It was with great joy that the Marist Sisters in Fiji welcomed General Councillor, Sr Mari Aranda, to Fiji. Mari was elected to the General Council of the Marist Sisters in May 2022. This is her first official visit to Fiji.
During her visit Mari will visit the Marist Sisters communities and learn of their history and mission involvement since 1892. She will also encourage the sisters in their Marist vocation and share news of other parts of the Congregation.
The Sisters in Fiji are delighted to have Mari visit them. Mari presented the sisters with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and shared with them the story behind the image.
Marist Sisters in Fiji recently gathered for their annual Assembly. This wonderful event was held in their new convent in Nadi. It was faciliated by Marist Father Samu Tukidia and Unit Leader, Sr Mariana Tevurega. They led the sisters throughout the weekend using the synodal process.
Every voice of the sisters was heard resulting in very meaningful participation and discussion. They considered issues related to Unit and Community Life.
In Australia, 8th September was a double celebration. We joined in spirit with Marist Sisters throughout the world in celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Marist Sisters. On 8th September 1823 Jeanne Marie Chavoin and Marie Jotillon, with the permission of the Bishop of Belley, came to live together in the parish of Cerdon, France, and so began the Marist Sisters.
We also celebrated our Jubilarians and their almost 200 years of Marist commitment – Sr Marie Clarke (70years), Sr Mary Farrelly (60 years) and Sr Gemma Pearson (60 years). The sisters were grateful to Fr Kevin Stewart sm who presided at the Eucharist celebrated in the Marist Fathers chapel at Hunters Hill. Towards the end of Mass each Jubilarian received a papal blessing.
Following the Mass the sisters were delighted to share a simple meal together. It was a time to reflect and share on our Marist call and that of our Jubilarians. To mark the 200th anniversary of our congregation each sister was presented with a Congregation medal and a bookmark on which was found the following prayer:
Today, may we open our hearts and ears to hear the call, that simple call.
May our open doors witness the simplicity, poverty and joy of our first community.
May God bless us!
May we continue to respond to Mary’s gracious choice.
May we realise the wonder of our calling.
May young women be drawn to our doorsteps.
Mary of Cerdon, remember Jeanne Marie’s prayer
and walk hand in hand with us. Amen
It was in a spirit of joy and thanksgiving that Marist Sisters in Fiji and their friends recently gathered in Nadi for the blessings of their new convent and chapel. Fr Veremo, the Vicar for the West, was appointed by Archbishop Peter Loy to conduct the ceremony. Five priests concelebrated the Mass and assisted with the blessing ritual. Following the ceremony there was a celebratory meal. The new convent has been purpose built to cater for the elderly and those needing extra care.
Emmanuel Catholic School opened in 1983. At the invitation of the Bishop of Rockhampton the Marist Sisters were invited to administer the new school. Recently Sr Noelene Simmons, a former staff member of Emmanuel, was invited to return to Mackay for the 40th anniversary celebrations. It was a great joy for her to join with the Emmanuel community at the 40th Anniversary Mass held in St Joseph’s Parish Church, North Mackay and then attend the anniversary dinner. Many former staff members and students attended these celebrations.
While in Mackay Noelene shared the Marist story and answered questions about the history of Emmanuel and her life and mission as a religious sister with students in all year levels at Emmanuel. She also talked about modern slavery and explained that choosing Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance approved chocolate, coffee and tea can make a real difference in the lives of children and adults working in these industries. Noelene was also invited to speak at the Holy Spirit College assembly, the College staff meeting and to a number of Yr 8 and 12 classes. Holy Spirit College was initially part of Emmanuel. The two schools are situated on the same campus and share a close relationship.
Both Emmanuel Catholic Primary School and Holy Spirit College value their Marist foundation. The Marist Cross is proudly displayed on the administration buildings and in classrooms.
After three years living with Marist Sister in the Philippines Nguyen Thi Hai, originally from Vietnam, requested to take the next stage in the journey to becoming a Marist Sister.
Hai was received as a novice in the Congregation of Mary on the feast of St Peter Chanel, 28th April 2023. The reception ceremony took place in the Marist Sisters’ chapel in Mt Albert, New Zealand.
The novitiate is a special time of prayer and discernment so that the novice comes to know Christ and Mary more deeply. She learns more about the Marist way of life and prepares to commit herself to Christ in Marist Profession. We accompany Hai with our prayers so that she can deepen the call to follow Christ as a Marist Sister.
To view a clip of segments of the reception ceremony click here.
Thanks to the hospitality of the Marist Fathers Community Maryvale/Montbel a number of Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Brothers were able to gather to celebrate the beginning of 2023 at Montbel on 5th January. The level of chatter and laughter signified a good time was had by all.
For a child has been born for us,
A son given to us;
Authority rests on his shoulders;
And he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Might God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The Marist Sisters send all our friends and supporters prayerful wishes for a Christmas and New Year rich in blessings. May this Christmas be a time of peace and joy as we once again welcome the Christ child into our lives.