping and handling)
    1-10 $8.00
    11-50 $7.00
    51-100    $6.00
    100+ $5.00

    ARISE: Lenten Program 2015 Triple CD Box Set - Physical CD's

    Qty Price $AU (+ shipping and handling)
    1+           $10.00

    ARISE: Lenten Program 2015 Triple CD Box Set - Digital Download

    Qty Price $US 
    1+            $8.00

    You can purchase digital download copies of the Triple CD Box Set here.

     Download sign-up sheets, posters, flyers and graphics to assist in your advertising of the program at the following link:

    * If you live in the Diocese of Wollongong, please contact your parish, school or community first to see if they will be ordering on your behalf.


    For more information and phone orders, contact: 

    Jennifer Raposio
    PO Box 1239
    E orders [AT] dow [DOT] org [DOT] au
    T +61 2 4222 2411
    F +61 2 4222 2417

  • Christmas message from Bishop Peter Ingham

    When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, the angels proclaimed “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to people of goodwill.”

    The recent shocking events in Sydney, Pakistan and Cairns have left us with heavy hearts – a certain numbness. Many are asking: where is peace on earth to people of goodwill, as Christmas proclaims?

    Jesus Christ was threatened from the time of his birth until his life, too, was violently cut down on the Cross.

    We know how we like to be treated, so that’s how Jesus wants us to treat each other.

    Our nation took up this challenge last week. We prayed and we showed our willingness to support others in their suffering. We saw the resolve of our community that we will not buy into the endless cycle of violence and hatred. Our own “Illawarra People for Peace” movement shows we do not want darkness to overcome the light.

    God is with us in our pain, encouraging us to gift each other with love, peace and a respect for the dignity of each person.

    May Jesus Christ our Saviour, who came to save us from the darkness of sin and ignorance, be our inspiration and our hope as we face the New Year.

  • Pope Francis appoints leading Wollongong welfare worker to Vatican child protection commission

    Pope Francis has appointed Kathleen McCormack, the founding director of CatholicCare in the NSW city of Wollongong, to the Vatican's child protection body.

    Ms McCormack is among eight new members of the commission, led by American cardinal Sean O'Malley, to advise him on safeguarding children from sexual abuse. The appointments were announced overnight in Rome.

    The 17-member Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was announced by the Pope in December 2013. It now consists of eight women and nine men, both the clerical and lay, with new members coming from Australia, Britain, Colombia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, United States and Zambia. It includes two survivors of child sexually abused within the Church.

    Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, said Kathleen McCormack will be a tireless, passionate and committed representative for people sexually abused in the Church in Australia and around the world.

    “This appointment is an important recognition of Kathleen’s life work spent in the services of children and other vulnerable people,” he said.

    “It is also recognition of the work being undertaken in Australia to address the crisis of child sexual abuse.”

    Ms McCormack said she is honoured to be appointed to the Commission and is ready to take up the challenge.

    “This Commission is about best practice in the future, not just for the children in our Church, but for the children of our world. It’s about the Church wanting to lead in the safety of children,” Ms McCormack said.

    “We’ve been through a lot in Australia, and although we have many policies and procedures in place, we still need to do much better. I believe the wisdom we will gain from the Royal Commission in Australia will be invaluable to the Pope’s Commission.

    “I give this commitment to abuse survivors in Australia: when I take my seat on this Commission the only interests I serve will be theirs and the only outcomes I will endorse will deliver abuse survivors justice and compassion.”

    Peter Ingham, Bishop of Wollongong, said he welcomed the Pope’s appointment. “This appointment brings great honour to Kath and, indeed, to the Diocese of Wollongong. It is well deserved. Kath brings much knowledge and expertise to the area of child protection and more importantly, great dedication and commitment,” he said.

    Kathleen McCormack  AM

    Kathleen McCormack AM (Australia) was Director of Welfare of CatholicCare in the Diocese of Wollongong for 29 years. Kathleen was the first employee, developing the agency into a quality assured provider of social services with staff and volunteers numbering over 300 and a turnover of $14 million.


    Kathleen is a social welfare worker, with a Masters of Management from the University of Technology, Sydney. During her time as Director of CatholicCare, Kathleen worked extensively and held leadership roles in Family Services, Child Protection, Out Of Home Care and Ageing and Disability Services.

    She has been involved in successful lobbying campaigns to Federal and State Government and has played an integral role in the development of Child Protection protocols and Professional Standards in NSW.

    Kathleen has provided support to victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Wollongong. In the mid 1990's she initiated a series of international speakers to visit Australia on the importance of a 'Culture of Safety'. 

    She is a strong advocate for training and professional development of religious and diocesan personnel on child protection, particularly screening and selection protocols, monitoring and supervision systems, policy development for the prevention of abuse and best practices to protect the most vulnerable.

    Kathleen has actively assisted in the establishment of church and community-based organisations, boards and committees. She was a pioneer in establishing peak bodies such as Catholic Welfare Australia (now Catholic Social Services Australia) and co-founded Centacare (now CatholicCare). 

    She has represented the Diocese on committees such as the National Catholic Association of Family Agencies, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission, NSW Catholic Social Welfare Committee and the Australian Catholic University.

    Kathleen received a Member of the Order of Australia as part of the 2007 Australia Day honours list. Upon her retirement in April 2014, Kathleen was awarded a Papal Honour by Pope Francis as a Dame in the Order of St Gregory the Great.

  • Sympathy and prayers extended to all affected by Sydney siege

    The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Archbishop Denis Hart, extends the deepest sympathy and prayers of the Catholic Church in Australia to all people affected by the siege in Martin Place, Sydney.
    ‘We pray for all who were held hostage during the siege, especially those who tragically lost their lives. May the surviving hostages quickly heal and find new peace in their lives.’
    ‘We unite in prayer in support of the families and friends who are today grieving the loss of their loved ones. We thank and pray for the men and women of the police and emergency services who selflessly placed themselves in harm’s way during this tragic event to save the lives of fellow Australians.’
    ‘We also thank and pray for medical staff and community leaders who gave so willingly, patiently and courageously to manage the siege and bring it to the best possible conclusion.’
    Archbishop Hart expresses his faith that all Australians will be as one in condemning this tragic event, and that they will join together as people of goodwill to support each other.  
    ‘As we prepare to celebrate the joy of Christmas, let us pursue enduring peace and understanding. Affected as we are by such awful loss and hurt to our fellow Australians, let us reach out with the power of love to bring peace, healing and goodwill to all.’ 

  • Christmas Mass and Reconciliation Times 2014

  • Your Opportunity to question the Church's Royal Commission Spokesperson

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been engaged in its work for almost two years now and Bishop Peter Ingham has invited Mr Francis Sullivan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council (TJHC) to visit the Diocese again.

    The TJHC was established at the commencement of the Royal Commission to:

    • Speak for the Church in matters related to the Commission and child sexual abuse;
    • Coordinate the Church’s legal representation at the Commission;
    • Identify systemic institutional failures that have impeded the protection of children; and
    • Indicate to the Commission the procedures that have been put in place over the past 20 years.

    Francis Sullivan will address three main questions:

    • What are the major learnings from the Royal Commission to date?
    • As a Church and as a Diocese – what should we be doing NOW to respond to these learnings in a robust manner?
    • What are the learnings from the Wollongong case which went before the Commission?

    There will also be opportunity for questions from the audience.

    WHEN: Thursday 11 December 2014, 7.30pm – 9.00pm
    WHERE: Xavier Centre 38 Harbour Street, Wollongong (next to Cathedral)
    WH0: All parishioners in the Diocese
    RSVP: 5 December 2014 (for catering)
    CONTACT: jennifer [DOT] raposio [AT] dow [DOT] org [DOT] au | 02 4222 2411
    COST: free (includes light supper)


  • Way of Light - Relic of St Teresa of Ávila to visit the Diocese in December

    A relic of St Teresa of Ávila (her pilgrim staff)  is on a worldwide pilgrimage which began in Ávila on her feast day, 15 October, 2014.  The first country visited was Brazil, followed by many countries of Latin America.  It will finally return home to Ávila for her 500th birthday, 28 March 2015.  

    Teresa's pilgrim staff will be visiting Australia on 18 December 2014 with a series of events at the Mount Carmel precinct in Varroville NSW.

    St Teresa's walking staff is a wonderful symbol of her life.  She had three gifts of grace: The Lord gifted her with with mystical experience; then gave her the gift of understanding; and,  thirdly the gift of finding the words and images to express her understanding in her books.  

    Her spiritual teaching is in some ways a support for our own spiritual journey.  So we will celebrate with her walking staff by moments of prayer and reflection and then walking meditatively through our land.

    Highlights of the day's events will include an Aboriginal welcome to country before meeting the students of Mount Carmel Catholic High School on the morning they receive their HSC results. We will then walk through the fields and paddocks from the High School to the Carmel of Mary and Joseph Convent visiting on the way Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish and the Mount Carmel Retreat Centre and Carmelite Priory.

    Everyone is invited to join the pilgrimage especially our youth and young adults.

    The pilgrimage will conclude with Mass at 11.30am in the Convent Chapel followed by a time of reflection before a light lunch.  It will be a fiesta, Aussie style!

    For further information:
    or Fr Greg Burke, OCD
    Mount Carmel Priory
    247 St Andrews Rd
    Varroville NSW 2566
    T (02) 8795 3457 | M 0421 158 067



  • ORDER NOW! Wisdom from the Abbey with Sr Hilda Scott OSB | DOUBLE CD

    We are delighted to announce the release, in time for Christmas, of Sr Hilda Scott’s new Double-CD “Wisdom from the Abbey” containing 46 audio reflections perfect for personal use and for parish/school/group/staff prayer and reflections.

    Anyone who has heard Sr Hilda speak will testify to her gift of using every-day stories to bring the listener into the loving presence of God in a simple yet powerful way.

    These short audio reflections (ranging from 1:22 to 3:55 minutes each) by Sr Hilda were originally aired throughout Australia on “The Journey” Catholic Radio Show in 2013/2014 ( produced weekly by the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong.

    Sr Hilda’s weekly reflections have became so popular among radio listeners that the Jamberoo Abbey and Catholic Diocese of Wollongong have decided to release the reflections as a physical Double-CD available to purchase through the Abbey or to download on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3, CD Baby and a number of other digital download stores.

    Wisdom from the Abbey is a rich resource that can be listened to over and over again with fresh new insights on every listening.


    Sr Hilda is the Vocations Director for the enclosed Benedictine Abbey at Jamberoo. She became known to wider Australia through the ABC TV documentary, The Abbey, in which five Australian women were invited to live a monastic life for 33 days and nights.

    Apart from her work as Vocations Director, she also engages in spiritual direction, retreat giving, talks and formation work with the newer members of the community, not to mention the “nitty-gritty” everyday happenings of kitchen, garden and housekeeping, all within a life of prayer for the world.

    Wisdom from the Abbey Double CD costs only $15.00 (Inc GST) plus postage and handling. Order now by downloading an order form below and email/fax/mail to Sr Hannah Massy-Greene OSB at The Abbey at:

    E abbeybookscraft [AT] bigpond [DOT] com
    AbbeyGifts [AT] AbbeyCraftsandBooks [DOT] com [DOT] auF (02) 4236 0041

    695 Jamberoo Mountain Road, Jamberoo NSW 2533

    or contact Sr Hannah directly on (02) 4236 1192 to place a phone order. 


  • Full Time Position Available – Diocesan Communications Officer – Graphic Design


    This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Graphic Designer looking to push themselves beyond their creative limit.

    The Diocesan Communications Officer – Graphic Design role is a full-time position commencing January 2015. The purpose of the role is to assist Bishop Peter Ingham and the Diocesan Communications Team in its support of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan by communicating its mission of evangelisation, particularly in the area of new evangelisation.

    The role serves and supports the Office of the Bishop and parishes as well as providing some services to other agencies and organisations in the Diocese. Although the role has a predominantly graphic design focus, it is broader in scope and requires a dynamic applicant who is looking for a challenge and a willingness to broaden their skill base and knowledge within communications. The role has the following main areas of focus:

    1. Providing creative direction and graphic design support for all print and digital diocesan publications, events, websites, branding and collateral
    2. Assisting with the development and management of a new diocesan website and parish website project
    3. Providing audio, photography and videography support services
    4. Assisting with the management of social media content
    5. Assisting with the development of a communications strategy

    To apply for this exciting opportunity, download the full position description and send your application to Mary Hiscox at mary [DOT] hiscox [AT] dow [DOT] org [DOT] au by COB Friday 5 December 2014. Applications must specify residency or work visa status, include a CV/Portfolio and a cover letter which addresses the Selection Criteria. For further information contact the Diocesan Communications Coordinator, Daniel Hopper on 4222 2461 or daniel [DOT] hopper [AT] dow [DOT] org [DOT] au.