Bishop Michael's Media Release for CathNews

“Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn”

These words are from the reading of the Prophet Joel 2:13 during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the beginning of Lent. As Easter is about to happen, I would like to go back to those words from Joel.

The background to these words is a call for lamentation and prayer as the country, Judah, had been laid waste from an invasion of locusts.

Over the past five years we have seen our Church laid waste from within by those who were not faithful to their calling to protect the weak and vulnerable, destroying young lives, tearing their garments and hearts apart. There has been lament and sorrow for what has happened to survivors, their families, and you who love your Faith. As a Catholic community, we have had to listen to stories where people‘s lives and hearts have been destroyed. Where our Church’s leadership has been challenged, due to their inability to deal with what was happening within our Church. Yet, there were those who struggled to change this behaviour and were a light in the darkness for our Church.

Lent in 2018 was a call for lamentation, prayer and fasting in reparation for what has happened. What has happened to people‘s lives cannot be changed and for that I am sorry. I don’t just stay with my sorrow but seek to ensure our Church is again a place centred on ‘changing hearts’, not ‘tearing people’s lives apart’.

Lent is a time of Grace and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. To be open to the Spirit over these 40 days deepens our relationship with God, recognising utter dependence upon God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Lent is not meant to make us feel badly about who we are, but seeks a change of heart, a change of thinking and to building up the lives of others and not tearing them apart.

Lent prepares people of Faith for the great mystery and beauty of Easter. Our God calls us not to live with despondency and despair. Easter reminds us God does not abandon us, even in the dark times, giving us a new vision of how to live in harmony and respect for all people.

Lent this year has been a challenge for me reflecting on where we go as a Church community after the Royal Commission. Yet it has been a journey of Grace and renewal. For our Church I would hope that we would recognise and understand the words from the Prophet Joel, “Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn”.

Bishop Michael


Bishop Michael's Media Release for the Geraldton Guardian Newspaper

Viewing Others Through the Light of the Resurrection

The disciples of Jesus rushed to Jesus’s tomb with Mary Magdalene to see for themselves that it was truly empty, as she had reported it was.  After inspecting the tomb and seeing that it was indeed empty, they returned home. Mary remained there weeping.  Looking again into the tomb she saw someone standing there, but she didn’t recognise him to be Jesus.

‘Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.”Jesus said, “Mary!” She turned round then and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbuni!” - which means Master.’  John 20:15-16 JB

This is a very simple exchange of conversation between Jesus and Mary on the day of His Resurrection. Jesus calls Mary personally by name and at once she sees things more clearly. Suddenly for her, the darkness of despair and hopelessness of the crucifixion of Jesus disappears.

We live in a complicated world which often demands instant responses, with little awareness of the person who is on the other side of the encounter. Comments and reactions are posted on social media without much reflection on, and recognition of, what might be happening in other people’s lives and communities. The message of Jesus, who rises above all the pain, suffering and death he went through on Good Friday, is one of hope and renewal of relationships.

Easter is a time of blessing and light which scatters the darkness often present in our lives. This Easter our gift to each other could be ‘being’ personally present to our families, friends, acquaintances and those who are misunderstood.

Happy Easter to you and all who are important to you.

Bishop Michael


Vision Statement

We are:

* a welcoming community which reaches out to all
* celebrating Christ's presence
* joyfully living out our Christian calling across distance and diversity

This vision states that as a Diocese, we aim to be a welcoming, missionary, centred on Christ, and each striving to live one's particular vocation. It is in living out our calling that we praise God, follow Christ, influence society and achieve the goal of eternal life won for us by Christ. In the parishes we have encouraged people to measure whatever they do against this Diocesan vision.

Catholic Diocese

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Geraldton WA 6531

PO Box 46
Geraldton WA 6531

Ph: +61 8 9921 3221
Fax: +61 8 9964 1097