Marist Vocation Forum

Year 12 Cerdon College Merrylands students, accompanied by Sr Kate McPhee, recently atended the Marist Vocation Forum. They are seen in the photo at the end of a wonderful weekend with other students from Marist Brothers’ schools. The Yr 12 Marist Vocation Forum is the initiative of the Marist Brothers and is led by the Marist Youth Ministry team at The Hermitage, Mittagong.  A very insightful and reflective weekend for these young people as they prepare to complete their school journey this year.

70 Years of Marist Commitment

Marist Sisters in Aotearoa-New Zealand recently gathered for their assembly. During their time together they also celebrated the 70th anniversary of Profession for Sr Patricia Bowley sm. Bishop Pat Dunne, Bishop of Auckland presided at the Jubilee Mass.

Congratulations Patricia on your many years of faithful service as a Marist Sister. We wish you many blessings as you continue to follow Christ by living the Gospel as Mary did.

(Click on the images below to see larger version.)

St Peter Chanel, Martyr of Oceania

It has long been a tradition within the Marist Family that we pray to St Peter Chanel for vocations. On this the feast of St Peter Chanel, 28th April, we invite you to join with us in prayer. May we all have a deeper commitment to our vocation as Christians and also pray for vocation to the priesthood and religious life.

May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church,
watch over each tiny seed of a vocation
in the hearts of those whom the Lord calls
to follow him more closely.

May she help it grow into a mature tree,
bearing much good fruit
for the Church and for all humanity.

St Peter Chanel, you left your homeland
to proclaim Jesus.
Like you, may our lives bring forth
a witness of joyful commitment to Jesus.

Call forth from our midst
many workers for the Gospel,
so God’s love may reach the ends of the earth.
We ask this prayer through Jesus our brother. Amen.

Sr Margarita Burke sm

Sr Margarita Burke sm was called to eternal life on Sunday 8th April 2018.

Eternal rest grant to her, O Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

We extend our prayerful sympathy to the Marist Sisters in Aotearoa-New Zealand and to Sr Margarita’s family.

On the Outer Barcoo

Sr Mary Farrelly shares some insights about her ministry in outback Queensland.

“Some months ago the little town of Yaraka, situated a couple of hours south of Longreach, celebrated 100 years since the arrival of the railway. On the outskirts we read a sign: The Town at the End of the Railway. In fact, it no longer was! The government had announced closure of the line the previous September. Nevertheless, because the railway had been a significant part of the town’s history this was an occasion to remember. I was able to join in the celebration. This included a trip around the local area with a stop at the site where it is believed that the original “Bush Christening” took place! While we stood around the remains of a dwelling and an old log – said to have replaced the original in which McGuiness McGee had taken refuge – one of our group recited Banjo’s poem:

“On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few
And men of religion are scanty…”

 Whether it is the outer Barcoo, Cooper Creek, the Diamantina River or the Georgina: the further west you go in the Diocese, the less likely you are to find a church of any denomination. Even less likely are you to find a catholic priest living in the vicinity. West of Longreach the celebration of Mass is irregular at best (and that in a CWA Hall) and more likely a non-event or something which happens once every two or three or more years. This is the reality of life in rural and remote Queensland. As such it is very different from life on the coast. Even though priests are fewer everywhere and parishes have been required to amalgamate, it is relatively easy – even if necessary to travel some kilometres – to join a local community for the celebration of Mass and other Sacraments. By contrast where the churches are few and men of religion are scanty, one’s “practice” of the Christian faith is necessarily different. I learnt this during my personal experience of almost 12 years in the western pastoral ministry. What a contrast!”

Reflection Day in Australia

On Friday 9th March a number of sisters in Australia gathered for a reflection day. The day was facilitated by Marist Brother, Graham Neist. During the day we recalled that following on from the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter in 2015 we had been asked to discern as a group the form of governance we desired for our Unit of Australia. Time was then spent reflecting on what  form of governance would be life giving for us as we move into the future. Days such as this one are an opportunity for us to be together and share on of our life as Women of the Word Embracing Life.

Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice

The United Nations General Assembly recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that it cannot be attained in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms. On 26 November 2007, the General Assembly declared 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice. The theme for 2018 World Social Justice Day is Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice. In his message for World Social Justice Day, International Labour Organisation(ILO) Director-General, Mr. Guy Ryders said “Migrant workers, like all workers, are entitled to fair treatment and fair treatment for migrant workers is also key to preserving the social fabric of our societies and to sustainable development.”

Throughout the world Marist Sisters are committed to  “accompanying by prayer – and where possible, our actions – all peoples in situation where life is at risk'” (General Chapter 2015). In the Asia Pacific Region sisters are actively working to be a voice for refugees and asylum seekers and for women, men and children who have been trafficked or exploited in situations of forced labour.

A Star Guides – A Vision Unfolds

On the feast of the Epiphany, Marist Sisters under 60 years of age gathered in Senegal, West Africa. Travelling from travelling from Australia, Brazil, England, Fiji, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines and including Sisters already in West Africa this was a meeting of minds and hearts, an opportunity to share experiences and dream together. Over a period of about four weeks participants reflected together on  themes such as Contemplative Dialogue, Balance and Self Compassion, Leadership and Resilience, Vision and Prophetic Witness. While experiencing the rich culture of West Africa there was also time for the participants to share their own cultural heritage. All participants agreed the experiences they shared helped them to grow together as a group and to deepen even further their sense of Mission and of the Spirit of Mary.