The Southern Cross : September 2010
The Southern Cross September 2010 Page 3 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au news Authorised by CSF Pty Limited ABN 30 006 169 286, Trustee of Catholic Super ABN 50 237 896 957. Information is about the Fund and is not intended as financial advice. It does not take into account specific needs, so members should consider their personal position, objectives and requirements before taking any action. Catholic Super and National Catholic Superannuation Fund merged into one fund on March 31 2010. The merged fund will continue its dedication to the Australian Catholic community with strong investments and personal attentive service. The new fund will continue to be a low-fee, not-for-profit industry super fund, that does not pay commissions, invests responsibly and provides unbiased financial advice to its members. For more information about the merger of Catholic Super and National Catholic Superannuation Fund go to www.merger.ncsf.csf.com.au. If you would prefer to telephone us call 1300 550 273 or 1300 655 002. Your Life, Our Community AS NE By Rebecca DiGirolamo The spiritual awareness of the St Vincent de Paul Society's 750,000 members is "low" and needs to change, the newly elected head of the biggest volunteer- based charity in the world told an Adelaide press conference. "Members mustn't forget that we are Christ-centered people," said Michael Thio, President General of the International Confederation of the St Vincent de Paul Society. "We need to build upon our spiritual formation," he said. Mr Thio recently visited Adelaide before his instalment in Paris on September 27 as the first non- European elected in the 177-year- old history of the Society. "Yes, we are social workers," he said of the society's distinguished work with more than 25 million poor people. "But we are more than just social workers -- we have Christ with us." Mr Thio urged St Vincent de Paul members present at the conference to develop faith-based programs, particularly aimed at younger members. "We need programs to remind people that -- in a world where success and money dominates -- we are still the people of God." Laura Heathfield, 23, from the St Vincent de Paul Society's Croydon conference and one of four social justice youth ambassadors, said her Catholic faith was an "important" part of her work with the Society. Fellow youth ambassador Bec Taylor said faith was an important part of her life but not an imperative ingredient for charity work. "Although it does help to have a good faith underpinning -- it's not necessary (to be a good volunteer)." Mr Thio was elected the 15th President General by a margin of 87 per cent of the votes cast in May. He will hold office for the next six years after being a member of the Society for the past 43 years. He took an early retirement as managing director of British Telecom for South-East Asia to take up the post for the Society. Born in Singapore, Mr Thio is married to Rosalind and has been serving as the national president of the Society in Singapore for the past 18 years. He said Australian members were "blessed" with funding and resources which could be used to help less fortunate countries. "Australia can contribute, not only through funding, but through development and training of good leaders and members," he said. "Then you have a more dynamic Society ... and you are doing that very well." More than just social workers By Jenny Brinkworth Adelaide's hidden gems relating to Mary MacKillop -- including her brother's grave and the chapel where she was wrongfully excommunicated -- could form the basis of a new heritage trail throughout the city, according to the National Trust SA. The trail would connect with an interpretive trail being developed by the West Terrace Cemetery which includes numerous links to Australia's first saint. National Trust SA President David Beaumont said the cemetery, together with places such as the St Joseph's Convent and Chapel in Franklin St (now part of St Mary's College) and St Francis Xavier's Cathedral where she prayed and assisted in the Mass, could form part of a fascinating heritage trail based around her life and work. "To be able to walk today in the steps of Mary MacKillop around the heritage Adelaide sites touched by Mary should provide pilgrims with a very real sense of connectedness with her,' he said. Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Chief Executive Officer, Robert Pitt, said the Authority would be "very keen to be involved in any opportunity to incorporate elements of the West Terrace Cemetery into a wider heritage trail in the city". "Not only would this acknowledge Mary MacKillop and her achievements but also would help us to incorporate the cemetery back into the city by linking it to places that were important to Mary MacKillop's life," Mr Pitt said. "Mary's canonisation provides a real opportunity to increase awareness of the heritage value of the cemetery which is unique in that it is located in the CBD and is still operating as a cemetery." "It highlights the importance of preserving such a unique part of the city's history." The Cemetery has a strong association with the life and works of Mary MacKillop and her order. Mary's younger brother, Donald McKillop (the memorial uses the original spelling of the family name) was a Jesuit priest at Norwood where he died in 1925. He is buried in the Jesuit Fathers' plot (pictured above). "Beneath the Smyth Chapel, which is listed on the Register of National Estate, lays Bishop Lawrence Sheil, who wrongfully excommunicated Mary in 1871 and expelled 47 nuns from the order," Mr Pitt said. "He withdrew the sentence six months later reinstating Mary as superior of the Order, just nine days before his death." "Others unsympathetic to her cause include Archdeacon Patrick Russell, who also lies buried beneath the Chapel." Among those buried at West Terrace to publicly defend Mary, is Father Theodore Bongaerts. He is reported to have been persecuted for his actions. Emanuel Solomon, who provided refuge to the Sisters in their time of need, and Dr John Michael Gunson, who attended to the nuns and the poor in their care, are also buried in the cemetery. Mr Pitt said as far as can be ascertained, 13 pioneer members of the Orders of the Sisters of Saint Joseph also lie buried at the cemetery. Among them is Sister Elizabeth Ethridge, the founder and long time superior of 'Providence' -- the Josephite home for destitute women of the city of Adelaide. "As the canonisation approaches the Authority is working with the Friends of West Terrace Cemetery to develop a guided tour that will showcase the State Heritage-listed cemetery's long association with the life and works of Mary and her order in Australia," he said. "We wait with anticipation for what will be a great moment in Australia's history." Links to Mary TURN TO PRAYER: Michael Thio -- the newly elected President General of the International Confederation of the St Vincent de Paul Society -- at St Patrick's Church in Adelaide recently.