Marist Students Study Human Trafficking

As part of the Human Rights component of their Legal Studies course, Year 12 students at Marist Sisters College Woolwich are studying Human Trafficking. Recently ACRATH member, Noelene Simmons sm, was a guest speaker for the class. The presentation included an explanation of what human trafficking is and the forms it takes in Australia and beyond, the legislation that exists in Australia to fight against this crime and the actions we can take to help in eliminating human trafficking and slavery. The students were very engaged throughout the presentation. Comments from the students include:

“Sister Noelene’s presentation opened my eyes to the injustice within the global community in relation to human trafficking and how we as young adults can act to strive for a more equal world.” (Emma)

“The presentation was really informative and helped me understand more about human trafficking and slavery issues within our world. The ethical brands booklet is very interesting, it’s good to learn more about the products I buy. (Cinzia)

“Sister Noelene’s presentation was engaging and really emphasised the ways that us as a community can make a difference in stopping modern day slavery” (Lauren)

Farewell to Woolwich

Saturday 8 December 2018 was a day of significance for the Marist Sisters in Australia.

The day began with a prayer of farewell to our property at Woolwich.  Woolwich was the foundation community in Australia when the Marist Sisters arrived in Sydney some 110 years ago.  We had much to acknowledge and remember… including

  • the support, service and friendship shown us by the Marist Fathers from the beginnings till now;
  • the many thousands of teachers, students  and their families of Marist Sisters College, Woolwich;
  • those who had worked with us in caring for the property including the doctors, nurses, carers and cooks who have been so much part of Marian House since its beginning in 1979;

After singing the song “Holy Ground” those gathered were invited to a time of quiet reflection on the people, things, events and experiences which were part of our years at Woolwich.

At the conclusion of the prayer we adjourned to the dining room where we continued to share stories and memories over lunch.

At the conclusion of the meal, during a prayer, members of the former leadership team lit the Unit of Australia candle and passed the candle to the new leadership team of Sr Cath Lacey (Unit Leader) and her two assistants Julie Brand and Ruth Davis.

Foundress Day at Marist Sisters College Woolwich

Students, staff and parents from Marist Sisters College Woolwich and a number of Marist Sisters gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney to celebrate Foundress Day. During the Mass Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, Foundress of the Marist Sisters, was acknowledged.

At the beginning of the celebration College Principal, Dr Anne Ireland, launched the College’s renewed Marist Vision Statement.: Developing a Compass for Life. The young women of the College will be provided with opportunities that enable them to “think, judge, feel and act” as Mary and so be assisted to navigate their way through all aspects of life. There are four dimension to the vision – Courage for Life, Sisters for Life, Empower for Life and Gift for Life.

MSCW is committed to providing opportunities for young women  to develop these four dimensions
and to prepare graduates equipped with a ‘Marist Compass’ to successfully navigate Life
and make a 
valuable contribution to a better community and world.

Blessing and Opening of Navua

KateSr Kate McPhee represented the Marist Sisters in Australia and the blessing and opening of the new boatshed at Marist Sisters, College Woolwich.

The name for the boatshed, Navua, is the name of one of the ships that brought the first Marist Sisters to Australia.

The pioneering sisters, Mother Melanie, Sr Cyrille and Sr Odilon, arrived in Sydney Harbour on 31st December 1907. Marist Father Kevin Bates blessed  the boat shed during the opening ceremony.

Click on an image to see an enlarged version.

Foundress Day at Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich

FoundressOn 27th June the Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich community gathered to celebrate Eucharist and to honour Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, Foundress of the Marist Sisters.

School Captains

Marist Father and parish priest of Hunters Hill, Fr Kevin Bates sm, was the main celebrant and a number of Marist Sisters also attended the celebration.

At the conclusion of Mass the College Leaders for 2014-2015 were presented with their badge and symbol of office.  The new College Captains accepted the college banner and led the procession out from the celebration.  More photos…

Marist Students in Davao, Philippines

On 2nd December, two teachers and three students from Marist Sister’s College, Woolwich have spent a 2 week immersion period in the Marist Sisters’ and Marist Fathers’ communities and ministries in Davao, Philippines.  The students have just completed Yr 12 and chose this immersion experience instead of attending schoolies week. While in Davao they visited the Bajao school, the Balay Pasilungal Boys Centre, the Davao City Prison and the Mental Hospital.

It has been a joy for the Marist Sisters in the Philippines to host the students and their teachers and to share with them a little of the ministry they do to bring the compassion of Jesus and Mary to those who are vulnerable and neglected.

Chavoin Day Celebrated at Sydney Colleges

As the feast of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin approached, two Sydney Marist colleges, Cerdon College Merrylands and Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich, celebrated Foundress Day.  At each college students, staff, parents and a group of Marist Sisters gathered to celebrate Eucharist.  Those gathered were reminded that like Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, foundress of the Marist Sisters, we are called to bring the peace and love of Christ to the world in Mary’s way.

Following the Mass at Cerdon College the Chavoin Shield was presented.  Each year this shield is presented to the House which has gained the most points in the four categories of Sport,  The Arts, Academic and Service endeavours. There was great joy when McOscar House was named as the 2012/2013 winner of the Chavoin Shield.  McOscar House is named after Sr Doreen McOscar, the first principal of Cerdon College, who recently began her 100th year.

At Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich following the Mass a ceremonywas held during which the new College leaders for 2013/2014 were presented with their badges of office.  The outgoing leaders then handed over the symbols of leadership to the new leaders.

Immersion Experience in the Philippines

Marist Sisters with students from MSCW and their support team

As an alternative to “Schoolies week” at a resort three students from Marist Sisters’ College Woowich recently visited Marist missions in Davao City, the Philippines.  Prior to departing Sydney one student commented, “I’ve always thought Schoolies overrated – spending all that money on something you’ll soon get over – and the things you take from it are very limited.  I hope to value this for the rest of my life and I expect it to change and challenge me, take me beyond my comfort zone.”

While in Davao the students and their support group visited the mental hospital and two former patients of this institute.  They also visited a community in the Bajao district where they were confronted by extreme poverty but also welcomed by the delight of the women and children who had been anticipating their visit.

Since returning from Davao the students have taken part in a debriefing session.  It was obvious that this experience has touched them deeply.

195 Years of Marist Profession Celebrated

Srs Fidelis & Margaret

Marist Sisters in Australia recently celebrated the jubilees of Sr Margaret Cummins (70years) and Sr Fidelis McTeigue (50years).  During the Mass, celebrated by Kevin Bates sm in the Marist Sisters’ College chapel in Woolwich, Margaret and Fidelis renewed their vows and received a Papal Blessing.

Sr Doreen McOscar

Afternoon tea was served at Marian House and the celebrations continued in the community room with a sing-along and the signing of a 50th anniversary banner made for Fidelis by her family in Ireland to mark this memorable occasion.

Earlier  this year Sr Doreen McOscar had celebrated her 75th jubilee more quietly.

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Farewell in Papua New Guinea

Sr Kate

After two years in Papua New Guinea Sr Kate McPhee has returned to her home Sector of Australia. A number of farewells were held in her honour. It was an emotional time when expressions of sadness were mixed with those of loving appreciation. During one farewell at a school assembly presentations were made to Kate and gratitude expressed for the great support that the students had received through her from Cerdon College, Merrylands, and Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich. The most recent project, funded by Cerdon, was the installation of four ‘flush’ School toilets.

Before leaving Papua New Guinea on 25th March, Kate was very happy to be able to hand over the co-ordination of the FODE (Flexible and Open Distance Education) work to Mr. Patrick Sariman, father of Florence. There is hope that the FODE Office in Port Moresby will soon recognize Wama as an official correspondence centre and will be able to put some funds into supporting the continuing education of young people in this rural area.