Does marriage matter any more, or is cohabitation just as good?

5 May 2010 Leave a comment

Psychologist and theologian Mrs Joanne Lucas explores an issue pressing upon university students, the merits of marriage and cohabitation. Does marriage really warrant the effort, stress and expense? Is it not just as good to simply start living together, and put the spare cash into something useful like a mortgage? Does everyone have the right to marry, and if not… should they?

What’s a marriage worth anyway?

Mrs Lucas brings fascinating insight to the issue from the perspective of a practicing psychologist, making excellent use of current studies and statistics.

Join us next week for the inimitable Mr Robert Haddad’s “Are All Christians Saints? What about Mary MacKillop?”

Categories: Seminars, USyd Tags:

God: Male or Female?

28 April 2010 Leave a comment

Sr Mary Sarah OP, Dominican Sister of St Cecilia (Nashville) and Women’s Officer of the USyd and UTS Catholic Chaplaincies today took us “on a trip down memory lane, to the time before memory, and the time before time”. Exploring the question of sex in God, Sister considers such various contemporary interpretations as the hermaphrodite god, the god of public relations, the god on whose nature everyone gets a vote, and the god who is a divine expression of patriarchy. Taking a very Chestertonian approach, today’s speaker demonstrated the intellectual prize that is Catholic philosophy – it stands up not just to rigorous philosophical examination but also the standards of common sense.

Join us next week in hearing Mrs Joanne Lucas answer the question: “Should I move in with my partner?”

Categories: Seminars, USyd Tags:

Life Week 2010: Round-up

24 April 2010 Leave a comment

Life Week 2010 at the University of Sydney has been a roaring success! Each seminar attracted from 60 to over 100 participants of many backgrounds and philosophies. All of the speakers were informative, engaging and entertaining. Many thanks to XT3 for providing audio recordings of the Life Week seminars: to listen to the talks click the titles or visit XT3.

Smiles all around


Life Week began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered on campus by the recently ordained chaplain of the neighbouring University of Notre Dame, Sydney; Fr Vincent Magat OP (standing in for USyd Chaplain Fr Dominic Murphy OP). From there we went to the Manning Lawn for our weekly free barbecue, attracting all kinds of happy, hungry students. Follow the link to see more photos on Flickr.

Same-Sex Marriage

Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Rev Dr Tony Percy speaks on the nature of human sexuality, its proper fulfilment and the difficulties experienced by people attracted to others of the same sex. Beginning with the fundamental difference between man and woman, the respect for complementarity and a proper understanding of the nature of marriage, Fr Percy reflects on the insights of such unlikely minds as Pope John Paul II, Thomas Merton and Sigmund Freud.

Abortion and the Law

General Practitioner, Pregnancy Counsellor and Bioethicist Dr Cathy Lennon gave a detailed outline of the present state of abortion laws in Australia, particularly the intention to protect patients and practitioners. Bringing light to recent controversies within Australia, Dr Lennon outlined the flaws in the present legal provisions and the ways in which they have been abused by incompetent or malicious doctors. Unfortunately this seminar could not be recorded, in part due to the violent reaction of some pro-abortion activists who were present. Dr Lennon’s seminar attracted by far the largest and most diverse audience, which only emphasises the importance of life issues in the university culture.

The Death of Cloning

General Practitioner and Bioethicist Dr David van Gend gives an enlightening summary of the many uses proposed for human cloning, as well as the abuses that have taken place worldwide. Starting with a detailed but understandable outline of the underlying scientific principles, Dr van Gend moves through the various ethical and legal debates surrounding the issue and outlines the alternative stem cell methods which address the failures of embryonic stem cell science. Learn more at Dr van Gend’s blog.

Life to the Full (Part 1, 2)

Women’s officer at the University of Sydney Catholic Chaplaincy and (Nashville) Dominican, Sr Mary Madeline OP asks us after a week of learning about the various attacks on human life: are you surviving or thriving? Why indeed do we value life at all, what is so special about human life that we should treasure it?

With the close of Life Week the regular seminar schedule recommences next Wednesday with Sr Mary Sarah OP asking “Is God male or female?” The free barbecue also returns to its usual time of Tuesday at 13:00 (just after Mass) on the Manning Lawn.

Life Week 2010

17 April 2010 Leave a comment

Each year the Catholic Chaplaincy of the University of Sydney, in collaboration with the several Catholic student societies, host two major evangelisation events on campus. This year, 19 – 23 April are Life Week.

Day Speaker Topic Location
Mon Free Barbecue Lunch Manning Lawn
Tue Fr Tony Percy Same Sex Marriage: An Alternative View New Law School 026 Lecture Theatre
Wed Dr Cathy Lennon Abortion and the Law: Freedom of Conscience and Medical Practitioners Carslaw 273 Lecture Theatre
Thu Dr David van Gend The Death of Cloning: No Further Uses, Only Abuses New Law School 024 Lecture Theatre
Fri Sr Mary Madeline OP Life to the Full: Are you thriving, or merely surviving? Carslaw 375 Lecture Theatre

All events take place around the University of Sydney 1300-1400 (just after Mass). Throughout the week we also hope to distribute promotional postcards and put up posters all over campus to promote the seminars above. There will also be an information stall operating 1030-1200 and 1400-1630 each day, staffed by volunteers and members of the Chaplaincy team. If you can offer some of your time to help it would be greatly appreciated – visit the Chaplaincy page to find Rita or Beth’s contact information so they can tell you more.

This week is the biggest event of the semester for the Catholic chaplaincy and societies of the University of Sydney, and so all other events (including Bible Studies, Mere Catholicism and Spiritual Road Trip but not including Mass on campus) are suspended for the duration. Even if you are unable to help with postering, handing out postcards or attending the seminars themselves, we humbly ask your prayers for the success of Life Week 2010.

Can Anglicans be Catholic?

14 April 2010 Leave a comment

Founding President of Campion College, Rev Dr John Fleming is well known amongst the Catholic university circuit in Australia and abroad. A former Anglican priest, bioethicist, author, father and Catholic priest; it is hard to know just how to introduce Fr Fleming justly.

This week at USyd, Fr Fleming clarifies the relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. Starting with the harmonising ecclesiology as typically held by communion-minded Anglicans, Fr Fleming outlines the influence of Venerable John Henry (Cardinal) Newman, the Oxford Movement, and his own spiritual and intellectual development. These culminate in the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus” and the new step just reached in Anglo-Catholic relations.

On the evening of 05 May 2010 Fr Fleming will launch his latest book Convinced by the Truth: Embracing the Fulness of Catholic Faith at the Mustard Seed Bookshop, Lidcombe, Sydney. All are invited to hear Fr Fleming speak and enjoy supper afterwards.

Categories: Seminars Tags:

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!

4 April 2010 Leave a comment


Regina Cæli, lætare. Alleluia.
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Queen of heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
For He Whom thou did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Categories: Commemorations, Liturgy

Triduum on Campus

1 April 2010 Leave a comment

Sancti and Beati of the Order of Preachers

The Sacred Triduum begins at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy (“Maundy”) Thursday. Since the only other public Mass offered on Maundy Thursday is the Chrism Mass at each cathedral church, the regular weekday Masses of USyd and UTS were replaced by a public recitation of the Via Crucis, the “Stations of the Cross”.

We hope you have had a fruitful experience of prayer, fasting and almsgiving this Lent, and look forward to enjoying the glorious feast of Easter with you.

Categories: Liturgy, USyd, UTS