On 20th April the Australian Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creations Teams for the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters met in Hunters Hills. The meeting gave the teams an opportunity to share on how they have been working and to look at the possibility of collaborating further in the future. It is planned that there will be an event on Saturday 19th October. As this event take place after the Australian Federal elections participants will have an opportunity to reflect on issues calling for advocacy with the newly-elected parliament.
Marist Sisters in the Sydney area, along with representative of the Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Fathers, gathered to hear Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia. He spoke on the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and comparisons with treatment in other countries of the world’s 42 million displaced persons.
Paul indicated that Australia is presently 43rd in the order of countries accepting refugees internationally, but is setting a wholesome trend in developing community housing models as an alternative to secure detention.
On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians in Lyon climbed the steep steps to the Fourvière chapel and there pledged themselves to “as soon as possible, establish a most holy congregation of Marists.” As we once again celebrate this foundational event in Marist history, Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers will reflect on the Fourvière event and be inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the early Marists.
If you would like to join us in prayer and reflection on the anniversary of Fourvière download a prayer reflection prepared by Sr Lorraine Canmpbell sm here.
On Friday 23rd March Sr Sheila made her Perpetual Profession as a Marist Sister. The main celebrant for the Profession Mass was her uncle, Archbishop from Cotabato City. He was joined by Archbishop Capalla (Davao) and his Auxiliary Bishop from the Matina Parish, where the Eucharist was celebrated. A number of Priests, including Marist Fathers, concelebrated.
Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll, Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters, received Sheila’s vows. Sr Julie Brand, Regional Leader of Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific was present along with religious from all branches of our Marist Family and other religious from near and far.
Sheila’s parents, her two sisters, her brother and their families were present, together with many friends and parishioners. It was a joyful, prayerful Eucharist with beautiful music and an excellent homily. Sheila pronounced her Vows with confidence. The Church was decorated with lovely greenery and pretty white flowers.
Afterwards everyone joined us for lunch in the nearby Parish pavilion, where caterers had prepared a delicious meal. During the meal we were entertained with items, including a Fijian meke presented by Srs Val and Biri, and a Kiribati dance presented by Sr Terube.
All the Marist Sisters of the Sector of the Philippines had been involved in helping Sheila to organise this special day, and of course Sr Torika, Sector Leader of the Philippines, expressed the joy of all Marist Sisters when she welcomed everyone at the beginning of Mass. Sheila expressed her own words of thanks at the end of the Eucharist. In particular she mentioned the Sisters of each part of our Region – New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the Philippines – who had been so significant in her journey towards Perpetual Profession.
On Saturday 19th November, Srs. Celina Gavia and Catherine Sariman, both from PNG, made their First Profession as Marist Sisters. Having completed their novitiate formation, they pronounced their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience in the Novitiate Chapel in Mintal, Davao City, The Philippines. Fr. Larry Sabud SM presided at the Eucharistic celebration.
Sr Veronica Lum, representing the Superior General of the Congregation, received their vows. Many members of the wider Marist Family (Fathers, Brothers, Missionary Sisters and Laity) were present, as well as all the Marist Sisters in the Sector of the Philippines.
They were also very happy with the presence of some of their neighbours and some people with whom Cathy and Celina had been involved in their weekly ministry outreach. After Mass all stayed to share in a lovely meal.
The International Marist Family Midlife Renewal Programme was officially opened on 2nd March with a prayerful Eucharistic celebration. Each participant from the four Marist branches was named and welcomed by their respective Superior General or Representative. Included in the group of nineteen particpants are three Marist Sisters from Fiji – Sr.Salome Dilagi, Sr.Mariana Maramaanicava and Sr.Mareta Nai Raikivi.
The programme is led by a team from the 4 branches of the Marist Family. Br. Barry Burns FMS (New Zealand), Fr. David Kennerley SM (New Zealand), Sr. Marie Challacombe SM (NZ/France) and Sr. Janice Ruff SMSM (Australia), and will run for 5 months.
The programme aims to support the participants in their mid-life journey of Christ-centred transformation for mission by:
- creating a welcoming and dynamic community where differences of charism, culture, gender and nationality may be honoured and explored,
- offering reflective, prayerful and creative processes along with new learnings which will enable participants to listen to, and share with others, their own inner resources of wisdom and truth, and to face their human, spiritual and vocational questions in liberating ways,
- exploring the depths and potential in the respective Marist spiritualities for building the Marian dimension of Church in our contemporary world,
- helping each individual to realise their own potential in being an effective agent for change in their communities, ministries and Congregations.
And, finally, the hope is that all will return home in such a way that the fruit of the program will endure in their lives as committed Marist apostles.
Eight Marists are participating in a formators’ program recently commenced at the Marymount Centre, Castle Hill, NSW. The six-month program offers specialised course components for formators and vocation ministers and runs concurrently with Marymount’s ‘New Life’ program. The two courses have attracted thirty-five participants from fifteen countries. A ninth Marist, Sr Makalita Finau SMSM (Tonga) is expected to join the group shortly. The Marists participating in the programme are appreciating the opportunity to spend this time together as a Marist Family group being enriched by the diversity of their lived experience of the Marist Charism in a variety of cultures.
Pictured above (L-R): Fr Boniface Besco SM (Marist novitiate, Tutu, Fiji), Sr Teresia Raione SM (Wairiki, Taveuni, Fiji), Sr Noelene Simmons SM (Vocations ministry, Sydney), Fr Peter McAfee SM (Marist novitiate, Mexico), Fr Chris Ganzon SM (postulant director, Davao, Philippines), Fr Kevin Conroy SM (Rector, Marist seminary, Auckland, NZ), Sr Julienne Hayes-Smith SMSM (Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Sr Joan Bernion SMSM (Manurewa, Auckland, NZ).