Unit Gathering in Sydney

On Saturday 4th March, Marist Sisters from the Unit of Australia came together to deepen their commitment to the safe-guarding of children and vulnerable adults. Led by Sr Ruth Davis, the sisters reviewed the Marist Sisters’ Policy and Guidelines for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. There was an opportunity for sisters to discuss the various aspects of the policy and to understand their responsibility in this regards. The sisters affirmed their commitment to live with care and compassion for all and to foster a culture of safety and care for all persons by signing a Code of Professional Conduct.

While gathered the sisters took the opportunity to pray a prayer of blessing for the sisters who will be attending the 30th General Chapter of the Marist Sisters in Rome in April 2022.

 

75 Years of Marist Profession

On 5th February Sr Clare Francis will celebrate the 75th anniversary of her profession as a Marist Sister. Clare you are a living example of commitment and fidelity that inspires us in our Marist journey.

We rejoice with Clare and give thanks for her many years of Marist service in Australia and New Zealand. We ask God’s continued blessings for Clare in this her jubilee year.

New Leadership Team in Australia

Marist Sisters in Australia gathered at Hunters Hill on 4th December to ritualise the change of Leadership that will take place on 8th December. Sr Gail Reneker will take up the role of Unit Leader of Australia with Srs Julie Brand and Beverley Lewis as her Assistants. The gathering was also an opportunity to give thanks to Sr Catherine Lacey who has been Unit Leader for the past seven years and to Sr Ruth Davis for her role as Unit Assistant for the last three years.

During a simple and prayerful liturgy, recognising that leadership is a call to love and service, the outgoing leadership team washed the hands of the new team. Cath then handed the Unit Candle to Gail as the sisters present extended their hands and prayed a prayer of blessing over Gail, Julie and Bev. At the conclusion of the prayer Julie, on behalf of the sisters of the Unit expressed gratitude to Cath and Ruth for their years of faithful service.

Afternoon tea followed the time of prayer. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this was the first time the sisters had been able to gather sine July 2020. Just being together was a joy and blessing for all present.

 

Season of Creation

Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region celebrated the Season of Creation in various ways. The Season of Creation provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our common home, the Earth, and commit to ways of respecting and protecting it into the future.

In Fiji the sisters do this simply by planting their own vegetables, keeping their environment clean, pot planting, planting root crops and composting.

In the Raiwaqa community Sr Rosemary put together a display depicting creation from the beginning and the current devastating state of the earth -the natural and man -made destructive forces brought  about through the effects of climate change. Many of the psalms sing in praise of God’s creation. As Bearers of Hope, we believe the Earth is alive and vibrant and wish to do all in our power to protect it.

 

 

In the Sefton Community in Australia, Srs Gail and Kate celebrated the Congregation feastday, the Holy Name of Mary, with a practical response to the Season of Creation. They did a make over of their garden.

Celebrating Despite Covid-19 Lockdown

Sisters in the Merrylands community gathered to renew their vows on September 12, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation in greater Sydney it was impossible to come together physically especially as three of the five community members live in an aged care facility.

Srs Bev and Judith gathered and lit a candle for each of the sisters in community.  Srs Julia, Veronica and Therese were able to connect by phone and together they joined in prayer and renewed their vows before concluding with the Salve Regina.

Celebrating 99 Years of Life

Australian Marist Sister Clare Francis celebrated her 99th birthday recently. As she resides in an aged care facility she was unable to have visitors on her birthday due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Staff at Southern Cross Residential Aged Care in Marsfield did not let her birthday pass unnoticed. The kitchen staff made her a delicious cake which she enjoyed sharing with the other residents. Clare also received cards and phone calls from the sisters in Australia and beyond.

We look forward to celebrating with you on your 100th birthday next year Clare.

 

Celebrating the Marist Project

We, the undersigned,
striving to work together for the greater Glory of God and
the honour of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus,
assert and declare our sincere intention and firm will of consecrating ourselves,
at the first opportunity, to founding the pious congregation of Marists.

That is why by the present act and our signatures, in so far as we can, 
we irrevocably dedicate ourselves and all our goods
to the Society of the Blessed Virgin.
(Pledge of Fourvière, 23rd July 1816)

The anniversary of the Pledge of Fourvière each year is a time for Marist throughout the world to recall with gratitude the beginnings of the Marist Family. On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians climbed the 800 steep steps from the City of Lyon to the Chapel of Our Lady of Fourvière. Here they committed themselves to the Marist project.

The Marist project has grown to be a family of five branches – Marist Father, Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist laity – with a presence throughout the world.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions it will not be possible in some countries for Marist to come together physically for prayer and celebration this year. This will not dampen our enthusiasm to recall the Fourvière event and to renew our own commitment to the Marist project. Online opportunities are being provided for Marists to connect, give thanks, recommit and celebrate. One such opportunity has been prepared by Marist Laity Australia. For information on how you can connect with Marist in Australia click here. All are welcome to join with Marists in prayer and thanksgiving on this day.

Congratulations Sr Joan

On 15th July, Australian Marist Sister, Sr Joan McBride, celebrated the 70th Anniversary of her profession as a Marist Sister. Due to Covid-19 restrictions it was not possible for Joan to have visitors on the day. However the staff of St Joseph’s Aged Care Facility in Hunters Hill and other Marist Sisters resident in the facility did their best to make the day special for Joan.

We give thanks for Joan’s many years of faithful service and for the inspiration she has been to many. We ask God’s blessing on Joan as she continues living the Gospel as Mary did.

Chavoin Day at Cerdon College

Cerdon College Merrylands takes Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, Foundress of the Marist Sisters, as their College Patron. Each year around her feastday the College sets aside a day to celebrate Jeanne-Marie Chavoin within the school community.  This year because of the limitations imposed by Covid-19 the College was not able to have a full school Mass. Therefore, a liturgical celebration was held within the school setting.

Jeanne-Marie Chavoin came ‘back to the future’ and was interviewed by a student in a 21st century context.  The occasion this year also marked the end of 61 years of physical presence of a Marist Sister on the Cerdon College Staff.  Sr Kate McPhee, after a long association with the College, finished serving in school ministry moving on to minster elsewhere.

There is no doubt that the Marist Spirit is truly alive and well among the staff and students of Cerdon College and the Marist Sisters are confident that Mary’s spirit will continue to permeate the life of the College Community into the future.