November 2011 News
This page:  Fukushima support continues     Oceania provincial visits     Liveable Spirituality     Montbel and Colin anniversaries     Africa web site online     More translations of Beatification Prayer     Icon of Founder explained    Japanese mission closure announced      Laity reflections at St Patrick's     Superior-General convokes CS 2013     Icon in higher resolutions     'Song for Nagasaki' documentary     Prayer for Holy Souls at Villa Maria     S&L program moves ahead     Unknown disciple

Donation ceremony at Fukushima  /  Fr Paul Glynn

Fukushima support continues

Fr Paul Glynn reports from the earthquake-tsunami site of Fukushima, Japan, on continuing support for victims: 'Twelve parishioners of Tomigaoka and myself went up to Fukushima and met with the nuns who are helping children orphaned by the earthquake-tsunami. Ten children from the Sisters' own school complex lost both parents.

'We scooped all our funds, from my books sold in various nations, from money I received for giving retreats, from donations from helpers, from donations from this parish, from half of the proceeds from the parish bazaar, etc. -- and we gave the nuns just under $AUD 40,000. The Japanese government will match dollar-for-dollar and give the nuns another $40,000.'


Above: 'A thousand paper cranes for peace and love'       Fr Paul with his 'twelve disciples' of Tomigaoka  /  with the Sisters of Fukushima


ben mckenna

Oceania Provincial visits S&L program

Provincial of the Oceania Marist Province, Fr Ben McKenna SM, is visiting Sydney to connect with participants in the Marist Asia-Pacific Spirituality & Lifestyle program.

The course's ten participants and three team members each has the opportunity to give first-hand feedback to Fr Ben. This year's 9-week program is the first of four to be conducted over a five-year period.

Below: Fr Ben (3rd from right, back row) pictured with S&L group members and Australian provincial,
Fr Paul Cooney (2nd from left, back row) in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery.


sr vivienne    

'A Liveable Spirituality'

Marist Sister, Vivienne Goldstein SM, continues to offer a two-day workshop for Marist co-workers in the spirituality of Mary.

Initially designed to introduce new teachers in Marist schools to the Marist approach to education, 'A Liveable Spirituality' is now available for any persons working with any branch of the Marist Family in a variety of ministries.  All are welcome no matter their religious tradition - if any.


'A Liveable Spiritualty' is conducted in small groups of no more than six participants in a relaxed, reflective setting. It is an opportunity for participants, some already familiar with the Marist spirit to deepen their understanding of Marist Spirituality. The programme provides time and space to explore how the Marist Family came about and what they see as the source of their inspiration.

Pictured above, participant in a recent workshop, Villa Maria secretary-manager, Kerrie Sanders-Perry, speaks warmly of discovering the person of Mary. Kerrie says: 'Everything that Mary did and was is what I want to be.'


November Jacaranda reflected
in Montbel's pool /
nearby site for 'Men's Shed'

Montbel and Colin anniversaries

Two years have passed since the Nov 15, 2009, opening of 'Montbel', retirement facility for the Australian Province of Marist Fathers. The date coincides with the anniversary of the death of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, at La Neyliere, France, in 1875.

Shrubs, trees and flower beds now adorn the Montbel environs. Architect-designed chapel furniture has also been installed since the last anniversary.

Fifteen retired Marists and support community members live in the Montbel-Maryvale complex, including newly-arrived, Fr John Jago SM, former superior-general of the Society of Mary.


Above: New features of Montbel: lush rose gardens and new chapel furniture
Below: Montbel's southern aspect.     La Neyliere, France / Fr Colin's grave


Africa web site online

Webmaster for the Marist Mission District of Africa, Fr Christian Abongbung SM, reports that their new web site is now online.

The bilingual (English-French) site is at:


More translations of Beatification Prayer

With the addition this week of Cebuano, Fijian, Spanish and Thai, the official prayer for the Beatification of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, is now available in twelve languages.

An initial target of 35 languages has been set to encourage a wide spectrum of prayer for the intercession of Fr Colin.

The prayer in its various translations can be downloaded from Fr Founder prayers.


Icon of Founder explained

From Rome the General Administration of the Marist Fathers has produced a simple and informative leaflet explaining the official icon of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin.

The leaflet (English, French and Spanish versions) can be downloaded from Fr Founder resources.


Sadness as Marist Japanese mission closure announced

On the weekend of Nov 05-06 the announcement was made in Nara Prefecture of the impending closure of the Marist Community in Japan. Since its foundation in 1949 by Marist P.O.W. chaplain, Fr Lionel Marsden SM, the mission has served the Diocese of Kyoto in Nara city, Koriyama, Tomigaoka, Kuzu, Yagi, Takada and Tomio.

In a letter read to the people throughout the mission the Marists announced: 'We are writing to you with sadness to say that we will formally close the Marist Community of the Japan Mission on Sunday, Apr 08, (Easter) 2012.

'We reached this decision after careful discernment of the Mission (aging of community members, our failure to attract new members, etc) under the guidance of the Australian Province and the General Administration of the Society of Mary, and with the understanding and cooperation of the Bishop of Kyoto, Otsuka Yoshinao.

'It is our intention to withdraw from Japan entirely by Mar 31, 2013. Frs Ichiba Osamu and Patrick O'Hare will continue to work in collaborative ministry until that time.

'So long as his health permits, Fr Sydney Nugent will also remain in Japan during some of the time to arrange the future of the Legal Persons with which the Marist Fathers have been associated.'

Left: Nara's famous five-storey pagoda; 'Our Lady of the Journey', Takada, Nara Prefecture.    Below: Images of the Marist mission, Nara, Japan, over recent years.

Above from left:  Marists of the Nara community at daily prayer / monthly retreat day.       Fr Syd Nugent at Santa Maria Aged-Care facility.       
 Fr John L Walsh at one of Nara's many kindergartens / Fr Paddy O'Hare with Brazilian migrant workers.
Below:  Nara Marist community leader, Fr Keith Tulloch, with young adult group / Marists at Nara in 2005.         Fr John Hill          
Frs Ichiba Osamu and Paddy O'Hare / Marist residence, Suzaku.

Laity reflection day at St Patrick's

Marist Laity Australia's reflection day, 'The unknown disciple' attracted 23 participants to the crypt of St Patrick's Church, Church Hill, Sydney, on Sat, Nov 05.

The day's meditative reflections were led by Margaret Woods, Andrew Dumas and Maria Baden and concluded with Mass in the crypt celebrated by Pat Kervin.


john hannan

V Rev Fr John Hannan

Superior-General convokes CS 2013

Fr John Hannan SM, superior-general of the Society of Mary, has formally convoked the four-yearly gathering of Marists (Council of the Society) to take place from Oct 13-26, 2013.

CS 2013 will be hosted by the Marist Province of Europe and will be held at the Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland.

The Council of the Society is made up of the superior-general, the assistants-general, the general officers and all the provincial and district superiors. It takes place between the eight-yearly general chapters of the Marist Fathers and reviews the decisions and follow-up of these events.

Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland
jcc icon

Official icon of Jean-Claude Colin now available in higher resolutions

The Marist Fathers General Administration in Rome has made available professionally reproduced, high-resolution images of the official icon of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin.

Former 'Marist Laity Australia' leader, Maria Baden, comments: 'It is truly a most beautiful icon. It shows the great love and tenderness Fr Colin had for Mary and how she was his inspiration for bringing Jesus back to humanity.'

Images in various sized resolutions are downloadable from Fr Founder resources.


paul glynn

Fr Paul Glynn leaving
for Japan

Work on 'Song for Nagasaki' documentary begins

Marist author, Fr Paul Glynn, has left for three months in Japan where he will assist in preparations for a movie about his best-selling book, 'A Song for Nagasaki'.

Fr Paul anticipates lengthy interviews by the film-makers during his stay at Tomigaoka, Nara Prefecture, during the planning of the documentary which features the life of the book's hero, Dr Takashi Nagai and the horror of the atmoic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The movie will be entitled 'All That Remains'.

Whilst at Tomigaoka Fr Paul will continue work on his latest book debunking the wild claims of modern atheists. The book will have a special focus on the miracles of God's grace which have happened at places of the Blessed Virgin Mary's apparitions.

  paul glynn all that remains  
Fr Paul Glynn and scenes from 'All That Remains'



'A Song for Nagasaki' is the remarkable true story of how one man’s faith helped to rebuild the destroyed city and heal the wounds of a nation defeated and demoralized by war. Based on the book, the docu-drama directed by Ian and Dominic Higgins (Major Oak Entertainment) will seek to tell the story Dr Nagai, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Catholic convert and dedicated peace activist.  Funding for the project will be by subscription. Details and a preview trailer are on


Prayer for Holy Souls at Villa Maria

For the annual commemoration of All the Faithful Departed forty Marist priests, brothers and laity gathered for evening prayer in the historic cemetery of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, NSW.

The yearly Nov 02 occasion honours the missionary Marists buried in the tiny cemetery praying as well for Marists who have died in the past year.


Program members at Aquinas Academy's Nazareth retreat at Colo, NSW.

'S & L' program moves ahead

Marist Asia-Pacific's 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program advances to Week Four with pastoral reflection, lifestyle choices, spirituality and Marist connections amongst the many items on the varied agenda.

Program team member, Fr Justin Ratsi SM, comments: 'The men are benefiting very much from sharing their life experiences with one another.

'The wisdom of the group, with a lot of cooperation from all the participants, seems to be bringing a refreshed, relaxed atmosphere amongst them all.'

Above: Prayer with the Villa Maria community        Computer & skills development / discovering the local scene         Life issue sessions
Below: Weekend picnic lunches -- and visits to Featherdale Park and other relaxy places.
                              Above: Cultural exposure - Melbourne Cup Day!                 Healthy moments
The unknown disciple

'The unknown disciple' - Marist Laity reflection day at St Pat's

Marist Laity Australia will conduct a reflection day at St Patrick's Church, Church Hill, Sydney, on Sat, Nov 05 (10 am to 1 pm, in the crypt).

Participants will explore where Mary, 'the unknown disciple', is today through meditation, reflection and action. Presenters include Maria Baden, Andrew Dumas & Margaret Woods.

RSVP soon.