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The Southern Cross : November 2011
Page 10 November 2011 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross | news Funeral Directors Frank J Siebert Life changing. When you engage in Funeral ritual, you acknowledge life passed, give meaning to life lived, encounter your sense of loss, and your journey of grieving. When someone we love dies, we touch the mystery of life changing, not ending. Signature Service ... since 1867 Dedicated to Faith-centred Funerals Phone (08) 8223 5879 24 hours 7 days 49 Wakefield Street, Adelaide 5000. Proprietor and Manager B Siebert The Adelaide Archdiocese's Sue Rivett is the first non-religious South Australian woman to become a Canon lawyer. The 63-year-old mother of three received the Licence in Canon Law (Juris Canonici Licentia) from the Catholic University of America, in Washington DC, in July. Only a handful of women, both lay and religious, have the License in Canon Law in Australia, though many women are involved in Tribunal work with qualifications from the Institute of Tribunal Practice, in Sydney. Sue has been appointed a judge of the Regional Tribunal of Adelaide and works in collaboration with the Judicial Vicar Father Kevin Taylor JCL, himself a graduate of the Ponitifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome, who advises Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson. "It is a very important ministry," says Sue. "It is a ministry which respects the journey of people who have been through broken relationships and dreams," she says. "On the other hand I have enjoyed the study and the intellectual stimulus of Canon Law, but for me a priority is always the pastoral aspect of the work, which ultimately is the salvation of souls." The Regional and Adelaide Tribunals assist couples who have experienced divorce and who desire to enter a new marriage in the Church. The Tribunal is charged with the responsibility of deliberating on the validity of the Sacramental bond in marriage cases, assisting in the process of priests seeking to return to the lay state (formerly known as laicization) and other Canonical issues. Fr Taylor says he saw a new opportunity to open the ministry to greater lay participation in proposing Sue for the post- graduate degree in Canon Law. "The Archbishop has shown courage and foresight in ... sending Sue to study Canon Law so as to be able to continue the work of the Tribunal in the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the wider Church," he says. Over the past four years Sue has spent a significant period of time each year away from her family and her 88-year-old mother to gain the qualification and has devoted much of her spare time to study. Sue migrated from the United Kingdom to Australia as a child and converted to Catholicism in 1982 at 34 years of age. She says she had always been drawn to the Catholic Church and has a particular interest in Church history and scripture. She was invited into parish ministry in Tea Tree Gully and was appointed pastoral associate when her three sons were attending St David's Parish School. It was during this time she undertook a Theology Degree at the Catholic Theological College, graduating in 2003. As pastoral associate she helped people submit applications to the Tribunal. In 1997/98 she was invited to work part-time in the Tribunal, eventually undertaking the Institute of Tribunal Practices course and moving to full-time employment as an auditor and case instructor. "I really enjoy helping people see that the Church is there to assist them," says Sue of her work. CLASS OF HER OWN: Adelaide Archdiocese's recently appointed Canon lawyer Sue Rivett and Judicial Vicar Father Kevin Taylor JCL. Photo: Stephen Gray New Canon lawyer for Adelaide Fr Dean Marin Ph: (08) 8232 8688 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au Priesthood looking for... may be what you ve been What will stick with? you You are welcome tothe' Inquirers Mass' *St Mary' s Church, 179 Stanley St, North Adelaide Next Masses 7.30pm Fridays 4th November and 2nd December