Social Justice at Cerdon

The Cerdon College Year 10 Justice and Peace unit of work this year involved students in reaching out to those less fortunate as well as learning from those working in the field of Social Justice.  Keynote speaker on the day was Marist Sister Noelene Simmons who spoke of her work with ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans).

At lunch time students were able to purchase sausages cooked by Rotary with the funds raised being donated back to Rotary so as to purchase a Shelter Box, a resource to provide immediate relief for families affected by natural disasters and conflict. The Shelter Box ensures that a family of 10 can survive while more permanent infrastructure is organised.

The day concluded with a practical activity where all students were asked to assemble a solar light to assist students in developing countries complete their homework. This initiative is in an attempt to break the poverty cycle by ensuring children gain an education so as to achieve employment as adults. The solar light “kits” were purchased from Solar Buddy with the funds for this kindly donated by the Marist Sisters Australia.

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.

Discerning and Celebrating in Australia

On Saturday 9th June Marist Sisters in Australia gathered to discern their governance structure for the coming years. The day was facilitated by Marist Brother Graham Neist. We all appreciated the bonds of communion and the open discussion experienced throughout the day. At the conclusion of this day Sr Noelene Simmons was missioned by all present as she prepares to take up the role of General Bursar for our congregation.



In a spirit of joy and thanksgiving we all gathered again on Sunday 10th June to celebrate our jubilarians – Sr Carmel Murray (Diamond) and Srs Carroll McDonald and Maureen Crick (Golden). Celebrants at the Jubilee Mass were Fr Peter Jones osa(nephew of Sr Maureen) and Marist Father Ron Nissan. Also celebrating her Golden Jubilee this year, our Congregation Leader, Sr Grace Ellul, was remembered during the Mass.

Click on images below to see a larger version of the photo.

Sr Mary Christopher Sweeney

Sr Mary Christopher Sweeney sm was called to eternal life on Thursday 10th May 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 Fiji and to Sr Mary Christopher’s family.

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.