Catholic leaders discuss commitment to pastoral care with Notre Dame staff


University of Notre Dame Australia News Story
Prof Hayden Ramsay, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor at The University of Notre Dame Australia, introduces Bishop Anthony's talk.

“The mission that the Church, with great hope, entrusts to Catholic universities holds a cultural and religious meaning of vital importance because it concerns the very future of humanity. The renewal requested of Catholic universities will make them better able to respond to the task of bringing the message of Christ to man, to society (and) to the various cultures.”

Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II

The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, and the Archbishop of Perth, Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB, discussed the significance of faithbased education within the context of a Catholic university environment with The University of Notre Dame Australia’s staff recently.

Two of the Australian Catholic Church’s most influential figures, Archbishop Costelloe and Bishop Anthony were welcomed to Notre Dame to present the University’s Staff Formation Series of lectures. This Series aims to further understanding amongst staff of the University’s Catholic tradition and identity.

The Staff Formation Series demonstrated Notre Dame’s commitment to its Objects and the enthusiasm of staff to support the Objects for the benefit of students.

More than 150 members of the Notre Dame community gathered from across the country to hear Bishop Anthony explore the relationship between faith and reason, and what it means to be a “witness to Christ” in a modern Catholic university.

Bishop Anthony delivered the Staff Formation Series on the Sydney Campus, which was video-linked to staff in Fremantle and Broome. Following his presentation, Bishop Anthony commended the University for its commitment to professional development in Catholic faith and morality.

“It means that The University of Notre Dame Australia walks the talk of its mission statement, ensuring that academic, professional and general staff know what the University is about and can commit themselves to it,” Bishop Anthony said.

“I was particularly impressed to find the audience included people from all faith traditions and that we were able to have a very open and frank discussion about the identity and mission of a Catholic university in contemporary Australia.”

University Relations Officer, Anthony Coyte, found the presentation from Bishop Anthony very helpful in gaining a better understanding of the Catholic faith and how it applied in day-to-day life.

“Bishop Fisher spoke in a style that was engaging and very accessible. He presented the basics of the faith in a very positive way, yet he didn’t shy away from the tough and contentious moral issues either,” Mr Coyte said.

“Everyone felt comfortable to ask questions and no topic was off limits, so it really was an excellent opportunity to learn more and gain a new perspective on the faith.”

“Every human person is precious to God”

University of Notre Dame Australia News Story
Archbishop of Perth, Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB.

The importance of a Catholic university in the Archdiocese was the focus for the Archbishop of Perth, The Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, when he addressed staff at the Fremantle Campus on Thursday 17 October 2013.

Archbishop Costelloe discussed the fundamental question of why the Church was so committed to and engaged in both the teaching of education and health care.

He said that the Church could contribute to the well-being of the society in which it lived by using its resources to make those essential services accessible for everyone.

“The fact that so many people, both those who are Catholics and those who are not, choose to make use of Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals and, we could add, Catholic social service agencies, indicates how much the Church’s contribution to these areas of our society is valued and appreciated,” Archbishop Costelloe said during his presentation.

“Every human person is precious to God, worthy of reverence, and deserving of respect in every way. In the Catholic worldview, no-one is unworthy of dignified and reverent care and attention.

“That Catholic hospitals and health-care facilities need to be places where this worldview informs everything that happens and every decision that is made explains why we need a Catholic University to form our nurses, our doctors, our social workers, our pastoral care workers, and yes our receptionists and our administrators and our support staff as well.”

Dean of the School of Philosophy & Theology on the Fremantle Campus, Professor Matthew Ogilvie, said Archbishop Costelloe articulated an integrated Catholic identity in which faith and action are based on the belief we are made in the image and likeness of God.

“His Grace also explained that even though a Theology faculty may be at the heart of a Catholic university, Notre Dame’s Catholic identity extends to all parts and all people within its community,” Professor Ogilvie said. “Staff greatly appreciated His Grace’s articulation of the way that they can contribute to the Catholic mission of Notre Dame, whether they be of Catholic faith or not.”


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