Church news

Little Pat’s big nativity


A three year old with a small paintbrush and a big Christmas spirit has helped create a nativity scene in Gladesville Road, Hunters Hill.

Little Pat Mills joined his grandfather Greg Knoblanche (pictured) to paint the life size nativity scene outside the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church last Wednesday, the largest outdoor nativity in the municipality.

They said the nativity fulfils the dream of Father Sid, a retired Marist missionary who lives in Japan.

‘It was Father Sid’s idea and when he spoke to my wife about it six months ago, we thought it was a great idea and parish priest Father Kevin Bates SM agreed,’ Mr Knoblanche said.

‘The woodwork class at St Joeys School took up the idea with enthusiasm and created the nativity scene figures for Pat and I to paint.’

The three year old artist painted the baby animals and Greg painted the figures too high for his grandson to reach.


Listening develops skills in personal growth


Graduates from the St John of God Counselling and Life Skills Course Presentation Night recently held at Holy Cross College Ryde.

Pictured l to r Teresa Wong, Eastwood; Kathleen Yates, North Rocks. Anne Fitzgerald, West Ryde; Anthony Fitzgerald, West Ryde; Course Director, Ruth van Herk, Lindfield and Maria Bruzzese, Ryde.

It may sound strange that your communication techniques can be enhanced by “actively listening”.

However, this technique has been proven over the last 45 years at the St John of God Institute of Counselling, Life Skills course.

The course is presented over a two year period on Tuesday nights during school terms in the Holy Cross College Library, Victoria Road, Ryde from 7.30pm to 9.45pm.

The non-directive method of counselling, employing a particular emphasis on listening skills, underpins the course.

Overall, the purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity to develop skills in counselling, personal growth and communication techniques.

It also encourages people to deal with their everyday challenges and concerns, through a sense of personal empowerment.

Other sub- groups include: Fundamental psychology; Getting to know oneself more deeply; Getting to know others better, relationship strategies; Acquiring knowledge of current counselling techniques, assertiveness and grief counselling; Learning about various counselling groups and agencies; Awareness of pertinent problems and issues in society, stress management skills plus an opportunity to discuss personal issues and concerns confidentially.

Course director Ruth van Herk said”the evening is divided into two sections.

Firstly, small group meetings, provided with a weekly discussion paper and the second, a plenary group, have proved most successful to the hundreds of people who have attended our course over the last 45 years”.

She took over as Course Director in 2001 and has re-written and updated the 80 papers used in the course.

Inquiries Assistant DirectorCarol Harding 0408 705 848 or Michael Hill 0431 774 432.