March 2012 news
This page: First translations available     Davao vows renewal in jail chapel     Tutu's 'principles, processes & practices'      Fr Aliki - farewell & welcome    Marists leave Nara     Mission appeal     Ranong Marists' ACU preps     Biography translations begin      Road of resistance     'How truly noble...'     50,000 toddlers later     Colin website planning    Final profession at Bomana     February web statistics     Aquinas Academy March newsletter     Men's shed on track     Marist news from Europe     On the home run     Ceasefire not enough

First translations available

Visitors to the Marist inner-city centre of St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney, will be the first to access printed translations of the short biography and Beatification Prayer for Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin. The small leaflet features Fr Colin's official icon in full colour.

Bangla, German, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish language versions (as well as English) are the first to become available. They can be downloaded from here.

Croatian, Dutch, French, Bislama and Samoan will be next.  Keep watching.


Davao vows renewal in jail chapel

Three seminarians of the Marist Philippines Mission District renewed their religious vows in a simple ceremony at Davao, Mindanao, Southern Philippines, on Mar 25.

Formation director, Fr Chris Ganzon SM, reports: 'Bros. Nino Memorial, John Gouwang, and Roque Rebito renewed their vows today at the Sto.Nino Chapel in Davao City Jail. Fr. Larry Sabud presided at the Mass and accepted their vows in the presence of inmates and Marist friends.

'We decided to have their renewal in the jail since the inmates have been part of their formation. The three of them go there for their Sunday ministry too. So, it was great to do their renewal in the jail. The inmates were very happy to witness the ceremony. A simple breakfast followed after the celebration.'

Above: Brs John Gouwang  /  Roque Rebito and Nino Memorial renewing their vows in the jail chapel.
Below:   District Superior, Fr Larry Sabud, received the vows, witnessed by Fr Chris Ganzon and members of local Marist communities.


Work continues on Tutu 'principles, processes and practices'

Fr Michael McVerry has been in Sydney for a week continuing work on a document detailing the 'principles, processes and practices' of the Marist Training Centre, Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji.

A recent report records the centre's impressive range of development courses for married couples, young single men, young single women, parents, and parish and village leadership groups. MTC is famous for the training of thousands of young farmers on Taveuni over 40 years and its support programs for married couples and families.

Click here for April 2011 report on Fr Michael's work


Fr Aliki -- farewell and welcome!

The Australian Province welcomes Tongan Marist, Fr Aliki Langi SM, who arrived on Mar 22 from the Philippines Mission District to work at Star of the Sea parish, Gladstone, Qld.

A veteran of 20 years missionary experience in the Philippines, Fr Aliki joins Frs Paul Mahony and Bernie McFadyen on the parish staff of Gladstone.

At a farewell ceremony in Davao, Philippines, on Mar 20, Fr Aliki received blessings and good wishes from fellow Marists and friends.

Above: Fr Aliki Langi arriving at Gladstone airport  /  with Frs Paul Mahony (parish priest) and Bernie McFadyen.   
Below left: Farewells and blessings in Davao; right: Fr Aliki in remote mission areas of Mindanao.

Marists leave Nara

Following the wartime Changi prison and Thai-Burma railway experiences of Fr Lionel Marsden SM, a Marist mission was established in 1949 in Nara Prefecture, Japan, as part of the Australian Province of the Society of Mary.

In moving ceremonies on Mar 17 the bishop and people of Nara farewelled the Marist Fathers as the 63-year old mission came to its completion.

Australian provincial, Fr Paul Cooney SM, reports: 'The warmth and love at the occasion were palpable and many tears were shed...'   Click here for full photo report of the farewell - and some historical background to the mission


Vanuatu Marist preaches mission appeal

Explaining the simple and ongoing needs of missionary life in the Pacific, Vanuatu-born, Fr Dennis Revi SM, preached the annual mission appeal at St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney, over the weekend of Mar 17-18.

Introduced by Marist Mission Centre director, Fr Kevin Stewart, Fr Dennis spoke at St Pat's many weekend Masses giving practical examples of the many needs of the local people. 'They so often come to their priest for material as well as spiritual help', he said.


Mission Centre director, Fr Kevin Stewart, with Fr Dennis Revi


Marist seminarian, Arnold Garferio, with Frs Kevin Medilo and Pat Devlin  /   with Burmese aspirant, Saw Mejie

Ranong Marists' ACU preps.

Newly-appointed leader of Marist Mission Ranong, Fr Kevin Medilo SM, is busy preparing local candidates for acceptance into the online studies program of Australian Catholic University. Fr Kevin reports that 13 students are presently being assessed.

Veteran Kiwi missionary, Fr Pat Devlin, has recently joined the Marist team serving Burmese migrants and workers in the southern Thailand port city of Ranong.

Burmese workers staff the fishing industry factories, many living in waterside slums districts.


Biography translations begin

Work has commenced on translating a short biography of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, which will be available on the approved Beatification prayer leaflet in 40 languages.

The prayer is already available in 38 languages. Check for yours here.

The small leaflets with the new biography translations will downloadable from Fr Founder - biography & prayer


The road of resistance

42-minute 'must see' video of the plight of Internally Displaced Karen people in Burma as experienced by four young Americans..

Go to JPIC


Pope Pius VII /
'the rustic young curate' (Shannon Smith's painting of the 'young Colin')

'How truly noble is the goal'

Mar 09, 2012, marked the 190th anniversary of Pope Pius VII's letter of encouragement for the Marist project. Earlier in 1822 Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, had written to Rome seeking preliminary approval for the Society of Mary

The Holy Father wrote: 'We can see how truly noble is the goal to which the Institute you speak of tends and therefore we cannot refrain from warmly recommending this intention of yours.'

in 'Jean-Claude Colin, Marist', Fr Donal Kerr says: 'It gave them (the Colin brothers and Jean-Marie Chavoin) all new heart. It was to lead to new developments and push the rustic young curate - for so Colin still felt himself - further into the limelight.'


Graduate toddlers with Fr Joe Maier CSsR

50,000 toddlers later

In the heart of Bangkok's Klong Toey slums Redemptorist missionary, Fr Joe Maier CSsR, and the community of the Center are celebrating the 50,000th child to graduate from their kingergarten program. The impressive 40-year milestone was marked with ceremony and celebration on Feb 08.

Fr Joe acknowledges that Australian Marists were the first to back the American missionaries in their work amongst the poor of Klong Toey when Marist provincial, Fr Peter Guiren SM, visited Bangkok In the early 1970's and offered assistance for the fledgling Redemptorist mission in Thailand.


jcc web banner

Above: A suggested 'masthead' for
To register your interest in the site click on the icon below.

Colin website planning

Work continues on planning for the website dedicated to Marist Founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin.

Web visitors continue to register interest in the site prior to its launching later this year. They will be notified in advance of the event.



Preliminary design work on the site is being carried out by Catholic Communications, Sydney Catholic Archdiocese.

Site content is being submitted to the Marist Fathers' General Administration, Rome, for recommendations and approval before the launch.

Site address:


Godfrey Pa'asi SM (at right) with formator, Fr Justin Ratsi  /  the community of Marist College, Bomana

Final Profession at Bomana
-- 'another beginning'

In a ceremony on Mar 03 at Marist College, Bomana, PNG, Solomonese seminarian, Godfrey Pa'asi, took final vows as a Marist. 'For me,' he said, 'this is another beginning.'

Hailing from Rohinari, Malaita, Godfrey has studied at Catholic Theological Institute, Bomana.  He made his Novitiate in Tutu, Fiji, and had his Marist mission experience year in Tonga.

Oceania provincial, Fr Ben McKenna SM, received the vows in the presence of the formation community and representatives from the 8 other formation communiities at CTI where Godfrey is an 8th-year student.


February web statistics for 2011 and 2012

Web hits top quarter million

A monthly record of over 250,000 'hits' was recorded on during February.

The more significant statistic of frequency of individual visits and pages visited also peaked last month.

Visitors from 68 countries opened the Australian Marist web site in February.

Top visiting countries were New Zealand, Italy, Japan, Fiji, Brazil and Thailand.

If February's average was maintained then total visits for the year, including from commercial sources, would total over 85,000.



Aquinas Academy March newsletter

Click here for the latest newsletter of Sydney's Aquinas Academy.

For more Academy news, click here - the Aquinas Academy web site


Men's shed on track

Work proceeds apace on the 'Men's shed' being fitted in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, NSW.

Thanks to the promise of community funding, regular working bees by local retirees have brought the shed to within months of an 'open day' and official opening.

The historic Hawkesbury sandstone building was originally the wine cellar for Villa Maria's 19th century vineyards. It will soon boast modern woodworking equipment, renewed plumbing and kitchen equipment.



Marist news from Europe

The latest number of 'Euro Info' is now available, an update of happenings in the Marist Province of Europe.

Click here


On the home run

'Cycling for seminarians' rider, Br Charlie Randle SM, is nearing the end of his 500 Km annual epic.

Young Marists in formation in many parts of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, will benefit from Br Charlie's effort which raises about $50,000 each year.

The yearly ride has been a feature of the Marist Mission Centre's fund-raising since 2000.


Ceasefire not enough

Burmese democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, speaks to Kachin people at Myitkyina, former Marist mission area....

Go to JPIC