History of the ERDU Ministry


ERDU history Early 1994Early 1994: It all began with a dream …..
Jan Heath, a Parishioner of Petrie Catholic Community dreamed about many people queuing up to be fed with God’s Word. Accepting God’s call, Jan began an evangelising ministry entitled “Evangelise Now” and started facilitating Bible Studies.
Through a series of “God-incidences”, Jan sourced Bible Study Resources from Liturgical Press / Little Rock Scripture Studies (LRSS) of Arkansas, USA. and distributed these Resources from her home kitchen in Narangba.
Graham and Jan Heath financed the ministry until distribution volumes could fund the Ministry.


ERDU history Sept 1997Sept 1997: Following increasing activity and interest in Jan’s evangelisation ministry, Fr. Peter McCartin, Parish Priest of Petrie Catholic Community, suggested that Kathryn Robbie should join Jan Heath in her ministry and he invited Jan and Kathryn to operate from the Parish premises.


ERDU history Dec 1997Dec 1997: The ministry moved to the Parish, occupying two rooms within the main Parish residence building. Kathryn’s husband Shane also joined Jan and Kathryn to assist with administration and finance.


ERDU history Mar 1998Mar 1998: Agreement was signed between Liturgical Press, LRSS, Evangelise Now and Petrie Catholic Community for the distribution of all LRSS Resources in Australia and New Zealand.
Shane and Kathryn funded the supply of office equipment and software to cope with significant increases in administration processes.


ERDU history Apr 1998Apr 1998: Fr. Peter McCartin blessed the Evangelisation Ministry at the Petrie Parish premises.

Late 1999 The ministry was named “Little Rock Down Under”. (LRDU)


ERDU history Feb 2000Feb 2000 Catherine (Cackie) Upchurch, Director of LRSS USA, was invited to visit as a guest of “Little Rock Down Under” and ran Information and Enrichment workshops in Australia and New Zealand.


ERDU history July 2000July 2000: The Corporation of the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane registered “Little Rock Down Under” as a Trading Name in its own right. This arrangement enabled the Ministry to trade and to have its own bank accounts. Canonical and Juridical accountability remained through the Parish Priest to the Archdiocese and thence to the Governing Authorities.
Fr. Peter returned from sabbatical with a sample of “The Little Books”: six-minute, daily reflections on scripture for each Season of Advent, Lent and Easter.


ERDU history Oct 2000Oct 2000: The LRDU ministry continued to expand with increasing distribution of Evangelisation materials. The Parish relocated an old classroom building which was converted into a new Community Centre and a LRDU Office and Storeroom.


ERDU history Nov 2001Nov 2001: LRDU started distributing “The Little Books” to Petrie Parish and other parishes within the Archdiocese of Brisbane.


ERDU history June 2004June 2004: Jan and Kathryn attended the Bible Institute in Little Rock Arkansas.


ERDU history July 2004July 2004: The ministry was re-named Evangelisation Resources Down Under (ERDU).
The Word Among Us Inc., USA also appointed ERDU as the Australian and New Zealand distributor of their monthly magazine, "The Word Among Us”. This Catholic magazine provides daily reflections upon scripture.


ERDU history Aug 2004Aug 2004: ERDU was expanding rapidly, distributing some 2200 copies per month of “The Word Among Us” to1400 addresses in Australia and beyond, 51,000 Little Books to 207 Parish around Australia, as well as distributing and supporting Little Rock Scripture Studies …
In the face of these realities, an ERDU Board was established to create a specific body with collective accountability and responsibility for the good governance of the ERDU Ministry. The ERDU Board was commissioned by Archbishop John Bathersby.
Inaugural Board members were Jan Heath, Ministry Founder; Fr. Peter McCartin, Petrie Parish Priest; Fr. Paul Shanahan, Director of the Enquiry Centre, NZ , John Brady, Petrie Leadership Team; Kathryn Robbie, Petrie Parishioner; Shane Robbie, Petrie Parishioner; Peter Hilton, Petrie Parishioner and Mike Humphrys, Archdiocese Faith and Life. John Brady was appointed Chairman of the Board.
Petrie Parishioner, Karen Cooke, joined the ERDU Ministry.


ERDU history May 2005May 2005: Petrie Parishioner, Maureen Hines, joined the ERDU Ministry.


ERDU history Mid 2005Mid 2005: ERDU re-located to its present site and original location.


ERDU history Mar 2006Mar 2006: ERDU launched the inaugural Bible Institute in Brisbane, presented by Cackie Upchurch, Director of Little Rock Scripture Studies, USA. The Bible Institute has since been an annual event..
John Brady was appointed ERDU Director.


history Feb 2007Feb 2007: Petrie Parishioner, Bernadette Holdsworth, joined the ERDU Ministry

Jan 2008: Kathryn Robbie was appointed Director of ERDU


ERDU history Mar 2009Mar 2009: John Tasker, from Petrie Parish was appointed Director of ERDU.
Fr Paul Shanahan and Peter Hilton had retired from the Board by then and Rebecca Crouch (NET Ministries) and Peter Sultana (Petrie Parishioner) were appointed.

2010 - 2011: Peter Shakovskoy (MenAlive) was appointed to the ERDU Board, with the retirement of John Brady and Mike Humphrys.


ERDU history 2012 20142012- 2014: Rebecca Crouch retired as Board member, Shanelle Bennett (Net Ministries) & Marist Brother Roger Burke (former Principal) and Kathryn Robbie were appointed Board members. Shane Robbie also resigned from the ERDU Ministry. Shanelle served on the Board for a short time before resigning.
Fr Peter McCartin retired as Parish Priest and was replaced initially by Fr Dave O’Connor and then by Fr Chima Ofor.


ERDU history 2016

Feb 2015: Bernadette Holdsworth was appointed Director of ERDU.
Cindy Brennan began work with the ERDU Ministry.

2016: Michele Vuleta and Rob Cosgrove (both from the Archdiocese of Brisbane) appointed to the ERDU Board.