01 Jun 2020

Welcoming a new Chief Pastor

The Southern Cross newspaper – June 2020

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Echoing the thoughts of so many people here in Adelaide, I extend towards Archbishop Patrick O’Regan the warmest of welcomes as he comes into our midst.

He is to be the Chief Pastor and Shepherd of a Church that is rich in history, and contains so many promises of hope, and lives faithfully its day-to-day mission as we strive to put into practice the works of mercy entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus.

We know our weaknesses, but we know also that we are a Church among whom there are many of great holiness, devoted parents and adults, generous young people, a faithful clergy, consecrated religious of integrity living lives of service, a great number of women and men engaged in all the ministries of education and health and welfare, and service of the poor.

21 May 2020

Message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ

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Echoing the thoughts of so many of you, I extend towards Archbishop Patrick O’Regan the warmest of welcomes as he comes into our midst. He is to be the Chief Pastor and Shepherd of a Church that is rich in history, and contains so many promises of hope, and lives faithfully its day-to-day mission as we strive to put into practice the works of mercy entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus.

We know our weaknesses, but we know also that we are a Church among whom there are many of great holiness, devoted parents and adults, generous young people, a faithful clergy, consecrated religious of integrity living lives of service, a great number of women and men engaged in all the ministries of education and health and welfare, and service of the poor.

21 May 2020

What Are We Learning from COVID-19?

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It may be that the contagion is diminishing, and we pray so. There may be scope for us to think on what we have learnt in this COVID-19 crisis. I put these random thoughts before you and suggest you might wish to make your own reflections. As Socrates said, the unreflected life is one not worth living, and our Christian spirituality will always look to see the signs of God’s presence in all things.

Firstly, we note the greatness of heart and soul of those who have put themselves in the front line in helping to fight this contagion, and those who have gone out day after day to serve the wider community. We are thinking of the nurses and doctors (so many of whom have died overseas), and the police and delivery people, the teachers, those working in industry and essential services, the bus drivers, the post office people, the take away staff, and so on. Once again we have seen the largeness of the human spirit. We have seen that generosity is still a high value.

08 May 2020

Opening of churches

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As you would be aware the Prime Minister and South Australian Premier made several announcements this afternoon, some in relation to the re-opening of churches. Of particular note is our own South Australian Premier detailing specifics effective Monday, May 11, 2020.

A summary is provided below:

  • Churches may re-open for private prayer. Numbers will be restricted to 10 people plus staff.  They are not open for either private/public masses except for funerals, weddings and baptisms. 
  • Funerals now permitted to have 20 indoors and 30 people outdoors plus those officiating.
  • Weddings now permitted to have 10 people plus those officiating.
  • Private baptisms are allowed to resume with 10 people plus those officiating.

 Circular - re-opening churches.pdf

01 May 2020

Being church without churches

Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ | The Southern Cross – May 2020

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These days of restrictions because of COVID-19 are a special challenge to us.

For so many of our people, all save a handful, there is the question of what is the Church without the Eucharist? We hear so often that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Church, and here we are in a position of deprivation, with no Eucharist possible.

We must recall of course that the Church in Australia has gone through long periods when the Eucharist was a rare event. For the first 32 years after the European settlement of the colony, there was no priest available to freely wander through the population exercising his ministry, until Fr John Joseph Therry and Fr Philip Connelly arrived in 1820.

16 Apr 2020

Installation date for Bishop Patrick O'Regan

Message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ

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It is with great joy that we announce the Installation Ceremony for our incoming Archbishop Patrick O’Regan DD (pictured) will take place in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 10.30am on Monday, May 25, the Solemnity of Our Lady Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia. Because of the circumstances around COVID-19, this will be a modified ceremony, and will involve simply the officiating clergy and attendants. Our plan is that when the restrictions and safety requirements around COVID-19 have eased, we will conduct a formal Liturgical Reception for the incoming Archbishop, hopefully associated with the Mass of Chrism.

08 Apr 2020

Easter and COVID-19

Pastoral Letter for Easter 2020

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In its history the Church has often had to live through times of plague and pestilence. In such times there is a combination of suffering and dread. Plague was like a walking assassin, unknown and undetectable. In the twenty-first century we thought we were beyond such experiences. Never did we think there would be such an international calamity.

We know that such times, as in war, can bring out the finest in people despite the horror. On the human level families are finding out that there is more conversation and interaction as a group. There is only so much television one can watch in one day. Despite the unemployment there is a quiet sense of confidence that by working together the present ills will dissipate. A product of our suffering may be that after this trial there will be a greater appreciation of the human community, what we do, and who the people are with whom we work. The deprivation of the Eucharist and the closure of our churches is creating a sense of spiritual hunger. A whole new form of religious experience is being experienced by many as they bring online devotion, like a streamed Mass, into their homes. People are going out of their way to ensure their non-electronic neighbours are still being held in a sense of parish community. The quality of our lives and a sense of closeness to the Lord will deepen as His grace works within us.

 PASTORAL LETTER EASTER 2020 144 08042020.pdf

01 Apr 2020

Christ is truly risen!

The Southern Cross newspaper – April 2020

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We’re facing an Easter like no other. The deprivation of the Eucharist and closure of our churches is something which is quite unheard of by we Catholics even since convict times.

This is a painful but necessary decision. The number of people infected in Australia continues to climb and we only have to read about the devastating impact of the virus in Italy, where thousands of doctors and medical staff are infected and many of them are dying, to know that we have to take swift action.

Every day the situation is changing and new restrictions on worship, funerals, weddings and baptisms have been imposed, based on the latest Government protocols.

We are trying to do all we can to get ahead of the disease and maintain the health of the people.

21 Mar 2020

Message from Bishop Gregory O'Kelly SJ


19 Mar 2020

New Archbishop of Adelaide announced


The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Patrick O'Regan, currently the Bishop of Sale, as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Adelaide.


My Sisters and Brothers

It is with pleasure that I announce the decision of the Holy Father to appoint Most Reverend Patrick O’Regan, (pictured) presently Bishop of Sale, as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Adelaide.

We thank God that our long period of waiting is over and express our delight and welcome to our new Archbishop. In welcoming Archbishop-designate O’Regan, who will be the 12th bishop of Adelaide and the ninth archbishop, I thank the people and clergy of the Archdiocese for their great fidelity to Christ’s mission during this time of waiting. In particular I thank Father Philip Marshall who as Vicar General has given such outstanding and persevering service to the People of God in the Archdiocese.

 Bishop O'Kelly Adelaide Announcement 19 March.pdf
 Bishop Patrick O'Regan named Archbishop of Adelaide.pdf

18 Mar 2020

Temporary suspension of Masses and public liturgies

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My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Prime Minister has announced that non-essential indoor gathers are to be limited to 100 people and outdoor events of more than 500 are prohibited.

Given the serious nature of the Coronavirus, as a community we are to support these measures as responsible and sensible.

In consultation with the Consultors and Vicars General of the two dioceses, the following actions are directed:

  • The temporary suspension of Masses and public liturgies until further notice;
  • All other large gatherings are suspended. For further clarification please refer to the diocesan websites or contact your local parish office.

 Circular - Protocols re Coronavirus _ 112 190320.pdf

13 Mar 2020

Guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A number of questions have arisen concerning Holy Week, visiting the sick and collections. I am sure that commonsense and prudence of the priests and deacons will ensure that everything is done to contain the possible spread of the coronavirus. We have taken advice on these items from infectious disease control specialists.

Concerning Holy Week, I offer these guidelines:

  • Mass of Chrism and Holy Thursday - concelebrating priests should receive the Precious Blood through intinction only. At the Cathedral this will be the presumed practice. It should also apply to any concelebration. If sharing the cup, the host should be immersed without any part of the hand touching the contents of the cup. The chalices should remain on the altar, so it is not necessary for concelebrants to touch the metal of the chalice.

 Circular - Guidelines for preventing the spead of Coronavirus 097 120320a.pdf

03 Mar 2020

Protocols re Coronavirus

March 3 2020

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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

At present there is no indication of the spread of coronavirus in South Australia. This offers us time to consider how we might respond to the virus before any urgency arises, and to play our part in preventing spread in the community. After extensive consultation with medical experts, and in order to be well prepared I am implementing the following guidelines effective from this coming weekend, Sunday March 8.  I ask that parishes and communities throughout the Archdiocese of Adelaide and Diocese of Port Pirie observe the following temporary protocols until the risk of spread has passed:

1.    Ensure that shared church and office surfaces and equipment are kept clean with use of disinfectant. (Clinell Universal Wipes are effective and inexpensive.)

 Circular - Protocols re Coronavirus 086 3320.pdf

21 Feb 2020

Dreams and Ashes

Pastoral Letter for the Season of Lent 2020

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Dear Sisters & Brothers

We know the comment, that someone’s dreams turned to ashes. It happened in our State last month:  more than eighty homes destroyed on Kangaroo Island; more than sixty in the Adelaide Hills. What must it be like to lose one’s house in an all-consuming, raging bushfire? To see one’s life’s efforts being reduced to ashes. Everything in a house has a story, and for so many of our sisters and brothers every item was incinerated. So were other possessions, like cars and tractors; so were means of livelihood, like mobs of sheep and herds of cattle, or workshops and beehives; so was the beauty of wildlife and flora; imagine the terror of animals and reptiles.

 Lenten Pastoral Letter 2020 077 21022020.pdf

12 Feb 2020

Concerning Walk for Life


Dear Sisters and Brothers

I wish to extend my thanks to all those who were able to participate in the Walk for Life, in which a great crowd of more than three thousand stretched itself from Parliament House down to the Adelaide Oval to let our wider society, and its leaders, know the passion that so many of our citizens have to protect life.

The event was very well organised, carried out respectfully and without clamour, a strong and even reverent demonstration of a deeply held feeling of revulsion at the proposed legislation which would have abortion legal up until the day of birth. This is the recommendation from the South Australian Law Reform Institute. That Institute has asked for no gestational limit. It is expected that a Bill will be placed before the Parliament by the Attorney-General some time through March or April. I know that there are many who would like to have participated in the Walk, but other commitments and distance prevented this. People came from many parishes and many different non-Catholic Churches. I was invited to speak (download attachment) at the Parliament House venue, along with the newly consecrated Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, and three women who gave very moving accounts of their own experience post abortion, a full refutation of the claims that abortion has no psychological impact on the woman. Numbers of people did make the effort to travel big distances, and I know there were numbers from the Diocese of Port Pirie from Crystal Brook, Kadina and Port Pirie. 

 Walk for Life 08022020.pdf
 Letter to DLP re Walk for Life 064 12022020.pdf

13 Jan 2020

ACBC statement on bushfire crisis

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Archbishop Mark Coleridge has outliined the Australian Catholic Bishops' response to the bushfire crisis and says the Church stands ready to walk alongside people throughout their journey to recovery.

 ACBC Statement on Bushfire Crisis.pdf

17 Dec 2019

Feast of Christmas

Bishop Greg's Pastoral Letter

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Dear Sisters and Brothers

How do we find joy in Christmas when we are reeling from the unspeakably sad and tragic deaths on White Island? How do we celebrate at a time when we are grieving the loss of beautiful lives and the shocking burns to others? How do we rejoice in the Feast of Family when so many families are in grief?

Tragedy can occur at Christmas. A loved one of the family is killed or dies just before Christmas. A car accident involves someone on the way home for Christmas, bringing grief not joy.  Even the first Christmas saw terrible suffering of families in the slaughter of the Innocents.

 Christmas Pastoral Letter - DPP & AA 809 17122019.pdf

01 Dec 2019

Hope born again

The Southern Cross newspaper – December 2019

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It is Christmas time again, thank God, and our hearts grow fuller. There is a magic to Christmas, as you can see in the eyes of children. For us adults it is also the time of grace. Christmas centres us. Christmas calls us back to the truth of who we are, and our hearts grow fuller because there is a recharge of hope and confidence that flows into those hearts. Amid the clamour and clash of the forces that drive our society, into our hearts there flows the stillness we need from the Silent Night, Holy Night. We are born again in hope.

29 Oct 2019

Concerning the Prostitution Bill

Letter to the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Diocese of Port Pirie

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Dear Sisters & Brothers

There has not been great publicity, but a review of the Bill affecting brothels and prostitution is about to be debated in the Lower House of State Parliament. Under present law, prostitution is not illegal, but brothels are. The effect of the proposed legislation, introduced by Ms Tammy Franks MLC, is to decriminalise brothels. The Bill has the support of many members of the Government and Opposition. The Premier himself supports the new legislation, while the Leader of the Opposition has stated he will not support it.

 Letter concerning Prostitution Bill.pdf

28 Oct 2019

View from the balcony

Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ | The Southern Cross – November 2019


https://thesoutherncross.org.au/As we continue along our journey to the Plenary 2020, it is worth reflecting on the parable of the wheat and weeds. The hands wanted to pull out the weeds that an enemy had planted in the crop, but the farmer wisely noted that to do so would kill the wheat too, so intertwined were the roots of both wheat and weeds.

01 Oct 2019

Life in abundance

The Southern Cross newspaper – October 2019

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We have never had so much materially or scientifically. We have a way of life adorned with creature comforts that were unthinkable not so long ago, and with the technology to enable opportunities that formerly we could only dream of.

Yet at the same time we live in what John Paul II called a culture of death, an era of diminishment of the human spirit. If we have not sold our souls in 21st century Australia to the devil, we are otherwise occupied in adoring golden calves.

We live in an age of glitz and appearance (read the lifestyle magazines), and our society in consumerism focuses on what is possessed rather than who possesses.

01 Sep 2019

Listening like a disciple

The Southern Cross newspaper – September 2019

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There are two categories of people on Twitter – those called “followers” and those called “following”. Is that what discipleship means?

Having tried to master Twitter in a vain attempt to become relevant (!) I was distressed the other day to read in the paper that Twitter presents a ‘…world where aging baby boomers impart their revolutionary ideals on the new generation’. What about pre-baby boomers! The article also mentioned that a certain political commentator has 149,000 followers. That is about 2000 times more than the number of ‘followers’ I have!

21 Aug 2019

Message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ


Dear Sisters and Brothers

As you are no doubt aware, the Victorian Court of Appeal today handed down its decision on Cardinal Pell’s appeal against his conviction.

The appeal was dismissed by the Court with one of the three judges, Justice Mark Weinberg, dissenting. There is a possibility of further appeal.

I am very aware that this decision will give rise to a range of responses from people and that there will be intense and emotive media coverage of the outcome.

 Leadership Personnel of the AA DPP 553 21082019.pdf

01 Aug 2019

Conversing with Pope Francis in Rome

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019

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In June I spent two weeks in Rome for the Ad Limina Apostolorum which means Threshold of the Apostles, referring to Saints Peter and Paul, both martyred and interred in Rome. Each diocese prepares a detailed account of the pastoral and practical activities of the previous five or seven years, which form part of the basis for conversations with Vatican departments. The group of 35 Australian bishops started with a five day silent retreat conducted by Brother Ian Cribb SJ, formerly director of the retreat house at Sevenhill, who received the praise of all.

23 Jul 2019

Review of abortion law and medical practice in SA update

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Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Archdiocese of Adelaide and Diocese of Port Pirie

I am writing to update you on the review of abortion law and medical practice in SA commissioned by the Attorney General, Vicki Chapman.

The South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) has now completed both its public consultation and its series of roundtable consultation sessions.

19 Jul 2019

Abortion Law Reform SA | SALRI Submission

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South Australian Law Reform Institute (SALRI) Brief

SALRI was asked by the SA Government on 26 February, 2019 to consider a suitable legislative framework for the termination of pregnancy.  Specifically, it was tasked with modernising the law in SA and to adopt best practice reforms so that abortion could become a regulated medical procedure under health laws (as opposed to its current status as a criminal law issue). It was expected that abortion would be equitably and safely available to women living in rural, regional and remote areas.  SALRI’s recommendations were also expected to be consistent with recent interstate and international legislative developments and take into account current clinical practice from around Australia and internationally. Their report to the SA Government is due on 31 August, 2019.

 Abortion Law Reform Submission 439 120619.pdf

01 Jun 2019


The Southern Cross newspaper – June 2019

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The time of Pentecost is upon us. ‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle within us the fire of your divine love’. It is a good word enkindle. It means to set something alight, to create a new reality, to produce light and warmth. We have just completed the listening phase in preparation for the Plenary Council 2020.

12 May 2019

Christ in disguise

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019

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Train loads of events fill our daily lives. If we don’t reflect on our experiences, we will never pick out what our experience of the major events is telling us, how the finger of God is tracing its patterns through our lives. So what has our experience of the major Seasons of Lent and Easter taught us?

27 Apr 2019

Ordination to the Diaconate of Pat Lopresti

Homily - April 27 2019

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Dear Pat, my brother, in this holy Season, your baptismal name of Pasquale, the Pascha, Easter, is so appropriate, especially as upon the sacrament of your baptism you now in this time of Easter add to it the sacrament of ordination to Holy Orders. I welcome your family, your father Domenico and Rita, and your sister Rita. I welcome your friends and fellow seminarians to a sacred event that is charged with significance for you in the story of your life.  I welcome all here present.  Patrick, the word of election, the word of choice by the Church, was uttered over you in the last few minutes. The people affirmed the choice with their applause.  Note that it is the Church which calls you forth, it is the Church which takes the initiative here, and you are called out by and for the Church.

 Ordination to Diaconate - Patrick Lopestri.pdf

17 Apr 2019

Easter message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ

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The world has been riveted by the sight of Notre Dame Cathedral burning in Paris. It is the greatest symbol the French have, and has been with them for almost nine centuries. The timbers had the marks of medieval saws and hammers. There was modern IT and closed circuit television as well, wizardry of modern technology cheek by jowl with handcrafted ancient artistry.

It was a Cathedral that spanned the ages, so much of it was reduced to ashes. It will be built again, rising from the destruction.

18 Mar 2019

Letter from Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, Apostolic Administrator

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Dear Brothers & Sisters

Along with all right thinking and feeling people, the Catholic communities of South Australia wish to express to our Muslim brothers and sisters our own feelings of distress and horror at the murder of the Muslim people in the Christchurch mosques. That such tragedies could be enacted in the midst of a society so similar to our own, and so close to ourselves, or indeed in any society, is alarming and horrifying.

 Letter of Support from Bishop Greg O'Kelly.pdf

06 Mar 2019

Pastoral Letter for the Season of Lent 2019

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On Ash Wednesday one year ago a school shooting massacre occurred at the Parkland High School in Florida, resulting in seventeen deaths and a large number of wounded.  Displayed prominently was a photo of anguished mothers arriving at the school to find out whether or not their child was a victim.  One mother hugs another, and on her forehead is traced very visibly the cross she had received at an Ash Wednesday ceremony.  “Dust to dust, ashes to ashes” was a refrain she heard that morning and would never have guessed how tragedy might visit her so starkly and so soon.

 Pastoral Letter - Lent 2019 168 6032019.pdf

01 Mar 2019

Life is a gift that God gives forever

The Southern Cross newspaper – March 2019

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Pope Francis has asked us to look at life issues in a holistic way, as a total perspective. It comes out of Our Lord’s words: ‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full’. Pope Francis says that the Christian attitude to life must embrace everything from conception to natural death. And so it covers actions like abortion; it covers actions like capital punishment. It’s odd to be opposed to abortion and yet support capital punishment; there’s a contradiction there.

28 Feb 2019

Letter from Bishop O'Kelly to the faithful

February 28 2019


Dear Brothers & Sisters

Everyone carrying the name of Catholic must feel bowed down with some sense of shame and even anger at what the crimes of clergy and Church personnel has wreaked upon us as a community. The strength of the media coverage these days reflects a rightful anger on the part of the wider community at the betrayal which such crimes represent, and the hypocrisy they reveal. It is wider than simply the case of Cardinal Pell, and no judgement should be made there until the result of the appeal. Greater than our pain, of course, is the suffering the victims of abuse have been enduring for many years. To continue to do whatever we can to ensure that such crimes do not repeat themselves, and to do whatever we can to help victims and to purify the Church must be a prime response.

 Faithful of the AA & PPD 143 28022019.pdf

14 Feb 2019

Concerning the proposed amendments to the abortion law – South Australia

February 14 2019

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My Sisters and Brothers

We should all be extremely concerned about the proposed Abortion Law Reform Bill introduced late last year by Greens MP Tammy Franks which is due for debate in the Legislative Council in coming weeks.

This bill drastically reduces safeguards for the unborn.  Abortions may be conducted even well into the ninth month of pregnancy. The unborn deserve love and protection, not destruction.

 Pastoral Letter 113 140219.pdf
 Letter from Dr Elvis Šeman.pdf

07 Feb 2019

Concerning the proposed amendments to the abortion law – South Australia

February 7 2019

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Circular to Clergy and Personnel – Diocese of Port Pirie; Archdiocese of Adelaide

Dear Brothers & Sisters

Concerning the Proposed Amendments to the Abortion Law – South Australia

In December last year Tammy Franks, of the Greens, proposed amendments to the present laws governing abortion in South Australia. If enacted the amendments could have far reaching consequences, and legitimise a significantly expanded practice of abortion. The next reading of the proposed Bill takes place at the end of this month.

 Bishop Greg O'Kelly Homily 30219[1].pdf

01 Feb 2019

Schools and an authentic church

The Southern Cross newspaper – February 2019

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To be authentic Church, the Christian community must exercise and live the corporal works of mercy. The care of the young is an integral work of mercy, a sign of the Church being Church.

Those who care for the young, whether it be in the classroom or the office or front desk or grounds of the school, or engaged with the youth and young families of the parish, are privileged people.

There was a dispute among the disciples, so Jesus took a small child whom He placed in their midst, and said such is the Kingdom of Heaven.  

21 Jan 2019

Statement from Bishop O'Kelly SJ

on ACC review of prayer tradition

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Media Release –  Monday January 21 2019

The Adelaide City Council is reportedly considering abolishing the tradition of praying before meetings (The Advertiser Saturday January 19).

Our basis is as a Christian society, however, we understand the attempt to devise a prayer with which other faiths are comfortable. The main thing is that there be a prayer acknowledging our need for God’s grace to make decisions that are wise and just.

Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ
Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide
Bishop of Port Pirie Diocese

 ACC response.pdf

18 Dec 2018

Christmas Message

The light of Christ outshines any darkness

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Reflect how much we need the annual feast of Christmas. It comes and acts like a recharging of the soul. There is so much that can get us down but the annual reminder through the beauty of the Church’s Scriptures and liturgy that God so loved us, no matter how unworthy we might appear to be, that He sent his only Son, gives us again our focus.

Here is a great mystery. In contemplating us, God in some way sees his own image, as He has made us in his likeness, as Scripture says. Nothing can take that away from us.  Christmas is the feast of the greatest affirmation of any of us.

22 Oct 2018

Today's national apology

Message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ

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Today the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison will deliver the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse  at Parliament House in Canberra. Events are being held around the country including at the Adelaide Convention Centre where the Minister for Child Protection, Rachel Sanderson, will deliver a State Apology on behalf of the South Australian Government. Five regional events will also be held in Whyalla, Port Pirie, Berri, Port Augusta and Mount Gambier.

 Message from Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ.pdf
 Catholic Church stands with Prime Minister, renews apology.pdf