New life for the presbytery

After lying derelict for many years, the former St Vincent’s presbytery next to the church on Redfern Street is about to enter a new phase of life, as the transformation of the old building into a new school for Aboriginal children nears completion.

Redfern Jarjum College, sponsored by St Aloysius’ College, Milsons Point, on behalf of the Jesuits, will be a fee-free school. (Jarjum means “children” in the Bundjalung language).

“Jarjum’s mission is to educate urban Aboriginal children who are not currently participating or coping in mainstream primary schools and to alleviate the social, emotional, behavioural and health disadvantages … Continue reading

That Strange Mass the Pope Doesn’t Like

It is the Mass according to the rite of the Neocatechumenal Way. Benedict XVI has ordered the congregation for the doctrine of the faith to examine it thoroughly. Its condemnation appears to be sealed.

ROME, April 11, 2012 – With a letter written personally to Cardinal William J. Levada, Benedict XVI has ordered the congregation for the doctrine of the faith to examine whether the Neocatechumenal Masses are or are not in keeping with the liturgical teaching and practice of the Catholic Church.

A “problem,” in the pope’s judgment, that is “of great … Continue reading

Bishop Terence Brady visiting St Vincent’s

The Church Mouse has been in a state of hibernation since last October, largely as a consequence of recognising the need to remain silent and give the parish priest and the community space to build a meaningful relationship.

Since Hope for St Vincent’s was posted, Fr Melvin and the community have continued to reach out to each other. Melvin actively interacts with the community, engages in conversation, joins in with and supports various of its activities; he has even been seen sharing a cup of coffee up the road with a few stalwarts after Sunday Mass. The community encourages … Continue reading

Pope’s latest ruling for Neocats

Two articles on B16’s recent ruling on The Way:

Pope says neocatechumenal celebrations must lead members to parish Mass

Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the Vatican approved the Neocatechumenal Way’s unique rite, Pope Benedict XVI underlined that its celebrations were not "strictly liturgical" and that their aim must be to encourage members to partake fully in the liturgical life of the parish.

The pope encouraged the movement’s members to continue "to offer your original contribution to the cause of the Gospel," and he urged them to always make sure their … Continue reading

The problem with Takamatsu diocese

Small differences, then lack of direction and unity threatened true mission of the Church

ucanews.com, Japan

It has been half a year since I stepped down from my post as diocesan bishop of Takamatsu diocese. Now, as I look back on the circumstances I encountered in that role, I have decided it best to write a few words for the sake of the future.

First off, it is fair to say that there was something decidedly unusual in my reassignment to Takamatsu diocese, which came despite my being active bishop of Sendai at the time. That would never happen … Continue reading

Vatican Diary / The Neocatechumenals get their diploma. But not the one they were expecting


The Holy See has approved the rites that mark the stages of their catechism. But the particularities with which they celebrate their Masses still remain under observation. Some of them are permitted. Others not.

VATICAN CITY, January 23, 2012 – Before the audience with Benedict XVI three days ago, the rumor within the Neocatechumenal Way was that this occasion would bring the definitive approval of all the “liturgies” of the ecclesial movement founded by Francisco “Kiko” Argüello and Carmen Hernández:

> “Placet” or “Non placet”? The wager of Carmen and … Continue reading

“Placet” or “Non placet”? The wager of Carmen and Kiko

The founders of the Neocatechumenal Way aim to obtain definitive Vatican approval for their “convivial” way of celebrating the Mass. The document is ready. But it could be modified or blocked in extremis. The verdict on January 20.

ROME, January 13, 2012 – As on other occasions in the past, this January as well, on Friday the 20th, Benedict XVI will meet in the audience hall of the Vatican with thousands of members of the Neocatechumenal Way, with their founders and leaders, the Spaniards Francisco “Kiko” Argüello and Carmen Hernández.

One year ago, … Continue reading

Hope for St Vincent’s?

For eight years the job definition for parish priest of St Vincent’s Redfern could well have included essentials such as:

  • Drive away Ted Kennedy’s supporters;
  • Drive away the Aborigines; deny that they come to this church;
  • Don’t engage with non-Neocat parishioners; don’t listen to them; don’t talk to them if it can be avoided; Keep them in the dark regarding parish matters;
  • Ignore and/or deny their reasonable requests;
  • Tell them they aren’t Catholics; that they are not welcome in this church; attack them from the pulpit;
  • Keep looking at the time when in their presence; rush out of … Continue reading