“We remain faithful to praying for our Sisters whom God has called to himself.” (Marist Sisters Constitutions 46)
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered recently for a liturgy of remembrance and thanksgiving. The liturgy involved a pilgrimage to the grave sites where sisters who have died in Sydney, Australia, are buried. These women and all deceased Marist Sisters have shared our Marist life and lived in fidelity so we remember, honour and celebrate them.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen
Urged on by the commitment of the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter 2015
“to networking with other groups working for justice in order to counteract the violence being inflicted on people and the environment,”
Marist Sisters in Australia are working towards divesting
from fossil fuels.
Dependence on fossil fuels is contributing to adverse climate change which affects everyone but especially the poor and vulnerable. In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls on us to reduce carbon emissions and develop sources of renewable energy. Divesting of fossil fuels is one way that we can be stewards of God’s gift of creation so that life in all its forms can be sustained now and into the future.
Once again we come towards the end of another year. We celebrate that beautiful Season of Christmas – the birth of our saviour. Sometimes it is hard to get past the commercialism of Christmas with all the rush and bustle. However, if we can stop and reflect on what great love God has for us we can use this time to give God thanks for all the blessings of the past year and look forward to what is to come. Read more in the Marist Sisters Australia December Newsletter…
“This year our minds cannot help but dwell on the millions of people fleeing persecution and conflict and who like Mary and Joseph find that ‘there is no room at the inn’. Christianity is rooted in history. Bethlehem is past history. Yet, the story goes on. It is not Mary and Joseph looking for a room at the inn now, but the millions of people, ordinary men/women/children, who are asking for a place of safety and an opportunity to live normal lives.” (Extracts from a letter from Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters to all the sisters.)
In response to the refugee crisis the Marist Sisters in Australia have made one of their houses available for refugee accommodation. In the photo Sr Kate, Bursar of Australia, can be seen handing over the keys of the property to the refugee support organisation that will oversee the placement of refugees in the property.
On Saturday 12th December, Marist Sisters in Australia came together to celebrate a new beginning – the Design for Life for the Unit of Australia. The afternoon’s prayerful reflection began with the viewing of a video in which Sr Grace Ellul, Congregtional Leader, addressed all Marist Sisters reminding us that “we are called to live as Marist women embracing life in our tiny little corner of the universe…It is Mary’s work we have pledged ourselves to do and we trust our Good Mother to be with us as we journey forward in her Name.” During the final stages of the prayer Sr Cath Lacey, Unit Leader of Australia, presented each Sister with a copy of the Design for Life and also a copy of the General Statutes of our Congregation. Following the prayer there was a delicious afternoon tea and time for much talking and rejoicing.
Click on an image below to see an enlarged version.
On Pentecost Sunday 2014 Marist Sisters in Australia came together to celebrate the Jubilees of Srs Gabriel Forster (70 years) and Sr Patricia Bartley (60 years). Frs Paul Mahony sm and Chris Sarkis were the main celebrants at the Mass of Pentecost during which Srs Gabriel and Patricia renewed their vows.
At the beginning of Mass a heart containing the names of all who had begun their Marist novitiate in Oceania was placed on the statue of Mary symbollic of the fact that as we are chosen by Mary she carries us in her heart. After Mass the celebration continued with afternoon tea during which there was a sharing on the lives of the jubilarians and the cutting of the jubilee cake. Between them Srs Gabriel and Patricia have ministered in five countries. More photos…
NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia each year in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The theme for this year’s celebration celebrates the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions to the Federal Parliament. The petitions protested the Commonwealth’s granting of mining rights on land excised from Arnhem Land reserve and sought the recognition the Australian Parliament of the Yolngu people’s traditional rights and ownership of their lands. The petitions were the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth parliament and helped to shape the nation’s acknowledgment of Aboriginal people and their land rights.
Marist Sisters in Australia rejoice in the rich heritage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We pray that their culture may be treasured and respected by us all.
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered recently to celebrate 210 years of faithful Marist commitment. Srs Mary Farrelly and Gemma Pearson celebrated their Golden Jubilee while Srs Marie Clarke and Veronica Taylor celebrated their Diamond Jubilee.
Fr Gary Reynolds sm led the Eucharistic Thanksgiving in the Woolwich College Chapel for which music was provided by Marist lay friends, Margaret Woods, Anita Fry and Suzie Whitaker. We were joined too by some family members who enjoyed the chance to mingle afterwards over delicious refreshments at Marian House. All agreed we have much to thank God for in these four Marist women!
The global situation in this area is worrying. Many thousands are fleeing their countries of origin, leaving their homes, because they are at risk of losing their lives. There are people in our midst in Australia who share their stories of prison and torture, stories of so many family members who had been killed.
As Marist Sisters in Australia, we ally ourselves with many Australians who care and who desire to see our government put in place policies that are compassionate. We are concerned about recent happenings.
On 7th November, the Haberfield community of the Marist Sisters, attended a screening of “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”. The evening was hosted by Amnesty International, Edmund Rice Centre and the House of Welcome, all of whom addressed the audience before the movie, sharing their concerns as groups who are engaged in helping refugees and asylum seekers. The movie treats of the plight of asylum seekers who attempt to make their way to Australia by boat, through Indonesia.
Boat journeys are in fact a big risk and many lives have been lost at sea. People who venture on these journeys are desperate. With many other Australians who are presently feeling shame with regard to current policies in this area, we would urge Australia to put in place measures, including those from the Houston Report, that would facilitate access to the granting of refugee status and visas to our shores.