October 2016

Aurora Magazine

Featured articles from the October Aurora

THE WAY WE WERE: Having a (debutante!) ball

THE WAY WE WERE: Having a (debutante!) ball

Article by Suzanne Martin

For many decades St John’s Pro-Cathedral Parish, Maitland, held an annual Debutantes’ Ball at Maitland Town Hall, where the young ladies of the parish would be presented to the Bishop of Maitland.

The pursuit of happiness

The pursuit of happiness

Article by Bishop Bill Wright

Yes, I’m in pursuit of it. Happiness. I’m on the lookout for notable examples of the phenomenon, to see if I can make any sense of where it happens and where it doesn’t. I might record them in a book, too, as something to turn to on rough days, to lift the spirits a bit by the recollection of being caught up in the infectiousness of an unaffectedly happy person. Hey, it’s no sillier than collecting spoons or snow domes, is it? Little reminders.

Is there a place at your table for the people of wisdom?

Is there a place at your table for the people of wisdom?

Article by Tracey Edstein

Among many others, one of Pope Francis’ gifts to the Church and the world is the example he embodies of the wisdom, faith, energy and vitality of the elderly. Pope Francis will turn 80 just before Christmas, and we don’t see any slowing down or stepping back from travel or daily engagement with God’s people.

Minister for Education learns much from his visit to St James' Muswellbrook

Minister for Education learns much from his visit to St James' Muswellbrook

Article by Niamh Marzol

St James’ Primary, Muswellbrook celebrated the fruits of our work with the State Action Plan (SAP) by sharing our fantastic results with NSW Minister for Education, The Hon Adrian Piccoli, at our school during a special ministerial visit last month. St James’ NAPLAN results for 2014 and 2015 showed tremendous growth and the school was recognised by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) for this growth in 2016. Over 70% of the student population gained results at or above expected growth.

"Do you love me the same as the other children in your family?"

"Do you love me the same as the other children in your family?"

Article by Fiona McCalden

It was a sunny autumn afternoon and my class of Year 2 students had just left for the day when I opened a newsletter in my emails. I was reading through it when an advertisement from CatholicCare, calling for foster carers, caught my eye. There was a phone number to call. I picked up the phone…

A temple of God, built of living stones, is dedicated

A temple of God, built of living stones, is dedicated

Article by Fr Andrew Doohan

For many months St John’s Church at Maitland has been being restored and will soon serve as a place of worship again. Rev Andrew Doohan explains how the transition will be marked.

Learning to pass on the skills of resilience

Learning to pass on the skills of resilience

Article by Tanya Russell

Q  I am interested in learning ways to teach my seven-year-old daughter some resilience skills. She seems to become emotionally overwhelmed every time she is presented with a challenging situation or when she ‘loses’ in a game with us at home or at school. Sometimes she gives up trying because her emotions take over. I really want to teach her that it is okay not to be the best at everything, and also not to give up on something just because it feels too hard. Where do I start?

Signing in Together

Signing in Together

Article by Trish Bogan

Anne Sheppard and Veronica McLoughlin did not meet until the beginning of this year, but they have quickly formed a close friendship, professionally and personally. Both grew up in loving family environments and followed the usual pattern: school, work, study, marriage and children.  But what makes them different is that Anne is profoundly deaf.    

Mater Graduate Nurses gather for 70th reunion

Mater Graduate Nurses gather for 70th reunion

Article by Colleen Canny

This year the Mater Graduate Nurses will come together for their 70th annual reunion on Sunday 13 November.  It’s both surprising and gratifying to me that this event has continued for all these years.

Cindy's had the time of her life

Cindy's had the time of her life

Article by Lizzie Snedden

Adorned in a white sequinned dress, lace shoes, flowers in her hair and a satin clutch to complete the look, Cindy Pritchard looked every bit the princess when she recently made her debut at the ‘Love Is in the Air’ Ball.

What is a Royal Commission?

What is a Royal Commission?

Article by Nicola Arvidson

A Royal Commission is an inquiry directed by the Queen into any matter which relates to the “peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth (of Australia) or any public purpose or any power of the Commonwealth”.  The factsheet produced by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse describes a Royal Commission more simply as “a special investigation into a matter of great importance”. 

The Trinity: do not pretend that you understand

The Trinity: do not pretend that you understand

Article by Josephine Armour OP

There is a story that St Augustine was walking on the beach contemplating the mystery of the Trinity. Then he saw a boy in front of him who had dug a hole in the sand and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water to pour into the hole. St. Augustine asked him, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.” “That is impossible, the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made” said St. Augustine. The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.” The story concludes by saying that the boy vanished because St Augustine had been talking to an angel. (Volume 5 The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine).

What sweeter music can we bring?

What sweeter music can we bring?

Article by Callum Close

For a thousand years, choirs have sung the praise of God − the vaulted walls of cathedrals and churches filled with echoing melodies older than the buildings themselves. The Delphic hymns of Ancient Greece date from 128 BCE, and are the earliest evidence of compositions for choirs − though perhaps, not for a choir we would immediately think of today.

Educating for big dreams and the power of possibility

Educating for big dreams and the power of possibility

Article by Monica Scanlon

Recently Monica Scanlon travelled with her family to Africa and had the privilege of meeting Gemma Sisia, founder of The School of St Jude’s in Tanzania. Monica shares her encounter.

What do we lose when we sacrifice science?

What do we lose when we sacrifice science?

Article by Br Guy Consolmagno SJ

The Director of the Vatican Observatory visited Australia recently and kindly wrote this contribution for Aurora.  

Mental Health Month: An opportunity to learn and grow

Mental Health Month: An opportunity to learn and grow

Article by Tanya Russell

October is Mental Health Month, a time when we are encouraged to acknowledge and talk about mental health. Good mental health can be defined in the following way: “Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” (World Health Organisation).  

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