“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.
“We remain faithful to praying for our Sisters whom God has called to himself.” (Marist Sisters Constitutions 46)
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered recently for a liturgy of remembrance and thanksgiving. The liturgy involved a pilgrimage to the grave sites where sisters who have died in Sydney, Australia, are buried. These women and all deceased Marist Sisters have shared our Marist life and lived in fidelity so we remember, honour and celebrate them.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region minister to prisoners. We pray for all prisoners and for those who minister to them especially on the 6th November – the Year of Mercy Jubilee for Prisoners.
On Thursday 27 October, 66 leaders and staff from Catholic schools and the education office of the Diocese of Parramatta were recognised for a collective 2570 years of service and 50 years of leadership at a special ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Paramatta. The Staff Recognition Awards were presented by Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation, Rev Christopher de Souza EV and Executive Director Greg Whitby.
Among the awardees was Australian Marist Sister, Sr Kate McPhee, who received an award for 25 years of service. Kate’s community members, Srs Gail & Carmel were there to rejoice with her. Congratulations Kate.
As we celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Marists are reminded that we have been called “by gracious choice to follow Christ by living the gospel as Mary did.” We look to Mary as our model of faithful and compassionate service, so that in all we do we might show to others God’s tender and merciful love.
For six months, beginning February 2016, Sr April Ancero took part in the Journeying With New Members formation programme at Marymount Mercy Centre in Castle Hill.
April found this course to be very enriching. She appreciated this opportunity for spiritual growth and for skills development that will enable her to journey with others as they discern their vocation. The Marist Sisters in Australia were delighted to have contact with April while she was here. Following the graduation Mass that took place on 13th August April has now returned to the Philippines.
Fourvière celebrations in Suva, Fiji, began the evening before as members of the five branches of the Maist Family went to the Parish hall in Laucala Bay to put up pictures and decorate their booths in readiness for a vocation display the next day.
The morning of 23rd July, the day of the 200th anniversary of the promise at Fourviere, was bright and beautiful. The program began at 9.30am with prayer prepared by the FMS Brothers. It really set the tone for the day. The prayer concluded with a video clip presenting each of the branches. Then there was a time for mingling with other members of the Marist Family.
At 3pm in Laucala Bay Church Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Peter Loy Chong. He was very interested in our Marist History and wanted to know what happened after the promise and when and how the female branches came into the picture. His questions were answered by many who were sharing with him at the dinner table. Our celebrations ended with a lot of joyful dancing of thanksgiving and gratitude to God for those who made the promise, for the perseverance of Fr. Colin, Fr. Marcellin, Mother St Joseph and Sr. Francoise Perroton.
In 2014 the United Nations General Assembly designated 30th July to be the World Day against Trafficking in Persons aware of the need for “raising awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
Human trafficking is a global problem. No country is immune from this crime. People can be enslaved and exploited in situations of sexual slavery, forced labour in agriculture, hospitality, construction, mining and fishing industries; people can be enslaved and exploited in domestic servitude, by having their organs harvested, and in times of conflict and following natural disasters.
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region are involved in counter human trafficking work. We invite you to take action against this heinous crime by joining with us in prayer on this World Day Against Human Trafficking. Click here for a prayer service.
It was with a great sense of anticipation that groups representing the five branches of the Marist Family gathered at Sacred Heart College on the morning of July 23 to celebrate together the bicentenary of the Fourvière Pledge made in 1816.
The day’s activities began in the chapel where we were welcomed by Brother Richard fms and as Fourvière candles were lit, we prepared to join in the opening prayer which drew together so many aspects of this special day in the Year of Mercy. The tone was set for all that would follow which began with the keynote address given by Fr Justin Taylor sm : What happened at Fourvière. This deepened our appreciation of all that had preceded the drawing up of the pledge, setting it in the context of the life and history of the seminarians who composed it.
During the afternoon a series of workshops was provided: Marian music, Mary in Art, Keeping Pledges, Early Missionaries whose names were recorded in the heart of Mary, Mary, Mother of Mercy, and the Work of Mary today as it is lived by each of the branches.
The day concluded with Mass celebrated by Fr David Kennerley sm, provincial, at the end of which candles imprinted with an image of Mary of Fourvière were presented to each branch of the family while all recited a Fourvière pledge for today. A beautiful day drew to a close leaving 150 Marist people with memories to ponder and challenges to absorb.
On Saturday 23rd July approximately two hundred and fifty members of the Marist Family gathered at Villa Maria Hunters Hill to celebrate the bicentenary of the Pledge of Fourvière. The main celebrant for the Eucharist was Fr Kevin Bates sm. Kevin concluded his homily by signing a song he had written specially for the occasion – More than Memories.
Following the homily Statements of Commitment from each branch of the Marist Family were read. At the end of the Mass these statements were signed by the Leaders of each of the branches. A moving moment in the liturgy was when all present were invited to stand and read together an Australian version of the Fourvière Promise.
Following the Eucharist there was a great spirit of joy and thanksgiving as the celebration continued with a meal in the auditorium of St Joseph College, Hunters Hill. During the meal guest speakers, Maria Baden and Br Michael Green fms, shared their reflections on the Fourvière Pledge and doing the work of Mary into the future.