Tag Archive: brisbane


I haven’t posted on this blog for a long time now, but I feel moved to share these thoughts following a Memorandum that was posted recently on the noticeboard at Villa Maria, Fortitude Valley.   The memo is dated 27 December 2017, and a copy was passed to me yesterday.   It is addressed to the “Residents, Relatives, staff, VM community friends” and as the first paragraph says, “including those who have been regular visitors to our resident chapel.”  The memo is intended for many of us, therefore, and deserves to be seen by all concerned.  As the memo will probably be counted as “community communication/consultation” at some point, this is further reason to see that it is shared with all concerned.

I share these thoughts as a concerned Catholic, and in support of the lay faithful who are upset at the proposed building works to be undertaken in the original chapel at Villa Maria.   Villa Maria is a spiritual gem of our Archdiocese.  As someone who was “born and bred” in Brisbane, I – along with many others – feel a strong connection to this place of prayer.  Father Julian Tenison Woods co-founded the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 1874, and the Sisters have been in Spring Hill since 1881 and on the present site since 1900.  The older building, which contains the chapel which is the subject of this post, was constructed from 1927 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_Maria_Hostel).

It is noteworthy that Catholic Healthcare explicitly states in the memorandum that it has abandoned the plans for a café adjacent to the chapel.  This is good news.  However, what remains perplexing, as per the drawing, is that approximately one third of the people’s nave of the chapel is still to be turned into a “gathering space” and to be partitioned off from the remains of the chapel by glass screens.  What is also not mentioned, and what exists in the documentation for building approvals (as seen already on the internet), is the demolition work to be undertaken to turn the choir loft into a dining room.

The burning question in this debacle is this: why is it not possible to create the additional dining and lounge facilities for the residents in some other part of the building, or in the courtyard spaces around the chapel?  At least one other Brisbane architect has spent many hours to work out how all the extra facilities for the residents can be incorporated, without having to do anything at all to the chapel.  Why are these suggestions not being taken on board?  Why is one of our historic and beautiful sacred spaces going to be permanently disfigured by relegating parts of it to secular use, when there is absolutely no need to do so?  Catholic Healthcare plan to increase the number of residents at Villa Maria, so surely more space should be needed in the chapel, not less.

Catholic Healthcare (http://www.catholichealthcare.com.au/), the organisation that has the lease on the old building at Villa Maria, is owned – as I understand it – by the Catholic Bishops of Lismore, Wollongong, Bathurst, and Parramatta, together with the Sisters of Saint Joseph.  A win-win solution exists to this situation, with the addition of extra facilities for the residents, and also the preservation of the old chapel, retaining its unique character as it presently is, as a sacred space which has been in continuous use as a place of worship and prayer for close to a century, and remains so to this day.  Please help save this historic and special place, as it is, for the present and for the future.

We implore the above-named bishops to intervene, and to help steer the situation to a happy conclusion for all involved.

Other updates on Villa Maria have been seen here: https://twitter.com/Bl_LongoSociety

Villa Maria Memo 2017 12 27 p.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Villa Maria Memo 2017 12 27 p.2

 

corpus christi procession 2The 2014 Corpus Christi Procession in Brisbane will be held on Sunday 22nd June at Nudgee Junior, Kate Street, Indooroopilly, at 2.00pm, with Procession, Sermon and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated Fundraising Lunch - Saturday 15 June 2013

Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated Fundraising Lunch – Saturday 15 June 2013

On Saturday (15 June 2013) I was pleased to be able to attend the fundraising lunch for Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated.  PCI is a Brisbane-based charity founded to provide practical support for women facing crisis pregnancies.  This support includes a residential safe-house.  Women assisted by PCI have often been abandoned by partners, or face the threat of violence if they proceed with a pregnancy.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane was the guest speaker at Saturday’s lunch and he gave a very stirring address, reminding us that work in the pro-life movement is a proclamation of Easter.  PCI is one of the ways that the Church witnesses to Easter.  He reminded us that death is not God’s language, and the last word of God is life.  Abortion is not the language of God, because abortion is a death that leads to more death.  The work of PCI is a proclamation that life is a blessing and not a curse.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge speaking at the Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated Fundraising Lunch - Saturday 15 June 2013

Archbishop Mark Coleridge speaking at the Pregnancy Crisis Incorporated Fundraising Lunch – Saturday 15 June 2013

He recalled that we have grown used to a culture of rights, which is largely good.  However, abortion is an attack on the very right on which all other rights are predicated: i.e. the right to life.  He urged us to see our work as a protest against the numbing of conscience in our society, and also a protest against making language slippery which contributes to the numbing of conscience: i.e. calling abortions “terminations.”

PCI relies entirely on good-will offerings of supporters.  You can download a donation form here: PCI Donation Form

As well as financial support, PCI also needs more volunteer support workers to assist clients.  To find out more, please email the charity at pcinc@bigpond.com or phone 1300 777 777.

http://www.pregnancycrisis.com.au/index.html

Standing up for the unborn

On Saturday afternoon we had the Rally for Life in Brisbane, a chance for pro-life people from many different sectors of the city and beyond to come together and give public witness to the sanctity of human life, and especially the pre-born child.

The pro-life cause works on many fronts.  We try to raise awareness of what abortion is, and help people see the truth.  We work to assist women (and their partners, families) who are facing unexpected and perhaps unwanted pregnancies, with counselling and practical assistance including crisis accomodation.  We work to help bring healing to women who have had an abortion through programmes like Rachel’s Vineyard.  We work to support pro-life politicians who will help to ensure that our laws give voice to the dignity of human life in all its stages.

Having seen the devastating and long lasting effects of abortion on women (and also men, which may not be as obvious) for myself is one of the reasons I take an active part in this work.  I want to do what I can to prevent babies being killed, but also to spare people the emotional trauma that abortion brings.  Abortion is not the only option, and there are people here to help and support those facing difficulty because of pregnancy.

A few photos from Saturday:

Various pro-life organisations had a tent:

IMG_0071

Brendan and Judy Wong spoke about the upcoming 40 Days for Life that will occur during Lent, in the lead up to Easter:

IMG_0074

At the end of the afternoon:

IMG_0079

More photos here.

Perhaps in future years we might have a march through the city streets as more people come on board to speak up for the unborn.

rally for lifeThe Brisbane RALLY FOR LIFE is tomorrow – Saturday 2 February, at Queen’s Park, Brisbane CBD.

Pre-rally entertainment starts at 1:15pm (Roby Curtis and Band) with the main event starting at 2:00pm. Estimated finish time is 4:00pm.

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/485984291443192/

http://www.rallyforlife.com.au/

See you there!

Some details of the Brisbane Rally for Life as previously posted …

We look forward to your support at the first event on the prolife calendar – the RALLY FOR LIFE is being held at 2pm on Saturday 2nd February 2013 at the usual venue of Queen’s Park, cnrs William, Elizabeth & George Sts, Brisbane city.  Please send these details to your Contacts and post them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

 The rousing Roby Curtis band will start off the event with some great numbers at 1pm.

 You will need to bring:

-chair/rug

-umbrella (it can be hot!)

-water

-DONATION (please – we need to keep this Rally as an annual event)

 

Rally speakers are:

Geoffrey Bullock – well-known champion of the prolife movement, Geoffrey works tirelessly for Family Voice Australia and will be speaking on the sanctity of life.

Anthony Banfield – a young man who lost his first two children to abortion and speaks of the impact this has had on his life.  (Men are often overlooked in the abortion scenario.)

Veronica Hayes – a vibrant well-spoken young woman speaking to inspire youth to get active in the pro-life issues.

 Can you:

-help on the day by inflating and tying balloons?

-be a marshall at the event?

-drop equipment etc back to the Cherish Life office immediately after the Rally?

-be an official donation collector at the event?

If yes, please contact Teresa in the Cherish Life office either via email or phone – teresa@cherishlife.org.au or Ph 3871 2445, as soon as possible.

 Hoping to see you all at the Rally For Life 2013,

 Teresa Martin

Some details of the Brisbane Rally for Life for this year …

We look forward to your support at the first event on the prolife calendar – the RALLY FOR LIFE is being held at 2pm on Saturday 2nd February 2013 at the usual venue of Queen’s Park, cnrs William, Elizabeth & George Sts, Brisbane city.  Please send these details to your Contacts and post them on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

 The rousing Roby Curtis band will start off the event with some great numbers at 1pm.

 You will need to bring:

-chair/rug

-umbrella (it can be hot!)

-water

-DONATION (please – we need to keep this Rally as an annual event)

 

Rally speakers are:

Geoffrey Bullock – well-known champion of the prolife movement, Geoffrey works tirelessly for Family Voice Australia and will be speaking on the sanctity of life.

Anthony Banfield – a young man who lost his first two children to abortion and speaks of the impact this has had on his life.  (Men are often overlooked in the abortion scenario.)

Veronica Hayes – a vibrant well-spoken young woman speaking to inspire youth to get active in the pro-life issues.

 Can you:

-help on the day by inflating and tying balloons?

-be a marshall at the event?

-drop equipment etc back to the Cherish Life office immediately after the Rally?

-be an official donation collector at the event?

If yes, please contact Teresa in the Cherish Life office either via email or phone – teresa@cherishlife.org.au or Ph 3871 2445, as soon as possible.

 Hoping to see you all at the Rally For Life 2013,

 Teresa Martin

Brisbane Rally for Life 2013

love lifeDate claimer:

The date for the Rally for Life in Brisbane for 2013 has been set:

Saturday 2 February 2013 – 2pm

40 days for life brisbane 2013

The 40 Days for Life in Brisbane starts on Ash Wednesday!  Pray about becoming involved as part of your Lenten observance.

40DFLBrisbaneFlyer2013 Full A4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/40DaysForLifeBrisbane/

Blog: http://40daysbrisbane.blogspot.ca/

http://www.40daysforlife.com/brisbane/

Last exams

We begin today the last of our exams for our programme.

We’re doing four courses at the moment, so we have the finals for those this morning, and then next Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

And, it’s sixteen sleeps until the comprehensive exam.

Soon, this:

Brisbane, Australia

And, here’s a blast from the past!  Love ya Brisbane!

I thought the following is worth sharing from a message I received today about Brisbane man Graham Preston, of Right to Life Australia, who is currently serving time in prison for the non-payment of fines.

The fines were incurred when he disobeyed a police direction to “move on” when blocking doorways at abortion mills in Brisbane.  Whether you agree with Graham’s method of doing what he feels called to do to prevent abortion, he has the courage of his convictions and that is admirable.  His protests are always peaceful and respectful of the dignity of the women who misguidedly think abortion will solve their problem. …

Graham may well be in lockup but he lives on ‘on the outside’ at Google maps!  Thanks to the Protect Life newsletter sent out by Liz Preston for alerting us to this.  If you go to this website https://maps.google.com/  and in the site’s Search box, type in Ballow Chambers, Spring Hill, Brisbane, then pull the little man image down onto the street, you can clearly see Graham standing outside the building with two placards – one of an unborn baby and the other one with the words “You were once an unborn baby”.  So praise God for modern technology.  Graham’s posters are now reaching a far wider audience than just the street on that day!  As far as I am aware, Google updates its images only every two years.

Please pray for Graham and his family.