Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region celebrated the Season of Creation in various ways. The Season of Creation provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our common home, the Earth, and commit to ways of respecting and protecting it into the future.
In Fiji the sisters do this simply by planting their own vegetables, keeping their environment clean, pot planting, planting root crops and composting.
In the Raiwaqa community Sr Rosemary put together a display depicting creation from the beginning and the current devastating state of the earth -the natural and man -made destructive forces brought about through the effects of climate change. Many of the psalms sing in praise of God’s creation. As Bearers of Hope, we believe the Earth is alive and vibrant and wish to do all in our power to protect it.
In the Sefton Community in Australia, Srs Gail and Kate celebrated the Congregation feastday, the Holy Name of Mary, with a practical response to the Season of Creation. They did a make over of their garden.
The July 2015 edition of Marist Sisters: Region of Asia-Pacific Newsletter gives an account of the General Chapter of the Marist Sisters which took place in Rome during the month of April. It was at the Chapter that Sr Grace Ellul, formerly Regional Leader of Asia-Pacific, was elected Superior General and Sr Vivienne Goldstein, former Regional Councillor in Asia-Pacific, was elected to be one of three General Councillors. Srs Grace & Vivienne have now taken up residence in Rome.
A significant outcome of the General Chapter is that the Marist Sisters will no longer be shaped into Regions (with country groups organised under a Regional Leadership Team). Instead the Sisters within each country have the opportunity to design together a plan for life and mission best suited to their local circumstances. Thus, we will be a Congregation of thirteen units each with its own leader. Consequently the July 2015 Regional Newsletter will be the final Newsletter from the Region of Asia-Pacific. The General Team – leader, three councillors and bursar – will continue to serve the whole.
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).
Marist 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.
In 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.
The latest issue of the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific Newsletter can now be downloaded. This issues highlights the ministry of Marist Sisters in Fijian schools, outreach to the homeless, the sick and outback areas of Australia, social work ministry in New Zealand and ministry to prisoners and street kids in the Philippines. Sisters celebrating jubilees in 2013 are also listed in the newsletter. Download your copy here.
It is with great delight that Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific welcome the news of the election of Pope Francis I. We pray for blessings upon him, upon our church and upon our world.
Prayer for the Pope
Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Your servant Pope Francis I, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Your loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Your help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to You and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.
On the Feast of the Annunciation the First Profession of Srs Biri and Val was celebrated with great joy in Mintal, the Philippines. Fr. Pat Muckian SM was the celebrant. Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters, Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll, and Regional Leader of the Marist Sisters in Asia-Pacific, Sr Julie Brand, were present as were all Marist Sisters of the Philippine Sector.
They were joined by members of the Marist Fathers, Marist Brothers, Marist Laity, friends and neighbours. Sr Jane Francis, Congregational Leader, received Biri’s and Val’s Vows.
Biri and Val were peaceful and happy as they celebrated this special event. After Mass, and the taking of photos, a delicious meal was shared. Biri and Val received many loving messages from Sisters in the Region and beyond.