In the Footsteps of Fr Colin

Three Marist Sisters from the Asia-Pacific Region are currently in Rome – Srs Lorraine Campbell (ANZ), Noelene Simmons (Aus) and Lilibeth Cajes (Ph) as members of the Marist Sisters Finance Committee. They took time to visit the Basilica of Santa Sabina. This is one of the Basilicas visited by Fr Jean Claude Colin, the Founder of the Marist Sisters, during his final visit to Rome.

Celebrating 90 Years of Marist Primary Mt Albert, New Zealand

On 7th February, 1927, Marist Primary opened its doors for the first group of students in the parish school.  Mother Bernard and Sr. Austin the two pioneer Marist Sisters had arrived on 24th January to make the Marist sisters foundation, some 70 years since the arrival of Bishop Pompallier and the priests and brothers of the Society of Mary.


Ninety years later the school opening was marked by the celebration of Mass, a birthday cake and a replica of the photo of the infant class in 1927.  The Marist Sisters were present to support the school and to celebrate with the staff, students and families.  Sr Lorraine gave a reflection linking the house patrons – Pompallier, Chavoin, Bernard and Austin to the gospel of the day that called on all to be united to the vine – Jesus, the vine of our ancestors in the faith, the church community, and to each other.  (Jn 15: 1-4)

Marist Sister from New Zealand Attends ACRATH Conference

Attending the ACRATH conference in Sydney recently was Sr Margaret Vaney from New Zealand. The theme of the conference was End the Scourge of Human Trafficking Now. Conference participants were given presentation on the presence of slavery in supply chains and how we can use our consumer power to bring about change. Margaret is a member of ANZRATH (Aotearoa-New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking in Humans). During the conference she spoke on the work ANZRATH is doing in New Zealand.

Sr Kathleen Daly sm

Sr Kathleen Daly sm was called to eternal life Saturday 28th January 2017.

Eternal Rest Grant to her O Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.Amen

At her funeral on Thursday 2nd February eulogies were delivered by Sr Julie Brand on behalf of the Marist Sisters and her cousin Jenny Menzies on behalf of Kathleen’s family.

Eulogy on behalf of the Marist Sisters:
Kathleen was always focussed on the goal ahead.  She was purposeful and knew her own mind.  And so it was that last Friday (27th January) she walked into the Office at St. Joseph’s and said she wished to go to Hospital, asking when the paramedics would arrive to take her.  This surprised us all, as Kathleen did not relish Hospital visits.  Only minutes after being placed in the Ambulance, Kathleen began to slip away.  Less than twenty four hours later, she had surrendered quietly and peacefully to our God, whom she had loved and served so faithfully throughout her life.

Kathleen was born in Sydney on 10th August 1926.  She was the third of five children born to Michael and Kathleen Daly – Gerald and Nola being the eldest, and Marie and Monica the youngest.  After the death of her parents, Kathleen and her siblings went to live with her aunt, uncle and five cousins.   The bonds they formed as a large family unit remained very strong and Kathleen would always delight in family gatherings and celebrations.  Kathleen attended St. Thomas’s Primary School, Lewisham, and Bethlehem College, Ashfield, before undertaking a Commercial course at St. Patrick’s Business College.  She then worked as a stenographer in a Government Department in Macquarie Street, Sydney.  Kathleen was actively involved in Parish life and when she was 19 years old she thought of becoming a Religious Sister.  It was while in the Confessional at St. Patrick’s, Church Hill, that a Marist Priest encouraged her, saying “What are you waiting for?” He suggested that she meet the Marist Sisters at Merrylands.  Kathleen said later, “I knew the day I went to Merrylands to ask to join the Marist Sisters, even though I had never known or met a Marist Sister, that I was led there by Divine Providence for Mary’s intention”.  Read more…

Eulogy on behalf of the Family:
Sr. Kathleen,
Sr.  Gonzaga,
Dickie, named by her father ‘his little dickie bird’.
Dickie was the name that came to be affectionally known and used by all her family.

Dickie was born 10th August, 1926 in Tempe. She was the third in line in her family. She had an older brother, Gerald, who has passed away, and three sisters, who are still alive today – her older sister Noelene (Nola) and two younger sisters, Marie and Monica. Dickie’s parents were Michael & Kathleen Daly. Michael was born in County Clare, Ireland, and Kathleen was born in Australia. After they married they lived in Tempe and later moved to Summer Hill.

When Dickie was a young teenager her life and that of her siblings was to change dramatically when sadly her father died and a couple of years later their mother also passed away. However, out of sadness came that unique Irish Catholic spirit of generosity. Her mother’s sister, Alice, and her husband, Uncle Jack Connell, were about to offer an extraordinary gift of love. Aunty Alice and Uncle Jack also had 5 children – Kathleen, Molly (who became a nursing sister with the Little Company of Mary), Eileen, Kevin and Jack. Kevin & Eileen are still with us today.

So with this large family already in place, Aunty Alice and Uncle Jack took the five Daly children into their small Dulwich Hill home. What a magnificent charitable act, suddenly raising 10 children! The stories I’ve heard over the years are of a house full of laughter, joy, love. In one small kitchen on any weekend Uncle Jack loved listening to the races on the radio, Aunty Alice always cooking something in the oven and 8 wonderful women chatting and laughing in the kitchen, and many long hours playing hopscotch or rounders with the boys. Read more…

Welcome Sr Grace

Gathering Woolwich Jan 21 2017. Ritual Farewell of Woolwich, welcome Grace (49)Marist Sisters in Australia gathered in Woolwich on Saturday 21st January to welcome our Congregational Leader, Sr Grace Ellul, home to Australia. Grace is making her official visitation of our Unit. It was a very joyous occasion.

The afternoon began with a time of prayerful reflection during which we recalled that 200 years ago Jeanne Marie Chavoin and Marie Jotillon left home and family to begin the sisters branch of the Marist Family. Afternoon tea followed giving us an opportunity to enjoy catching up with Grace and each other. Grace was also able to catch up with a former Australian Congregational Leader, Sr Margaret Purcell.

World Day of Peace 2017

pope-francis-facebook-dovePope Francis has delivered a message entitled Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace for the 2017 World Day of Peace which occurs on 1st January. He urges us to imitate Jesus who marked out the path of nonviolence putting an end to hostility (cf. Eph 2:14-16). Quoting the words of St John Paul II Pope Francis reminds us of the fact that “momentous change in the lives of people, nations and states had come about by means of peaceful protest, using only the weapons of truth and justice”.

As we celebrate the World Day of Peace on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, let us ask Mary to guide us that we might be instruments of peace and nonviolence in our world.

Read the full text of the Pope’s message here.

Christmas Wishes

In the tender compassion of our Godxmas-shepherds2
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
                                                       (Lk 1: 78-79)

May the gifts of peace and joy be with you this Christmas and carry you through the New Year.

Congratulations Sr Biri

biri-graduates-from-corpus-christiSr Birisita Bibi recently graduated from Corpus Christi Training College in Suva Fiji. Our Sisters’ contribution to Catholic Education in Fiji is well known – from those missionaries in the early days who staffed the Teachers’ College and ran the schools from which so many of our vocations came to the local Sisters who continue to serve schools in Lami, Levuka, Nadelei and Suva, as well as reaching out to the Indian community and training catechists. You are following in a great tradition, Biri! We are proud of you! May you, and the students you teach in the coming years, be richly blessed.

A Pilgrim’s Reflections

Sr Kate McPhee kate-in-spain2has shared the following reflection on her recent pilgrimage to Spain:

“For the first 3 weeks of October I was invited to be a participant in an Adult Pilgrimage to Spain organized by and for staff members of Cerdon College.  The trip to Spain was unforgettable. An incredible country with an even more incredible history, I don’t think I really prepared myself for the cross culture/religious mix that has marked Spain and its history.  It was an experience that will take me some time to reflect upon and process.

We covered a big part of Spain, beginning in Madrid, visiting Toledo and Segovia (where Teresa and John of the Cross once lived), then south to Granada which included a day at the Alhambra Palace, then over towards the west to Seville then up through Salamanca, Avila and onto Santiago de Compostela.  From there we went further north crossing over the top of Spain towards San Sebastian (near the Pyrenees).  We then made our way down heading west towards the coast, stopping in Pamplona, Sabadell, Manresa, Montserrat and finally arriving in Barcelona from where I came back to Sydney. Read more…

Remembering Fr Jean Claude Colin

founder-jean-claude-colin“In your difficulties,
in your troubles,
in your zealous plans,
in the problems of your ministry,
do you have recourse to God,
do your thoughts turn immediately
to prayer, to God?”
(A Founder Speaks, 132.6)

On this anniversary of the death of Jean Claude Colin, Founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters, we give thanks for the witness of this humble and courageous man. We pray that, like him, all Marists will have a deep dependence on God and a deep resolve to be Mary’s compassionate presence in our world.