The Fr Leo Donnelly OAM Oration
At the CSSA National Conference hosted by St Agnes Parish Port Macquarie we celebrated the work of another pioneer Fr Leo Donnelly and honoured his contribution with the inaugural Fr Leo Donnelly OAM Oration delivered by Most Rev Gregory Homeming OCD, Bishop of Lismore.
The McCosker Orations
Monsignor James Francis (Frank) McCosker believed Catholic welfare was about inclusion, rather than exclusion of all people; about critical analysis of Government agendas rather than subservient compliance to them; and about professionalism in welfare rather than well meaning benevolence and dependant charity.
His obituary in the Australian in 1996 declared he was devoted to those people who were mostly unable to help themselves and though he was awarded the OBE, worldly honours did not change him.
In the late 1940s, as director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau in Sydney – later Centacare – McCosker built on the foundation laid in Australia by four professionally trained Catholic lay women social workers: Norma Parker, Connie Moffitt, Eileen Davidson and Mary Lyons.
McCosker ‘s vision and determination led to services like Meals on Wheels, Foster Care, Adoption Practice, the Council of Social Services, Marriage Counselling as part of Matrimonial and Family Law, Child Endowment and National Catholic Welfare.
We honour the legacy of Monsignor McCosker through an Oration in his name
Delivered online due to pandemic – first distributed 11 June 2021
This Journey of visions, dreams, upheavals and hopes – a peripatetic pilgrimage
Canberra, 24 June 2013
Why the Australian Churches need to be more active in championing the interests of the poor and disadvantaged in adverse political times