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This was the call that Fr Michel Remery repeated across multiple moments of formation and evangelisation in the Diocese of Bathurst in early May 2023. 

At Mass in Dubbo, with World Youth Day Pilgrims, WYD pilgrim host families, and when he was with teachers and Catechists, Fr Michel reminded everyone that the call to allow yourself to strive for holiness, and to acknowledge that as followers of Jesus, we are named as saints, is clearly shown in the writings of St Paul; and that each of us should strive to be with God for eternity.

Fr Michel is the author of many books, most recently How to Grow in Faith, which gives structure to how any of us can use resources developed through his other publications and online resources and apps eg Tweeting with God, Online with the Saints and My Neighbour is God. He challenged us to look at our Catholic faith with fresh eyes, to see the beauty of the Church, the witness of the saints and the important place each of us has in spreading the message of Jesus to the world. This applies even in places where we don’t feel comfortable, which could be engaging with young people in schools, in our communities and even online, a world we are quite often unsure of.

The formation offered by Fr Michel was of the highest standard and offered those present a renewed encounter with Jesus, equipping them to live the mission of the Church, which is our mission, to go out to the world and proclaim the Good News with vigour. 

The first time Fr Michel asked a group if they wanted to be saints, few hands were raised. By the end of each talk, when asked again, all hands were raised. Everyone wanted to be a saint. 

One definition of formation is to engage the baptised in a deeper experience of God and that is what so many experienced across the days Fr Michel was with us.

Do you want to be a Saint?

Hey youth team!

We just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who came and made RISEN special, y’all were so cool last weekend.

An extremely massive thank you to each small group who made us smile and laugh throughout the whole program and we wish you all the best and know that you are appreciated and loved.

Thanks for being such a supportive and energetic group with various interesting ideas and perspectives.

We can’t wait to see you all again in July with the juniors at RISE.  Keep being awesome!

Charlotte, Alek, Alistair

It may not surprise many people to know that a Pilgrimage requires times of prayer, time with others, and silence but also times of walking. As a start to our preparations for the Diocesan World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Lisbon, Portugal in 2023, pilgrims took time out of their daily lives to walk from the Cathedral of St Michael and St John to the Diocesan Shrine Church of the Immaculate Conception in Carcoar.  The planned route included stops at St Joseph’s Perthville and the village of Newbridge.

This Pilgrimage did indeed involve times of prayer, time with others, and silence but also times of walking. A highlight of the experience was being able to share experiences and talk about why individuals had chosen to be part of the Pilgrimage. Over the course of the weekend, the pilgrims walked around 35 km in total – while not the same length as what you may experience in walking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Europe, it was a good introduction to the importance of walking and being ready for the challenges of a Pilgrimage. Please keep our World Youth Day Pilgrims in your thoughts and prayers. If you are more know a young person who would like to join us, encourage them to contact Jacinta on 0418 631 684.  It’s not too late to join.

Deacon Josh Clayton

Each year across the world, dioceses and their local parishes celebrate World Youth Day on the Feast of Christ the King.

This year the Diocese of Bathurst is commencing a new initiative – a local celebration of World Youth Day in every parish across the Diocese. In these celebrations, young people from our schools and parishes will be invited to help animate and facilitate a parish celebration of prayer and Mass in their local parish.

This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the wonderful and great work that occurs across our Diocese in relation to youth ministry and also to remind us of the importance of youth in our church.

Our Priests and parishes, as well as all of our schools, are encouraged to make contact with each other to set aside time to plan for this important celebration.

Further reading HERE

During the month of October and September, opportunities have occurred across the Diocese following on from Vocations Awareness week 2022 that reflect on Vocations, through a simple gathering and a meal. Vocations dinners were organised in three locations, Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst and were a chance to gather, pray, share a meal and discuss the importance of being aware and responding to God’s call in our life.

 The Bathurst Dinner had a wide variety of guests, which allowed a wonderful sharing of stories of faith and hearing God’s call. Attendees were reminded to take time reading the scriptures, to pray, to be part of the worshipping community and to seek the wisdom of wise people in their community when discerning their vocation, but also when living it, all were reminded that there are challenges in life, it isn’t always perfect!

It is hoped that these dinners will become a regular event in our Diocese, so keep an eye out for them and maybe even alert others to them, it’s a chance to go deeper into the call each of us has, the call to discipleship; following Jesus.

Deacon Josh Clayton

Youth Ministers Tahnaya from MacKillop College Bathurst and Dale from James Sheahan Catholic High School, Orange

Professional Development for our RISE Youth Ministers took place at Mackillop College Bathurst recently. The topic focus was working with young people. Led by Fr Paul Devitt the day explored prayer, reflection on Youth Ministry experiences to date running a bible study and looking toward our upcoming events; RISE UO, Diocesan Christmas Art Exhibition and iRISE. Also in attendance were Deacon Josh Clayton Mission and Renewal Director, Jacinta Thatcher Mission and Renewal Project Officer and Dr Amber Calleja Education Officer Formation and Religious Education.

Professional development session

ARISE (pronounced uh-rize) Beach Retreat is happening for everyone ages 18-25 years from Monday 9 to Friday 13 January.

The venue is once again at Tahlee, a special place of natural beauty on Port Stephens near Karuah. The earliest inhabitants of this area were the Worimi tribe. Tahlee comes from the local Aboriginal word, Tarlee, meaning “sheltered from the wind and above water”.

Register your expression of interest to attend, here.

Thank you to everyone who supported our free Centacare events this weekend in celebration of the World Meeting of Families:
Lithgow Family Day Out, Orange All Ages Skate Workshops and the Bathurst Skate Park BBQ. Our Bathurst All Ages Skate Workshops had to be postponed due to the fog and wet weather early this morning – but they will return!
The World Meeting of Families is an international gathering of families first initiated by Pope St John Paul II in 1994 in the Diocese of Rome.
Safe Church Workshops are informative, engaging and interactive. They are designed to raise everyone’s understanding and awareness of Christian foundations of safe ministry, duty of care, vulnerable people protection (abuse prevention), due diligence in recruiting and supervising church leaders, and risk management. Register now.
If you have any questions about the workshop please contact Jacinta Thatcher (02) 63346426 at the Chancery Office.

Refugee Week runs from Sunday 19 June to Saturday 25 June. The theme for the week is “healing”.

Would you consider visiting an immigration detention centre or detention hotel that week to pray for asylum seekers? Alternatively, you may wish to host an afternoon tea and invite people who are seeking asylum and living in the community to pray with you for a just, humane and timely system for assessing claims for asylum. If there is a ministry of advocacy, care and support for asylum seekers in your parish, you may also wish to celebrate the week with them in an appropriate manner.

Share a Meal, Share a Story is a community fundraising initiative of the Refugee Council of Australia. We are all encouraging people to get together, share a delicious meal and share stories that help build empathy and understanding of refugee experiences.

In light of COVID-19, you can host your event either in-person or online. You could host a Zoom meeting where you share a story from our website and each eats a meal in your own home! The options can be as creative as you like! Send the Refugee Council of Australia your great ideas so they can share them – refugeweek[at]

Try a recommended recipes here or the one we have selected, below:

Noor’s Beef Curry – Rohingyan

Serves 4


  • 2 large onions
  • 1kg diced beef with bones
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 diced potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 0.5 tbsp cumin powder
  • 3 tsp garam masala powder
  • 4 tbsp of any cooking oil
  • Optional garnishes: coriander & green chilli


  1. Heat oil on high heat in a large pot.
  2. Add onions, garlic paste and ginger paste. Stir for 2-3 minutes until brown.
  3. Add diced beef and bones and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the garam masala and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add 1 cup of water and diced tomatoes and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Slow cook on a low heat for around 1-2 hours. The longer it is slow-cooked the better it tastes.
  8. Add the potatoes in the last half an hour.
  9. Garnish with coriander and green chilli as preferred and serve with hot steamed rice.

Read more about Noor and what this recipe means to her!

What a successful gardening weekend we had last weekend with a lot of essential work being carried out by a lovely bunch of happy hard-working participants. A big thank you to those who turned up to the first of our “Great Shalom Gardening Weekends” of 2022. These weekends are lots of fun where Shalom provides some yummy food and lodging in exchange for people to come and work on maintaining our gardens. Our next Gardening Weekend is on the weekend of 9th-11th September. If you are interested you can book online at our website at…/shalom-gardening-weekend-ii-2/

Maximum security inmates in central west NSW create stunning chapel artwork.

Prisons are generally not known as places to find beauty, but that all depends on where you look, says Fran Schubert. The Catholic chaplain at Macquarie Correctional Centre, a maximum-security facility for male offenders 50kms from Dubbo in the Diocese of Bathurst, says she often finds beauty in the faith of some inmates’ hearts….or else up on the ceiling. One inmate has painted a version of Christ’s ascension into heaven, inspired by religious masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel paintings and his “strong faith”. From the perspective of the heavens, it shows Our Lord rising up from the earth with his cross, wreathed in clouds as angels wait to exchange his crown of thorns with a gold crown of glory.


Another inmate fashioned an intricately-detailed gilded frame to match. Now the two-metre, 98-kilogram artwork adorns the prison chapel ceiling, amazing everyone who sees it for the first time. The painter says he has been a hobby artist for most of his life, and that now at 62 he has taken it to a professional level in the last three years. “From a young age I was intrigued by magnificent religious artworks like the Sistine Chapel,” he told The Catholic Weekly. “I’ve always dreamed of painting a church ceiling and when given the opportunity here, I took it. I have a strong faith and saw it as a challenge and duty to other believers to make our house of prayer beautiful. “When arranging the composition I decided to show Christ rising up to heavens from earth simply because I was unaware of any other artist painting him that way. It turns out Salvadore Dali did just that, 70 years ago.


“I was careful to avert Christ’s eyes from the viewer ever so slightly so as not to infer that we are gods.” According to Corrective Services NSW, art behind bars provides many inmates across the state’s prisons with a creative outlet, a constructive use of free time, the potential to earn some money for items such as art supplies, extra food and toiletries and the opportunity to develop skills they can use upon release. “The opportunity that Macquarie Correctional Centre provides for inmates to enhance their healing and rehabilitation is evident in many various ways,” said Ms Schubert. “Many of our men did not know that they could paint before entering Macquarie, where, here, they are encouraged and supported to express their inner most values and emotions. It is inspiring to witness their spiritual and emotional healing and growth.”

The painter of ‘The Ascension of Christ’ is inspired by Renaissance artists such as El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens and Guiseppe Cesari and spent about 100 hours over 18 months to complete his masterpiece. “The most joy I get from this work is when new worshippers walk into the chapel and lookup for the first time. That look makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “I always thank God for blessing me with a useful skill.” The artist who crafted the frame said his influences include the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, Alberto Giacometti, Edvard Munch and William Blake. “Designing a frame is essentially the same process as painting; research, design and build,” he said. “The finished frame really sets off the painting of Christ and lifts the whole chapel.”

The Catholic Weekly
By Marilyn Rodrigues -April 29, 2022

The finished artwork “The Ascension of Christ” painting and frame being installed in the multi-faith chapel at Macquarie Correctional Centre.

Photo: Corrective Services NSW.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 29 May to 5 June 2022
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Australia will be observed in the week between Ascension and Pentecost. The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2022 was chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship” (cf Matthew 2:2)  More than ever, in these difficult times, we need a light that shines in the darkness and that light, Christians proclaim, has been manifested in Jesus Christ.
Read more on the background of and introduction to this year’s theme here.

Laudato Sí Week

This year’s Laudato Si’ Week 2022, will be held from 16 to 24 May and will be the crowning event of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year begun in 2020, and a celebration of the great progress the whole Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. The theme for the weeklong celebration, “For we know that things can change” (Laudato Si’ 13), encourages people to take an active part in working to care for God’s creation. 
Why are the dates for the celebration of Laudato Si’ Week in Australia different from those on the international Laudato Si’ Week website? Last May the Australian Bishops decided to celebrate Laudato Si’ Week from 16 to 24 May during each year of their seven-year Laudato Si’ Action Plan journey. These dates allow both Laudato Si’ Week, and National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June, to be celebrated appropriately by Australian Catholics. While fostering right relationships with First Peoples should be part of our response to Laudato Si’ Goal Two, responding to the cry of the poor, Reconciliation Week is a major national event that draws attention to a fundamental question of justice in Australian society. 
More information and resources can be found here.

Friday 6pm 6 May 6pm to Sunday 3pm 8 May

Come and enjoy a two-day retreat following the Way of the Pilgrim walking the Shalom Labyrinth and around the beautiful Carcoar Vally. This retreat is about reconnecting with your spirituality and your God through the Pilgrim’s Camino and the Christian labyrinth. You can do as much or as little as you want as we explore the designs, paths, patterns and our life’s journey through meditative walking and contemplative prayer exercises.

Cost: $280 (Includes all meals and accommodation)
For bookings:
Phone: 63673058

This retreat is about reconnecting with your spirituality and your God through the Pilgrim’s Camino and the Christian labyrinth. You can do as much or as little as you want as we explore the designs, paths, patterns and our life’s journey through meditative walking and contemplative prayer exercises.

During Mass at St Columbanus’ Church Cudal on Saturday 26 March 26, Lyn Frecklington was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for having taught SRE for more than forty years at Cudal Public School. Vicki Mair Southern Region SRE Coordinator for the diocese described Lyn as – “ a living treasure”.

Lyn Frecklington has taught SRE (Special Religious Education) at Cudal Public School for a little over 40 years and is one of our longest-serving SRE teachers in the Diocese of Bathurst. She has taught generations of children who have passed through the school, children of children, including her own children and grandchildren. In 2005 Lyn received an Award and a Papal Medal from Pope Benedict LVI for her contribution to the life of her local parish community and in recognition of her important work as an SRE Teacher for our Bathurst diocese. Lyn first became involved in SRE teaching when her own children were attending Cudal Public School and the previous SRE Teacher Helen Seale was withdrawing from the ministry. When the Parish Priest at the time called for volunteers to teach SRE, Lyn answered this call and has been teaching SRE at Cudal Public school since ever, beginning in 1982.

Helen Ryan one of our past SRE Coordinators and Director of CCD  SRE  recalls that Lyn was always consistent, generous with her time and well prepared for her lessons. Helen said that Lyn knew all the children at Cudal Public School and she admired the way the children would come and greet her in the playground when she arrived at the school.  Helen also said that while Lyn was teaching that her own personal spirituality would come through in her lessons.

So why is Lyn Frecklinton still teaching Scripture after 40 years ?

Well, that’s simple!

She says because she enjoys it.

Lyn loves God.

She loves the children whom she teaches and

She has a willingness to pass on her faith to others

On behalf of St Columbanus’ Parish and the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst we would like to thank Lyn for all that she has given so generously to God’s little ones for over 40 years.

Lyn is presented with her appreciation certificate by Fr Karl Sinclair.