Emmanuel Catholic School opened in 1983. At the invitation of the Bishop of Rockhampton the Marist Sisters were invited to administer the new school. Recently Sr Noelene Simmons, a former staff member of Emmanuel, was invited to return to Mackay for the 40th anniversary celebrations. It was a great joy for her to join with the Emmanuel community at the 40th Anniversary Mass held in St Joseph’s Parish Church, North Mackay and then attend the anniversary dinner. Many former staff members and students attended these celebrations.
While in Mackay Noelene shared the Marist story and answered questions about the history of Emmanuel and her life and mission as a religious sister with students in all year levels at Emmanuel. She also talked about modern slavery and explained that choosing Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance approved chocolate, coffee and tea can make a real difference in the lives of children and adults working in these industries. Noelene was also invited to speak at the Holy Spirit College assembly, the College staff meeting and to a number of Yr 8 and 12 classes. Holy Spirit College was initially part of Emmanuel. The two schools are situated on the same campus and share a close relationship.
Both Emmanuel Catholic Primary School and Holy Spirit College value their Marist foundation. The Marist Cross is proudly displayed on the administration buildings and in classrooms.
The annual day of prayer for the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO) was held on 13th May. The theme of this event was Living Synodality. In Fiji, Marist Sisters from Suva and Nadi joined with the women of St Mary’s Parish Nadi to observe this day.
Thanks to the hospitality of the Marist Fathers Community Maryvale/Montbel a number of Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Brothers were able to gather to celebrate the beginning of 2023 at Montbel on 5th January. The level of chatter and laughter signified a good time was had by all.
For a child has been born for us,
A son given to us;
Authority rests on his shoulders;
And he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Might God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The Marist Sisters send all our friends and supporters prayerful wishes for a Christmas and New Year rich in blessings. May this Christmas be a time of peace and joy as we once again welcome the Christ child into our lives.
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered to celebrate our sisters celebrating jubilees – Srs Clare Francis and Marie Patricia, both 75 years professed, and Sr Fidelis McTeigue, 60 years professed. The celebration of the Eucharist in the Marist Fathers Montbel Chapel, Hunters Hill was presided over by Fr Paul Mahony sm. During the Eucharist the sisters renewed their vows.
Following the Mass all those present shared a light lunch together. A highlight of the lunch was the cutting of the Jubilee cake by the three jubilarians.
We congratulate our jubilarians and wish them many blessings as they continue to live their Marist commitment.
A group of Marist Sisters gathered in Sydney recently to consider how we as Marist Sisters, each according to her situation, might respond to the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation issues which seem paramount for us. Our concerns for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation are rooted in the Gospel and its call to live as disciples of Jesus. We are also impelled by the Church’s social teaching which Pope Francis draws on and is articulating in many ways, and by our Marist vocation to live Mary’s spirit in all aspects of our lives.
This conversation highlighted the many ways in which sisters are responding to a variety of issues in our prayer, in interactions, small or large, that we might have with people, in our support of particular advocates and agencies, in our reading and gathering of information. The sisters left the meeting energised and with renewed commitment to seek justice for those who are vulnerable and for our common home.
On June 17, the Unit of Aotearoa-New Zealand gathered in the Mt Albert community chapel for a special Jubilee Mass celebrated by the local Parish priest, Fr Carlos. Celebrating their jubilees were Sr Shirley, 70 years, and Srs Patricia Sarju, Margaret Cross, and Marie Therese Ranum, 60 years. Mass was followed by a very fine lunch. Margaret was not able to take part in the celebration on the day but she was prayed for her!
The next day the sisters gathered again for “Matariki” – the time when we begin again, plant again, pray for our deceased members, forgive again and share a feast together. This occasion is inspired by the Maori New Year which is indicated by the constellation called “Matariki” . It also coincided with Laudato Si and Goal 6 featuring “ecological spirituality”.
Sr Clare Francis celebrated 100 years of life on 6th August. Her Marist Sisters gathered with her to celebrate this incredible milestone. Family came from as far away as New Zealand to celebrate with Clare.
In proposing a toast to Clare, Sr Gail Reneker spoke of the various ministries Clare has been involved in during her long life, her outreach to so many people and her delight in truth, beauty and goodness.
At the Marist Sisters General Chapter held earlier this year Australian Marist Sister Kate McPhee was elected to be a General Councillor for a period of seven year. Kate left Sydney for Rome on 6th August to take up her role as a member of the Congregation Leadership Team.
A number of sisters were at the airport to farewell Kate. While Kate will be missed in Australia, we wish her well in this important ministry for the Congregation.