The Christmas Story – Art Competition

The Christmas Story - Art Competition

The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Dan White, Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) for the Archdiocese of Sydney, and Mr. Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation, invite schools from the Archdiocese of Sydney, Dioceses of Wollongong and Bathurst, and Catholic students in State schools, to participate in The Christmas Story Art Exhibition and Competition 2016. This is a visual arts competition and exhibition for students in Years 5 and 6 and is an initiative celebrating and exploring children’s creative, artistic and reflective ability to express their understanding of the Christmas story.

This exhibition and competition provide the opportunity for teachers to select artworks from Years 5 and 6 to share with the wider educational and international community. This will help to create a greater awareness of the essential role of the arts in Religious Education. Children may develop a deeper appreciation of their talents, and recognise the value of the arts in expressing understanding of our Catholic faith.

The subject matter is drawn from the Sydney Religious Education Curriculum, and includes additional verses from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke:


This year the judges are again looking for artworks that include authentic imagery from the time of Jesus. This imagery can be in any style. Students can consider tableware, clothing, architecture, vegetation, food, and other aspects of their visual representation of the scriptures.

Please refer to the links below for more information.

Theology of The Body 2016

Sydney Catholic Schools is proud to present two new courses based on Pope Saint John Paul II’s work on Theology of the Body.

The Head and Heart Immersion course is a five day residential course, led by Bill Donaghy, that examines the main themes of Theology of the Body. This course is available to both Sydney Catholic Schools staff and the wider community. Please click the appropriate link on the left, for further information.

The Theology of the Body two day course, presented by Christopher West, will introduce participants to Theology of the Body and deepen their understanding of God’s plan for marriage and sexuality. This course is available to both Sydney Catholic Schools staff and the wider community. Please click the appropriate link on the left, for further information.


Christopher West
Christopher West is a renowned educator, best-selling author, cultural commentator, and popular theologian who specialises in making the dense scholarship of the late Pope Saint John Paul IIs Theology of the Body, accessible to a wider audience. As founder of The Cor Project, he leads a global outreach program devoted to cultural renewal through the new evangelisation. His extensive lecturing, numerous books and articles, and multiple media appearances have helped spark an international groundswell of interest in the late pope’s teaching across denominational lines.

West has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on the Theology of the Body and sexual ethics since the late 1990s, having served on the faculty of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, and as a visiting professor at the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Since 2004, he has served as a research fellow and faculty member of the Theology of the Body Institute. His courses there continue to draw clergy, religious, and lay people from around the globe.
Christopher is proud to call himself a devoted husband and father. He lives near Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife Wendy and their five children.

Head & Heart Immersion Course

Bill Donaghy
Bill completed the Theology of the Body Institute Speakers Training Program in 2005 and Head & Heart Immersion Course in January 2006. He became an instructor for the Theology of the Body Institute Certification Program, an international speaker, and curriculum specialist in 2013. He is also a Certified Speaker and National Trainer for Ascension Press. Bills presentation of Introduction to Theology of the Body has been described as riveting and life changing. He has given talks and retreats to laity and clergy throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Prior to his work at the Theology of the Body Institute, Bill served in the fields of mission and evangelisation for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Through his work with the Pontifical Mission Societies, Bill gave numerous talks on the spirituality of mission to young people. He witnessed the love of Christ in the missions of Haiti, Mexico, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, as well as within the realms of young adult and parish ministry in Philadelphia.
Bill holds an Associates degree in Visual Arts, a Bachelors in Philosophy and a Masters in Systematic Theology. He has taught Theology at Malvern Preparatory High School, and teaches at Immaculata University. Bill and his wife, Rebecca live in Philadelphia, with their four children.
*Note: This course can be credited towards Certification at the Theology of the Body Institute, Pennsylvania and is currently credited through Creighton University, Nebraska.

Life Week 2016


The Life Committee was founded in September 2014 to provide strategic direction, advice and practical support for teachers in Sydney Catholic Schools. This support aims to respond to ‘Life’ issues in a manner that is relevant and faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This year from 2 – 9 September 2016, Sydney Catholic Schools will celebrate Life Week, with students being invited to participate in a project competition.

There will be both a Primary and Secondary competition, with two divisions in each.

  • Primary (Years 3-4)              300 – 400 words

  • Primary (Years 5-6)              500 – 600 words

  • Secondary (Years 7-9)         700 – 800 words

  • Secondary (Years 10-12)     900 – 1000 words

The theme of the project is “Come be my light” centring on the value of human life, as modelled by Blessed Mother Teresa.

The documents on the right provide further details on these competitions.

All schools are asked to promote these competitions and are encouraged to submit at least one entry per school.

For more information, please contact Jodie Micallef at

Two new Auxiliary Bishops for the Sydney Archdiocese

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has two new Auxiliary Bishops. Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Anthony Randazzo and Father Richard Umbers to be the new Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney under Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP. They will join Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady in the governance and pastoral care of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.


Both priests say they were very much “taken by surprise” by the appointments but are looking forward to working with Archbishop Anthony and the priests of Sydney in serving God and his people in this new way.

Sydney-born Monsignor Randazzo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Brisbane and priest-in-residence at the Cathedral. He was until recently the Rector of the Queensland Seminary and during his seven years in that role (and as Director of Vocations) Brisbane saw a resurgence of vocations and 27 new priests ordained. Before that he undertook post-graduate studies in canon law, was Pastor of Regina Caeli Parish in Coorparoo Heights, and then worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

Father Umbers is a priest of Opus Dei and has a background in economics and business management as well as philosophy and theology. He has carried out extensive pastoral work with young families, students and young adults, and candidates for the priesthood in Sydney. Monsignor Randazzo is aged 49 and Father Umbers is 45. When ordained these men will be amongst Australia’s youngest bishops. With Archbishop Anthony, 56, they represent the “generational change” presently occurring amongst the leadership of the Catholic Church in Australia.

The Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, said he was delighted with the appointments and warmly welcomes both priests to the work of the Archdiocese. “Two very intelligent, energetic and pastoral men are joining the bench of bishops in Australia and the leadership team here in Sydney, and the priests and people of Sydney will welcome them with open arms.

They will bring fresh ideas and energy to the life of the Archdiocese and I thank Pope Francis for these two gifts to us.”

20162706Monsignor Anthony Randazzo Bishop-elect

Msgr Randazzo is of Italian-Scottish background. His father Colin Randazzo was baptised at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and he and his wife Caterina have four children. Their only son Tony, attended Catholic schools in Coolangatta and Southport before entering the Provincial Seminary in Brisbane. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He has degrees in theology from the Brisbane College of Theology and in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He recently undertook a sabbatical program in Scripture in Jerusalem. He has experience as an auditor and a judge in the Regional Tribunal in Brisbane and in the National Appeal Tribunal. Msgr Randazzo enjoys the outdoors and is looking forward to reacquainting himself with the coastal and bushland walks around Sydney. He also enjoys music and has a keen interest in architecture. “It is a privilege and a joy to be called by the Holy Father to collaborate in the pastoral care of the Church of Sydney,” he said. “I am delighted to return to the city of my birth and I am eagerly looking forward to meeting the priests and people of the Archdiocese. “I humbly ask the people of the Archdiocese to remember me in prayer. For my part, I pray through the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, for our local Church of Sydney and I rely on the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that I might be a good and faithful shepherd.”

20162706-Fr Richard Umbers Bishop-elect

Fr Umbers was ordained to the priesthood in 2002. Originally from Papatoetoe in Auckland, New Zealand, Fr Umbers has four siblings. He studied in Sydney, Rome and Spain and has served as a priest in Sydney for the past 13 years. He has assisted the Archdiocese as a member of the Council of Priests, a university college chaplain and a member of the team of spiritual advisors at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd. Fr Umbers has a doctorate in Philosophy and has been a lecturer and tutor at the University of Notre Dame Sydney. A prolific author, Fr Umbers has many publications, journal articles and conference papers to his name. He follows popular music and the issues trending on social media and admits he is “always up for a debate on important issues without losing my sense of humour.” Despite a busy schedule he says long distance runs and a rowing machine help keep him fit. He has a particular interest in mainstream and social media and their uses for evangelisation. “I was stunned when I heard the news,” Fr Umbers said, “but accepted the Holy Father’s appointment in a spirit of filial obedience and the ardent desire to serve the Church as she needs. I bring with me a love for people and ideas which often finds expression in my preaching on the Gospel. Together with Monsignor Randazzo I will be eager to learn the art of shepherding from Archbishop Fisher and Bishop Brady.”

The Episcopal ordination of Monsignor Tony Randazzo and Fr Richard Umbers will take place at St Mary’s Cathedral on Wednesday 24 August 2016.

For further details please contact:

Katrina Lee – 0403950652 or
Selina Hasham – 0419639742
Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Guild of St Stephen’s Altar Girls’ Retreat

The Guild of St Stephen (the Guild) is an association for those who are involved in the ministry at20160624-st-stephen-medal -img-lge the altar. Through its activities, the Guild encourages all who serve at Mass and at other liturgies to grow in their ministry and to grow in their Catholic faith.

Guild National Conferences are held about every 2-3 years. Local Guild Conferences are held more often. A Guild Conference is a fun-filled altar servers’ camp. The 10-12 July Camp is the first one to organised for girls only.

The two themes of the 2016 Guild Conference are:

Various Vocations for Altar Girls


The Jubilee Year of Mercy

There are opportunities to take turns serving daily Mass and to experience the Prayer of the Church called the Divine Office. Participants learn to sing the Chants of the Mass and Divine Office. There are serving workshops to help participants become confident in Serving. And these are all taught in a fun and enjoyable way.

The retreat will be held at the Benedict XVI Retreat Centre (Grose Vale), which has excellent facilities for young people, and a purposebuilt brand new Chapel. There is an abundance of free time for recreation during which participants can use the sporting fields and swimming pool, and movies in the Hall. Archery and the Flying Fox (min age 10) costs extra.

More information can be found at

Click the image below to download the Brochure

Guild of St Stephen's Altar Girls Retreat 2016