Ecumenism is an organic part of the church’s life and work, and consequently must pervade all that it is and does. (cf. Ut unum sint, 20). 

The Diocese of Broken Bay, a true local Church where the Spirit flourishes, constantly prays the prayer of Christ that all may be one. It commits itself to exploring ways of recognising and celebrating the imperfect communion that already exists with other local Churches and communities, and, on the basis of this recognition, of taking the next tentative steps towards full communion.


Ecumenical News from Parishes

Download brochure with snippets and snapshots of local ecumenical efforts in the Diocese of Broken Bay.

The breaking of communion and the disunity that has marked various moments of the Church’s history is not only a scandal to a world which is looking for signs of hope that God’s mysterious plan has indeed become a reality, but is also a failure to live fully the call which has been received from God. Through the Tri-Diocesan Covenant between the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, and the Catholic Dioceses of Broken Bay and Maitland-Newcastle, and the growing number of covenants between Christian communities in our region, we respond to the prayer of Jesus “that all may be one” (John 17; 11, 21). 

A statement on the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The Bishops Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and the Bishops of the Lutheran Church of Australia, have issued a joint statement. It reads in part:

 “There are three dimensions to our commemoration: we are deeply aware of the past and of the damage that was a consequence of conflict and division; we thank God for the healing of the relationship between Catholics and Lutherans that has taken place in recent decades and for the impetus for unity that we share; and we look forward to walking a common path in the future, witnessing together to the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.”

 Understanding the Reformation: 500 Years On

In 1517, Martin Luther published his famous Ninety-Five Theses which was the beginning of what we know as the Protestant Reformation. Come and learn about this fascinating event in the Church, and how Catholics and Lutherans today are engaged in ecumenical dialogue towards a unity. Reverend Professor Gerard Kelly, President of the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Catholic co-chair of the Australian Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue, and member of the Faith and Unity Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia, will be guiding us to an understanding of this historical event as well as its significance for Catholic communities today.

Presenter: Reverend Professor Gerard Kelly
Date: Thursday 26 October 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Venue: Caroline Chisholm Centre, Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills (Vehicular entry via City View Road)
RSVP: By Monday 23 October 2017 to or 4332 9825 / 9847 0448

What was Luther Thinking? 

On the very evening which commemorates the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses, Rev. Dr Clive Pearson, former Principal of the United Theological College at Charles Sturt University will lead an evening getting to know Luther the man, his thought, his remarkable wife Katharina, and the Reformation which sprang from his thinking.

Date: Tuesday 31st October, 7.30pm
Venue: St Brigid’s Hall in the Shirley Wallace Parish Centre, Holy Family Catholic Church, Cnr Pacific Highway & Highfield Road, Lindfield 
Enquiries: 9416 3702

Beyond the Divorce? A Dialogue 500 years after the Reformation

Join Bishop Peter A Comensoli and Rev Dr Michael Jensen for a dialogue 500 years after the Reformation.

Saturday 11 November 2017, 7.00pm
Harrington Hall, Catholic Parish of Chatswood
96 Archer Street, Chatswood (enter via Kirk Street)

Wednesday 15 November 2017, 7.00pm
Governor's Ballroom, Cranbrook School
5 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill

Light refreshments served at both events. Gold coin donation gratefully appreciated.
RSVP by Wednesday 9 November to Rhonda Andersen: l 9487 0726

 The Reformation Then and Now 

2017 marks 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. To mark this significant anniversary in the life of the Christian Churches and to foster a deeper understanding of where we have come from so that we might journey more closely in the future, a study day was held on 18 Feburary 2017 at Holy Family Catholic Church Lindfield, and presented by Rev. Professor Gerard Kelly (Catholic), Rev. Dr Fergus King (Anglican), and Rev Dr William Emilsen (Uniting). 

Notes on the presentations can be downloaded below.


A Visceral Perspective on the Reformation - Rev Dr William Emilsen

A Brief Thought on Where We Are Now - Rev Dr William Emilsen

The Anglican Reformation(s) - Rev. Dr Fergus King

Being Catholic During the Reformation Years - Rev. Prof. Gerard Kelly

Other Resources

Annual Ecumenical Service of Worship
to celebrate and reaffirm the Tri-Diocesan Covenant 2017

The Ecumenical Service of Worship to renew the Covenant signed in 2008 by the Bishops of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle was this year hosted by the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

2017 Service of Worship article- Diocese of Broken Bay
2017 Service of Worship article- Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle


Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 28 May - 4 June 2017

Theme: “Reconciliation - The Love of Christ Compels Us” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

In 2017, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Australia will be observed from 28 May - 4 June in the week between Ascension and Pentecost.

Resources are available at and include a poster, biblical reflections, sermon notes and an Order of Service. 


Universal Prayer for Sunday 28 May:

In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we pray for all Christian Churches, that divisions be healed so that we may better serve as instruments of God’s peace in the world.

(which can be included in the Parish bulletin)

We pray:
Gracious God and Father in Heaven,
you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, transform our hearts.
Help us to become ministers of reconciliation and heal our churches' divisions
so that we may better serve as instruments of your peace in the world.

We pray for our churches.
Fill them with all truth and peace.
When Christians go astray, redirect them;
when they fail to proclaim your Gospel, reform them;
when they witness to what is right, strengthen them;
when they are in need, provide for them;
and when they are divided, reunite them.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,

Give Us a Sign – Standing Together with the First Peoples of Australia in May 2017

The “Give us a Sign” project invites Churches and Christian organisations with changeable street signs to display specific messages to promote a more compassionate society. In 2017, all are invited to be involved in Standing Together with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters, Australia’s First Peoples.

This year our country acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, which permitted the Federal Parliament to make laws for First Peoples and included them in the Census. This is an appropriate time to reflect on both what has been achieved and what still needs to be addressed in relation to the First Peoples of Australia. It is important we mark National Sorry Day (26 May), Mabo Day (3 June) and National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June).

From 1st May to 4th June simply post a message at least one day EACH week on your church or school noticeboards to show that you Stand Together with the First Peoples of Australia.

How to get involved:

  1. Display a message on your noticeboard (suggestions below).
  2. Take a photo of your sign and email it to along with the name of the church or group you’re from. A member of our team will then upload the image to the Facebook page and the website.
  3. Individuals can also participate by taking a picture of themselves with a message to show that they Stand Together with Australia’s First Peoples and email it to for uploading.
  4. Follow the Give Us A Sign Facebook page.

Suggested signs include:

  • White Australia has a Black History
  • Celebrate First Peoples’ achievements
  • First Peoples’ story is in the land, it is written in those sacred places
  • The Dreaming … touching the mystery of God’s Spirit (JPII)
  • Deep esteem for the Aboriginal and TSI people (Pope Francis)
  • The Aboriginal way is that everything created is equal and sacred
  • We worship on [insert local community name] land
  • Treaty Sovereignty Recognition – Be aware of the conversations
  • Time for Aboriginal people to have a place in our Constitution
  • Build communities not prisons: stop deaths in custody
  • Make Indigenous Poverty History
  • Our First Peoples are not second class citizens
  • A Future Free of Racism
  • Be Part of the Healing with First Peoples
  • Recognition and Respect – Justice for First Australians
  • Sorry to First Australians taken from family
  • Unfinished business: Reconciliation with First Peoples
  • 1967 Referendum… Still a long way to go

World Day of Prayer - 3 March 2017

The World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year.


In 2017, the World Day of Prayer host country was the Philippines, and the theme was “Am I Being Unfair to You?”

It is a movement:

  • Initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions.
  • Symbolized by an annual day of celebration – the first Friday of March – to which all people are welcome.
  • Which brings together women of various races, cultures and traditions in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year. 

Act Now for Persecuted Christians

One way we can support the persecuted Church is to keep the plight of persecuted Christians before the eyes of our parish community on a regular basis, with the call to prayer, to material giving, and considered reflection.
To assist parishes in this, the following website provides prayers, stories, liturgies, church statements and items for parish bulletins. It is an ecumenical initiative flowing from our Tri-Diocesan Covenant.
Follow the link here:

Ecumenical Service of Prayer and Remembrance for the Christians of the Armenian Genocide

On Tuesday 13 October 2015 at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Church Chatswood, Bishop Peter Comensoli and Bishop Haigazoun Najarian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of Australia and New Zealand, joined with other ecumenical and civic leaders in an evening service of prayer and remembrance to commemorate the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide. Full story.



Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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