The end of the year is upon us, and many of us might be saying it can’t come soon enough! With Covid-19, life has been very different since the middle of March, and in some ways, life will be different in the future.
Pope Francis, in the introduction to his recent encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti, on fraternity and social friendship, explains that our false securities have been exposed with the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.
May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones now as we move into the future.
At the beginning of Lent, I commented: “What a start to the year!” Tragedies with families devastated through the actions of others, bushfires, drought and coronavirus, which we now call COVID-19.
Many have commented that we are in unchartered waters. Federal and State laws have been enacted limiting the movement of peoples and even restricting the celebration of Mass, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals. Health Authorities remind us of the necessity for these restrictions so that lives may be saved and the Pandemic overcome.
In these times may we truly be faith-filled and hope-filled people.
The public health emergency of the kind that we are experiencing is a rare event. Given the directions provided by the Government and after consultation the following provisions apply effective from midnight Friday 20 March 2020.
All regular public Masses are hereby suspended until 1st May. This includes all Holy Week Ceremonies.
The obligation to participate at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation is dispensed.
The Faithful are encouraged to keep the Lord’s Day holy and celebrate Sunday as a domestic church by taking time to pray together as a household. Resources will be made available in due course.
Following the National advice on liturgical implications in light of coronavirus (COVID-19) issued today by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Robert McGuckin asks that parishes and communities throughout the Diocese of Toowoomba observe the following temporary protocols until further notice, effective from this weekend (7 and 8 March 2020).
We have witnessed continually throughout this year the innate goodness that resides within each of us, as people have responded to those most in need and most at risk. Images of volunteer rural fire-fighters battling blazes whilst their own homes are at risk; school children assisting in drought appeals; fleets of trucks bringing food for cattle; ordinary mums and dads providing temporary accommodation for those fleeing for their lives have been accompanied by stories of compassion and love.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Fr Peter Schultz’s death 5/8/19. Fr Peter died peacefully at St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba in the presence of Bishop Robert McGuckin, Frs Michael O’Brien and Peter Dorfield and his doctor. He will be missed. May Peter rest in peace in God’s care.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral Toowoomba, Tuesday 13/8/19 @ 1:00pm. All are welcome to attend to celebrate Peter’s life and ministry.
Deacon Thomas Duncan will be ordained to the priesthood next Thursday, 18/7/19. Tom, 25, hails from Miles, two-and-a-half hours west of Toowoomba. After completing year 11 and 12 at Marist College, Ashgrove, Tom thought his life would continue like those around him. Perhaps become a builder like his dad, get married and start a family like his mates. However more and more he felt drawn to a different path and soon Tom began to explore what being a priest might mean.
Bishop Robert McGuckin, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba, warmly welcomes the community to a celebration of significant Jubilees of Priestly Ordination for the clergy. Fr Hal Ranger, priest in residence at St Patrick’s Cathedral, has reached 60 years of priestly ordination. Fr Brian Connolly, Parish Priest of Stanthorpe, and Bishop Bill Morris, Emeritus Bishop of Toowoomba, have both reached 50 years of priestly ordination.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Fr Peter Schultz’s passing 5/8/19. Peter died peacefully at St Vincent’s Hospital Toowoomba in the presence of Bishop Robert McGuckin, Frs Michael O’Brien and Peter Dorfield and his doctor. He will be missed. May Peter rest in peace in God’s care.
Bishop Robert McGuckin invites the community to come together to celebrate Peter’s life and ministry. Funeral Mass 13/8/19, 1:00pm @ St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual Lenten Message.
Bishop Robert recounts the story of “The Four Candles”, a popular poem by Aino Makoto. “Don’t be afraid, for I am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”
Local humanitarian group PEACE (Positive Empathy and Community Engagement) has been awarded the 2018 Social Justice Award given by the Catholic Social Justice Commission.
Bishop Robert McGuckin is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr David Tutty as Executive Officer Catholic Social Justice Commission. David will commence with the Diocese of Toowoomba on Monday, 1 April 2019, operating out of the current Social Justice Office located in the Cathedral Precinct, Neil Street.
The Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS), established by Fr John Wallis in Tasmania 75 years ago, has launched an initiative that will see their important work in remote and regional Australia continue beyond the life of the Sisters.
To mark the new stage in the work of the MSS, grant applications will be invited for community projects which can make a difference in the lives of isolated, and often forgotten, Australians.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual message to the Diocese for the Christmas season.
“In proclaiming the gospel we should bear witness to the dignity and the vocation of every person and to the communion of persons. The new law of love embraces the entire human family and knows no limits since the proclamation of the salvation wrought by Christ extends to the ends of the earth. This is a call not just to young people but to all of us.”
The site of the former South State School is humming with activity once again as work gets underway on a new central administration building for Toowoomba Catholic Schools.
The Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba purchased the site in 2015, naming its central location and proximity to existing church buildings, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Parish centre, as key in making it a logical choice to accommodate all Catholic Schools Office staff at one location.
CatholicCare Social Services’ has recently completed a landscaping project to create a Yarning Circle feature in the grounds at The Shrine. The Yarning Circle has been an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Straight cultures and is used as a means for interaction, relationship building and culture preservation. CatholicCare is hoping to harness this useful communication tool as part of the Future Families Program.
CatholicCare Social Services TRAMS (Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Service) has been a beacon for the refugee and migrant population in Toowoomba and surrounds for over 13 years. After settling into a new space in the heart of Toowoomba, TRAMS is now looking to the future at new and exciting ways they can expand and improve the service they offer.
CatholicCare Social Services’ Family Relationship Centre (FRC) is celebrating 10 years of service to families in the Darling Downs area this month (June).
From the first day of operation, FRC has assisted clients navigate challenges of separation and divorce. Staff have helped their clients negotiate weekend visits and choice of schooling, often in complex situations like domestic and family violence, drugs/alcohol and mental health issues.
Bishop Robert McGuckin over the last two days, 20-21 March, has met with more than 85 members of the Diocese’s clergy, religious, lay leadership and volunteer Safeguard Representatives from Toowoomba, the Northern Downs, the West, and the Southern Downs in the James Byrne Centre in Highfields. They examined the measures in place to ensure the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable that come into contact with parishes, schools and other pastoral ministry outreach activities.
Toowoomba recently hosted the National Interfaith Peace Conference with representatives from across the country and the world in attendance to discuss whether religion and culture are sources of strength in today’s society.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual Lenten Message.
“Prayer, fasting, some self-denial and works of charity are ways in which we enter into the spirit of Lent. “
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released a response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s Final Report. Bishop Robert welcomed the release of this final report and said one of the most important elements of this work has been the opportunity for those who were abused to be heard.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released his annual message to the Diocese for the Christmas season. He reflects on key moments for the year and invites us all to be mindful of those less fortunate during this season. May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you and your loved ones now and throughout the coming year. A very happy Christmas to all!
A list of Christmas Mass times across the Toowoomba Diocese. Also included are special Advent events and masses as well as reconciliation.
Bishop Robert McGuckin has released a statement on the postal plebiscite on marriage. He asks we consider the far reaching implications of the proposed redefinition of marriage. Bishop Robert also calls for respect during this debate – regardless of differences, each has a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
In 2015 the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba acquired the site of the former Toowoomba South State School with the intention of developing the site as a central location for the Catholic Schools Office in Toowoomba. The land’s proximity to existing church buildings (St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Saviour’s Primary School and College) made it a logical investment for the Diocese.
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