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News from Mackay

17 November, 2022

Our Men’s dinner was held on Monday 31st October. With every October dinner, ladies are also invited. To add to this special night we were blessed and thankful to have Bishop Michael McCarthy as our guest speaker.

Kevin our Chairman welcomed the ladies and all members, also the Priests, Fr Don, Fr Gasper, Fr James, and Fr Bill Senn who is from Rockhampton.

Rex’s Reflection:

“You are Commanded to Love”.

Jesus gives us a NEW commandment “…that you love one another.”  Yet we so readily misunderstand that word. “I love my wife, … I love pizza, ..?” Two misconceptions are that love is a feeling and love is uncontrollable. Jesus cuts through both lies with His command. We must have control if we can follow, or disobey a command. Love is at its core, two things. First, love is a matter of choice. In Colossians, Paul writes, “Over all these virtues put on love…”  Like putting on clothes each day, we choose the attitude we will display. Choose to love one another.

Second, love is a matter of behaviour. In 1 John, he writes, “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”  Reach out to others with genuine love and concern and watch your feelings change. And if they don’t return your love, God is pleased you have followed His command. Now there’s reward enough.

Bishop Michael’s talk

Bishop Michael spoke about his experiences since his ordination as bishop in May 2014. A journey of over eight years. Wow, what he has done and achieved in this time had the audience stunned.

Rex Frazer, Kevin McEvoy, Graham Featherstone, Bishop Michael

The Rockhampton Diocese stretches from Midge Pt in the north to Bundaberg and west to the Northern Territory border and numerous Mass centres in between. Last Friday, Bishop Michael was in Barcaldine for an anniversary, then he went on to Longreach.  Sunday he was at Blackall for mass. He then travelled to Mackay for our dinner, staying overnight in Emerald. A tiring journey for anyone. Bishop Michael regularly travels to many mass centres in this Diocese, which is larger than many countries around the globe. (The Rockhampton diocese is larger than Germany.)  Our dinner group was honoured and blessed that he would make such a long trip to be with us.

Soon after the Bishop’s ordination in May 2014, he was on the track of getting to know his vast Diocese. He spoke of numerous happenings, like travelling to Boulia, Bedourie, and Birdsville. Another time he was at Bedourie for the Melbourne cup. He spoke about being at the Landsborough Sheep show at Muttaburra. On another trip to the far west of Boulia and Bedourie, he included a ‘Confirmation’. He spoke about the Australian/Oceania Bishops conference, and about many other places where he was invited to attend.

Bishop Michael said he had visited places in drought and flood. He mentioned the Western Ministry where people and the Priest travel lengthy distances for mass.

Events such as having all the teachers meet together in 2015. He spoke about the great work done by Catholic Education.

He also spoke about meeting all the Parish councils and finance committees in the Diocese and attending many debutante balls in Mackay.

Bishop Michael mentioned as a representative of the Diocese, he had to appear at a hearing of the ‘Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse’. After the final report was handed down, it was then necessary to follow up with applicable recommendations, with Policies and Procedures for the Diocese which included committing the diocese to  Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults policies and professional standards.

In all of the Bishops’ busyness travelling around the Diocese he has had his share of medical procedures but it hasn’t stopped him from looking after the Diocese, in fact, this year he was also the Administrator of all the Rocky Parishes.

Our Bishop and parishioners appreciate the priests from overseas who are in our diocese and Bishop Michael made time to visit each priest’s diocese in India and Nigeria. In India, he was able to visit the grave of Mother Teresa.

Graham thanked Bishop Michael for his most informative talk, it was so good, Graham mentioned that other parishioners in the region would also have enjoyed the talk. He thanked the Bishop for coming from Blackall to Mackay. He also thanked the other Priests for their attendance, he then presented Bishop Michael with a donation to the Western Ministry.

Our final dinner for the year is on Monday 28th November at the City Bowls Club. 7 pm start. The guest Speaker will be Fr Don White. New members and visitors are always welcome.