The Parish Secretary of St Francis Xavier Cathedral Parish, Mr Benny Joseph, officially launched the CD, "The Merciful", that he produced in honour of Bishop Justin Bianchini's 25 years as the Bishop of Geraldton, W.A..
Mr Joseph produced the CD under his own banner of Salve Regina Creations, with the assistance of his close friend, Shaji Stephan. Mr Stephan is a very gifted person and a man of strong faith who has directed more than 500 video albums in India and written over 1000 songs. He also has a great role as the Convenor of Media Commission in the Diocese of Kannur, in the southern state of Kerala in India. Previously he had worked with Shalom Television and his experience in the industry made him well placed to know the right contacts for such a production. Mr Joseph was delighted that his friend was able to secure the talents of Jackson Aruja for the Music and Orchestration of The Merciful, as he is a renowned artist in India, who is in high demand and extremely busy. Mr Joseph acknowledges that without the great effort and sincerity of Mr Shaji Stephan this album would not have been possible.
Mr Joseph's own achievement is much more than just being the producer of a Praise and Worship CD, as it was he alone who composed the lyrics of all the songs. Each song is a testament to the love and mercy of our Loving God, and evidently Mr Joseph's personal experience of that in his life.
The concept of Producing the CD initially began after Mr Joseph had written the lyrics for one song, "The Merciful" during the Year of Mercy . After investigating the costs of producing it he realised it was a very expensive undertaking for only one song, and decided it would be better value to produce five songs. He set about writing four more songs, but the idea niggled him that the CD would be better value for people if it had ten songs. Being a man of great Faith, he reflected on the idea, prayed about it and the next five songs flowed within three days. Mr Joseph said personally he believes the best song he wrote is the last one he penned, "Forget Me Not Lord". Mr Joseph also further stated, "Indeed, the mercy of God is my merit. In the lyrics of "The Merciful" I quoted the words 'Not our wish or exertion, but His mercy is the foundation' (Rom 9:16, NRSV). It is His unlimited mercy poured upon me in feeling His Grace to write the words of all songs. He performs miracles through unworthy people and it is a miracle that this CD has been launched. I am very grateful and praise our good Lord from the depth of my heart which is beyond words".
When Bishop Bianchini was asked his thoughts on the CD he said, "I am deeply honoured by Mr Joseph's gesture in memory of my 25 years as Bishop of Geraldton. It is quite remarkable how the professional musicians and singers were able to pick up and joyfully convey the spirit of these songs. I believe the songs would particulary be helpful for both individuals and groups in their prayer and reflection".
The CD's are available for the low price of $10 from the Cathedral Parish Office or the Diocesan Office .
View a sample from the album The Merciful - Forget Me Not Lord on YouTube
Click this link if you wish to read the Perth Archdiocese e-Record article
"As Bishops we invite you, the youth of Australia, to open your hearts to Christ. You are deeply loved by Jesus and the Church. We appreciate your gifts and contributions, and we want to journey with you. At World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis called young people and the Church to 'open ne horizons for spreading joy'."
Archbishop Denis J Hart
President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre - Official Opening
On Saturday 3rd September, 2016, invited Dignitaries and Major Donors gathered with the local Community of Geraldton to witness the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre being Blessed by Bishop Justin Bianchini and officially Opened by the Honourable Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia.
Located in front of Geraldton’s world renowned St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre consists of an interpretive centre (museum) and a café/restaurant fronted by a large paved piazza. The facility was designed specifically to tell the story, and display artefacts, associated with the priest and architect / builder Monsignor John Cyril Hawes. Hawes worked in the Diocese of Geraldton for many years and is the man behind numerous unique heritage buildings spread throughout the Midwest and Gascoyne region of Western Australia, with the Cathedral being his ‘crowning glory’.
The Heritage Centre attempts to capture some of the spirit of the man who was Hawes, and the passion that drove him to want to give glory to God in often the harshest of conditions. Through his artistic and architectural skills, matched only with his utter commitment, physical strength and sheer tenacity, he achieved what would have been impossible for most - giving life to his many drawings through the completion of many beautiful places of worship.
The many great features and works of art by Hawes within the Centre will delight many of the 185,000 annual tourists to Geraldton and locals alike, who may then be inspired to travel the ‘Hawes Trail’ throughout the Midwest and Gascoyne area to visit the actual sites.
Located in the Central foyer of the Centre is a tryptic art piece titled Dolor, Spes, Sanatio et Redemptio (Sorrow, Hope, Healing and Redemption). This contemporary art-work was commissioned by the Diocese of Geraldton and created by the Carnarvon based Fuse Art Collective, consisting of Sabrina Dowling Giudici, Bonni Ingram and Anton Blume.
A life-size bronze statue of Monsignor Hawes and his dog Dominie currently being fabricated by Smith Sculptors of Gidgegannup will be erected soon after the official opening.
The Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre has been made possible by a $1.54 million contribution from the Liberal National Government’s Royalties for Regions program through the Mid-West Investment Plan, $651,038 from Lotterywest, with the remaining funding provided by significant contributions from the Roman Catholic Diocese and community fundraising efforts.
Click to view Opening on Youtube.
Melissa Price MP Announces Federal Government Promise of $3million if Federal Government is Re-elected
On Friday morning 17 June, Melissa Price MP held a press conference in the Cathedral together with Bishop Justin Bianchini and the Cathedral Precinct Project Committee to announce that the Federal Government will provide $3million dollars to complete the Cathedral Precinct Project. subject to the Government being re-elected.
Melissa Price said the Cathedral was of national heritage significance and she was delighted to make this announcement.
Bishop Bianchini was equally delighted to receive the commitment of the Federal Government and spoke about how this will allow the completion of the Cathedral Precinct Project which was very close to his heart.
The Cathedral Precicnt Project Committee Chair, Mr Bernard Brown, said the commitment of the Federal Government to the project recoginised and built on the commitment of funds not only by the State Government through Royalty for Regions and Lotterywest, but also the great generosity of the local community of Geraldton.
Mr Brown stressed that the community generosity was accross the whole community and not just from the Catholic community, as the Cathedral and indeed the whole heritage of Monsignor Hawes was treasured and belonged to the whole community of the Midwest, as such was supported by them with great generosity.
Fr Robert Cross pointed out that St Francis Xavier's Cathedral was recognised in an authoritive publication detailing the top most magnificent Cathedrals in the world as among the top 80, and is described as one of the finest Cathedrals built in the 20th century and most certainly among if not Australia's most significant Cathedrals.
Click the folowing link to see GWN7's news video of the announcement: https://au.gwn7.yahoo.com/w1/news/a/-/local/31862610/3-million-promise-for-wa-icon-video/
On Friday 8th April 2016, Pope Francis published a new papal document called, Amoris Laetitia, ‘The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family’ at the Vatican in Rome.
The papal document is also known as an ‘Apostolic Exhortation’.
It is available to read on the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website: https://www.catholic.org.au/synod-2015/home