THINK PIECE: Religious, Ethical and Moral Values
by Sebastian Camilleri OFM
(Adelaide, 2002, 243pp, $20 plus postage. Available from Fr S. Camilleri, 4/509 Tapleys Hill Road, Fulham Gardens, SA 5024)
Reviewed by Mark Posa
Father Sebastian Camilleri OFM, OAM, was born and educated in Malta and became a Franciscan priest. After coming to Australia as a Chaplain to Maltese migrants in 1949, he served in a number of Franciscan parishes in Australia and Canada. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1980 for services to the community and the Church.
His book Think Piece is divided into eight parts ranging from "The Relevance of the Gospel Message", through to the last part "Epilogue", which deals with a number of issues particularly relevant to migrants.
In between, the book offers valuable insights into the way the priesthood is helpful in advising families and young people about how they can make the Church important in their lives.
Fr Sebastian's discussion of marriage is a classic example of an understanding of what should be the attitude of a married couple: "Marriage is a very serious and personal and reciprocal commitment which draws together husband and wife for a permanent union for life until death do them part. Happy and successful marriages existed in the past and some still do exist today, even in this age of so-called liberation, emancipation and autonomy. It is true that life in general is a 'give and take' situation in the context of happy coexistence and mutual sharing and giving. This pattern of fair go and reciprocal care could not justifiably be better verified than in married life."
Think Piece also gives valuable advice on the way children should be taught the Faith in the family home. His criticism of the way young people are led along dangerous paths is exemplified in Part Six of the book where he writes: "It is pitiful that sound ethical and moral principles became meaningless to a number of inveterate agents who, because of greed, stimulate corruption among the younger generation."
Probably the best recommendation for Think Piece can be found in its Foreword, written by the co-ordinator of a prayer group in one of Father Sebastian's parishes: "The contents are of pastoral, ethical and educational interest that reveal a wide range of Father Camilleri's experience in the field of apostolate and spirituality."