Celebrating Jean-Claude Colin


“And the Blessed Virgin,
who did such great things then,
will do even greater ones
at the end of time…” (Jean-Claude Colin)

Jean-Claude Colin, founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters, knew suffering at an early age.  Orphaned at the age of five he developed into a person with a deep longing for a life of solitude and strong desire to serve God.  It was while studying for the priesthood at the major seminary in Lyon he came into contact with the Marist project.  Despite his sensitive and timid temperament he was courageous in responding to the needs of his time.  He took his inspiration from the life of Mary in Nazareth and and from her presence as a mother in the early church.  On 15th November, the anniversary of his death, Marists throughout the world recall with gratitude the legacy of this man who teaches us what it is to live the Spirit of Mary in our times.

Regional Chapter Concludes

Regional Chapter - Day 7 (34)


Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific
Regional Chapter


Regional Chapter - Day 7 (32)The Regional Chapter of the Marist Sisters of Asia-Pacific has concluded! We have completed our various tasks and have much to share with our Sisters of the Region.  In the closing days of the Chapter eight delegates were elected to accompany the Regional Leader to the General Chapter to be held in Rome in April 2015.

RC - Day 9 (1)We celebrated our concluding Eucharist with Grahame Connolly sm. As we sang, Christ be our Light, Julie, as current Regional Leader, led us into the Chapel carrying our Regional candle. At the time of the Blessing each Chapter member signed the Record of Attendance and received from Julie a picture as a memento. Julie then passed the candle to Grace, Regional Leader- elect, who led us out.

RC - Day 9 (17)As we prepare to leave this hallowed place our hearts are full of gratitude and our steps are light – knowing that we are Women of the Word, Embracing Life!!!  We thank our God for all who have supported us in prayer throughout these days.


Chapter Update

Regional chapter - Day 4 (1)Each day preceding our work we gather for morning prayer together.  We then take time to share any reflections on our previous days work.  Having heard the reports from Sr Julie, Regional Leader, and also from the Sector Leaders our work has moved into a deeper phase of reflecting and questioning. It was with great delight that we were able to celebrate the birthday of one of our members on Day 3 with an evening social.

DSC00085The work of Day 4  involved reflecting on the Regional Bursars report. After lunch, a nine-seater bus and three cars took groups of participants to various places of interest, beauty spots and shopping centres and then on to Mt Albert. There nearly every Sister of the Sector was awaiting us. We were warmly welcomed, thoroughly entertained and extremely well fed.  With a certain reluctance, yet aware of the need to be fresh for the days ahead, we made our departure, thanking our God for all who had contributed to yet another wonderful day!  More photos…

Regional Chapter News

Day 1 AThe Marist Sisters of Asia-Pacific Regional Chapter began officially at 9.00am  on Sunday 19th October with the gathering of the members for the Opening Eucharist in the Chapel of the Vaughan Park Retreat Centre, Long Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.  David Kennerley sm, Provincial of the Marist Fathers NZ, led us  in our celebration of the Eucharist.

Day 1 CAt 11.00am we gathered in the Conference Room.  At the centre of our circle were two books: the Word to us through the Readings of the Day and the Word to us through our Sisters’ expressions of God’s Invitation to the Marist Sisters of Asia-Pacific.  Following the singing of Michael Herry’s “A Fire on the Earth”, Sr Julie  Brand, Regional Leader, a shared message from Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll sm, Congregational Leader, as well as those from other Marist Sisters and members of the Marist Family. She then handed over to Br Graham Neist fms, our facilitator.

Day 1 BOver the first two days time has been spent listening to and reflecting on Sr Julie’s report to the Chapter as well as reports from the Sector Leaders of Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the Philippines.  There is a wonderful spirit of deep listening  and sharing within the Chapter group.  More photos…

Powhiri Opens Regional Chapter

From Monica 2The delegates of the 2nd Regional Chapter of Asia-Pacific experienced a very sacred and moving experience as they gathered in Auckland.  The Powhiri – a Maori ritual of welcome given to all visitors to a marae in New Zealand- was led by Margaret Bhote and a group of Marist College Mt Albert students.  The ceremony began with the karanga (call) from the tangata whenua(home people).

It is customary to recall the living and the dead during a powhiri.  During the ceremony Sr Julie Brand, Regional Leader, carried into the chapel the photos of the Sisters of the Region who had died since the 2008 Regional Chapter. Sr Rita Raikuna, a General Councillor representing the Congregational Leadership Team and the wider Congregation, carried portraits of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin and Jean- Claude Colin, Founders of the Marist Sisters.

The Sector Leaders of Australia, Fiji, the Philippines and New Zealand were individually called forth. Each carried the photos of the sisters of their Sectors.  Opening Day 18th October (35)This was followed by the traditional hongi(pressing of noses), a sharing of the breath of life symbolising there are no longer visitors but one people together.  During the afternoon tea that followed this ceremony there was great excitement as sisters from the various parts of the Region exchanged greetings.  Eventually the delegates were called to journey to the chapter venue at Vaughan Park to settle in and prepare themselves for the opening liturgy of the Chapter on Sunday morning.  More photos…

Prayer for Regional Chapter

Women of the Word Embracing LifeMarist Sisters of Asia-Pacific
Regional Chapter
18-28th October 2014

A Chapter is a special time of grace for a Religious Congregation.  It is an opportunity to review the life and mission of the Congregation in the light of its Charism and founding spirit.  The Regional Chapter for the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific will take place in Auckland from 18th to 28th October.  Our Chapter theme – Women of the Word, Embracing Life – invites us “like Mary to a profound pondering of the Word: listening, hearing, and acting, remembering, rejoicing, and releasing the Word” (Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll, Congregational Leader, April 2014).

We invite you to pray with us as we journey towards this sacred event and also during the days of Chapter.  Download the Asia-Pacific Chapter Prayer.

Anniversary of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin’s Birth

ChavoinJeanne-Marie Chavoin, foundress of the Marist Sisters, was born on 29th August 1786 to Théodore Chavoin, aged 20, tailor, and Jeanne Verchère, aged 19, servant. Her parents may have been young and unprepared but it seems they made a good marriage and brought up their daughters in a loving, open, happy home. Jeanne-Marie grew in an atmosphere of practical faith and came to develop what could be termed “hidden holiness”. It was this quality which was later to provide the key to her vocation.

God of creation,
we praise and thank you for the birth of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin,
our foundress, Mother St Joseph.

We thank you for her parents, Théodore and Jeanne, for their love, their courage, their acceptance of responsibility and all they taught Jeanne-Marie.
We thank you for our own parents, the families which prepared us for life.

May Jeanne-Marie Chavoin intercede for us today,
that we may present a Marian face in our world –
a face of compassion, understanding and love,
a face which accepts people as they are,
yet encourages them to grow in goodness.

With them, may we be brought forth to the life of grace.
We pray this in the name of Jesus your Son. 

Sr Rose Celebrates her Diamond Jubilee

Rose celebrates her JubileeSr. Rose Harris celebrated her Diamond Jubilee with the Kaikohe community, including Sr. Margarita Bourke, on Saturday, 19th July.  Srs. Julie Brand and Lorraine Campbell were also present on this joyful occasion.  Rose renewed her Vows during a time of prayer.  A delicious meal followed, with the traditional toast and cutting of the Jubilee cake.  Rose and the Sisters living in Kaikohe had been unable to attend the Sector Jubilee celebrations the previous weekend due to severe flooding in the North.  Rose was delighted that her Diamond Jubilee could be celebrated in Kaikohe, though disappointed that not all the Sisters of the Sector of New Zealand could be present.

Aotearoa New Zealand Celebrations

Jubilee2014 047Marist Sisters from the Sector of Aotearoa New Zealand held their Assembly at Mt Albert from July 11th- 13th.  Sister Julie Brand, Regional Superior, facilitated the election of Sector Assistants Catherine Lawson and Marie Challacombe.  Unfortunately the four sisters from the North of New Zealand were prevented from coming because their route was flooded.Jubilee2014 030

On the Sunday, to acknowledge the Diamond Jubilee of Srs Marie Challacombe and Rose Harris,  a Mass was celebrated by Fr David Kennerley, sm  in the Mt Albert community chapel and followed by a special meal and the cutting of the Jubilee cake.  Unfortunately Sr Rose Harris was prevented from attending the celebration because of the floods in the north.  However her jubilee candle and her photo were placed in the chapel during the Mass.

Regional Newsletter No 1, 2014

BlueCongregationalCross-facebook.jpgIn a recently released issue of the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific Newsletter you can read about the work of the sisters with the homeless, those exploited, those recovering from trauma and those who are seeking God in their lives.  There is also a report on the events in Waitaruke, New Zealand, to acknowledge eighty-six years of service by the Marist Sisters.

Download your copy of the newsletter here.