In 2014 the United Nations General Assembly designated 30th July to be the World Day against Trafficking in Persons aware of the need for “raising awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
Human trafficking is a global problem. No country is immune from this crime. People can be enslaved and exploited in situations of sexual slavery, forced labour in agriculture, hospitality, construction, mining and fishing industries; people can be enslaved and exploited in domestic servitude, by having their organs harvested, and in times of conflict and following natural disasters.
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region are involved in counter human trafficking work. We invite you to take action against this heinous crime by joining with us in prayer on this World Day Against Human Trafficking. Click here for a prayer service.
In 1816, in the chapel of Our Lady of Fourvière, twelve seminarians dared to dream that they could make a difference in the world by beginning a congregation in Mary’s name. Today, two hundred years later, Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Laity are spread throughout the world. We ask you to join with us in celebrating the Pledge of Fourvière on 23rd July. We pray that like the men of Fourvière we will be fired with zeal as we strive to “work together for the greater glory of God and the honour of Mary.”
Mary, of Fourvière, show us what love is
and from where it draws its origin
and its constantly renewed power.
Holy Mary, good Mother of Fourvière,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son ‐ the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call
and this became a wellspring of the goodness
which flows forth from him.
You inspired the first Marists to create a Society
dedicated to showing the Marian face of the Church.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world. Amen.
On Sunday 1st May Marist Sisters throughout the Congregation rejoiced at the news that a new novice had been received in New Zealand. Sr Lavenia Laweimoala from Fiji is now a member of the novitiate community in Auckland, NZ.
The theme of Lavenia’s reception ceremony was “I have called you by your name and you are mine“.The picture of Our Lady in Coutouvre on the front of the reception ceremony booklet was a reminder of our links with Mary, Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, Foundress of the Marist Sisters, and of our Marist origins. During the ceremony New Zealand Unit Leader, Sr Gemma Wilson, asked Lavenia what she was seeking. Lavenia responded by asking to be accepted into the Marist Sisters who, in turn, responded positively. After Lavinia had signed the Novices Register and the forms for Reception into the Marist Sisters, Gemma presented her with a copy of the Constitutions and General Statutes and a Marian Medal signifying her status now as a Novice of the Marist Sisters. The final hymn of joy and gratitude was the Magnificat!
The ceremony was followed by a celebratory afternoon tea. Lavenia is grateful for the many prayerful wishes she received from sisters throughout the Congregation as she begins the next phase of her Marist journey.
It is with a sense of relief and thanksgiving we are able to report that the Marist Sisters in Fiji are safe following the worst cyclone on record for Fiji. However, they have been through a harrowing time and now they are facing the long clean-up.
Worst affected are our Sisters in Nadelei, Mareta and Titilia, who have lost their home as the photos show. They have been sheltering in the school with the local people. All are affected by power shortages, making communication very difficult. In some places there are water shortages as well. There is a difficult time ahead for Fiji. The Sisters are most grateful for our prayerful support and ask that we continue praying for them and for the people of Fiji during the work of restoration.
There was great rejoicing when Marist Sisters in Fiji gathered in Nadi on 8th December to celebrate the birth of the Unit of Fiji. As the sisters gathered around Mary’s statue, they were very conscious of being one family with all Units of the Congregation.
During a time of prayerful reflection the Sisters untied knots in a chord to symbolize Mary’s action of untying the complexities of our lives and bringing us to Jesus. No celebration in Fiji is complete without a feast. Included in the feast was the cutting of a birthday cake to mark the birth of the Unit of Fiji.
Click on an image below to see the enlarged version.
On this feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the inaugural day of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Marist Sisters throughout the world are marking a historical moment when our Congregation is taking on a new shape as one WHOLE made up of 13 Units. The Marist Sisters’ General Chapter held in April 2015 invited us to be Women of the Word, embracing live and to affirm the values of diversity and flexibility. The Chapter did not decide on governance structures, but has opened the way for each current Sector to reflect on its situation and its needs. From this fresh starting point, each group is invited to shape its future governance model according to its own reality. The vital issue is the life of the Unit, the mission of the Unit, its desire to promote and enhance life.
Sr Grace Ellul, Congregational Leader, in her video address to the Congregation urged us to open wide our hearts, our minds, our very selves and embrace the Whole that we are as Congregation. Let us cultivate an awareness of the Whole, be in touch with the Whole, be interested in the Whole, pray with the Whole. Unit Leaders, I invite you to establish networks among yourselves and to keep your Units connected with others.
Two Marist Sisters and one Marist Missionary Sister are amongst the participants of programs at Marymount Mercy Centre, Castle Hill, NSW.
Sr Mariana Tevurega SM and Sr Petra Mario SMSM are close to completing the‘New Life’ renewal program, while Sr Titilia Tupou SM, in preparation for final vows, will graduate on Nov 29 from the program inspired by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Costing nothing less than everything’. Prior to completing the programs the sisters will be on retreat from 11th to 19th November. Our prayers are with them over these days.
The three sisters, all Fijian, join a succession of members of the Marist family who have enjoyed Marymount’s programs.
As we once again reflect on and celebrate the Paschal Mystery, the Marist Sisters send you prayerful wishes for a very happy and blessed Easter. May our celebrations renew our hope in God’s promise of fullness of life for all.
The Marist Sisters invite you to join with them in praying for their General Chapter which will take place in Nemi, Italy 8-29th April. A Chapter is a very significant event in the life of a Religious Congregation. It is significant that the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter is taking place during the Year of Consecrated Life.
Click here for a suggested prayer. During the Chapter news items will be regularly uploaded to the General Chapter website.
Each year on 2nd February we celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life. Pope Francis has also proclaimed 2015 to be the Year of Consecrated Life. During this year he challenges religious to “Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of living!
In 2015 this day has special significance for the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific. The new Regional Leadership Team begins their three year mandate. Sr Grace Ellul will take up the role of Regional Leader while Srs Vivienne Goldstein and Marian Tevurega will be her Regional Councillors. We ask God’s blessing on our new leadership team. We pray that with them we might more deeply “follow Jesus by living the Gospel as Mary did.”
In welcoming our new leadership team we also pray in gratitude for the leadership of Sr Julie Brand over the last six year and for her councillors, Srs Margaret Vaney (6 years) and Vivienne Goldstien(3 years).