July 2012 news
This page:    Colourful Marymount celebrations     Arnold Garferio ordained deacon     And now there are six      'In our hands now...'     June spikes     Final profession at Ranong     Tollet painting of Marist Founder      Maori translations     Bridge Program success      Dundalk visits Ranong    Chapter ends     Two Marist links     World's oldest Marist turns 100     Provincial chapter begins       Latest leaflet translations

From left: Fr Paddy Stanley SM (Ireland), Sr Rosemary Simon SM (Fiji), Br Josefo Logayau SM (Bomana, PNG).  /  Offertory procession PNG style

Colourful Marymount celebrations

Three Marists were among grateful participants marking the conclusion of Marymount Centre's current programs.

In a colourful liturgy at the Caste Hill, NSW, centre on Jul 28 an international group of 32 sisters, priests and brothers concluded their 'Journeying with new members' and 'New Life' programs.

Irish Marist and former Oceania missionary, Fr Paddy Stanley SM, presided at the Eucharist for participants and friends from Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Kiribas, NZ, Philippines, PNG, Samoa, Taiwan and Tonga.


Above: The laying on of hands.  Below: Deacon Arnold with his proud parents and brother.


Arnold Garferio ordained deacon

Two days after his final profession as a Marist Marist seminarian, Arnold Garferio, was ordained deacon in a ceremony at Ranong, southern Thailand, on Jul 23, anniversary of the Fourviere pledge to form the Society of Mary.

Once again, MMR director, Fr Kevin Medilo SM, reports:

'It was a celebration of Christian faith and vocation in the context of Buddhist land. The local Church led by Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil, SDB, is very supportive of Marist presence and mission in his diocese.

'The bishop said that he is very grateful and appreciative of the Marists doing mission among the displaced Burmese migrants in Ranong. He challenges the Marists to stay forever in Thailand and expand our mission among Burmese people to the other parts of the country.

'We were blessed with the presence and support of the Ranong parish, local clergy, religious and mission partners such as JRS, Camilian Fathers, VSO, RNDM Sisters and Stigmatine Fathers (Ranong parish).

'We were also blessed with presence of Marists from New Zealand, Australia and Philippines. Their presence has been a great support to Ranong community.'


A smiling Naw Eh at Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border

And now there are six

25-yr-old Karen Burmese refugee, Nan Khin Cho Theik ('Naw Eh' to her friends), is all smiles this week, learning that a last-minute place is available for her in the forthcoming online tertiary program conducted by Australian Catholic University.

Resident in the giant Mae La refugee camp on the north-west border of Thailand, the young Buddhist student was an outstanding participant in the 2011-12 'Bridge Progam' conducted by Marist Training Resources, Australia. Places for five other BP-ers were announced a few days before.  (see below - 'Bridge Program success')

In a message to ACU this week Naw Eh said: "Is it lucky for me? Anyway, I really thank you all without being able to describe for considering me again. My dream becomes brighten. At first, I was really disappointed. When I rethought our school motto “Brighten the corner where you are”, I was full of the strength in my mind. I am so happy to accept your offer.'

Mae La camp

Naw Eh, fourth from left, with fellow 'BP-ers' at Mae La refugee camp.

"It's in our hands now..."

This year's Fourviere celebrations at Hunters Hill on Jul 22 were hosted by the Marist Sisters at a Mass and social gathering for members of the Marist Family branches.

The event recalled the promise to form Mary's Society made by a dozen Marist aspirants at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourviere at Lyons, France, on Jul 23, 1816.

The Sisters theme -- 'It's in our hands now' -- and the homily of Marist Fathers provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, pointed to Marists' contemporary challenge to bring Mary's gentle, humble and compassionate spirit to bear in their outreach to today's poor, young, alienated and lonely.

Above: The heart-shaped locket containing the names of Marist missionaries in the Pacific which hung on the statue of Mary and Child in the chapel of Fourviere.     Below: Marist Sisters' sector leader, Sr Gail Renneker SM, welcomes almost 100 Marist Family members: sisters, brothers, priests and laity.  /   Fr Paul Cooney presiding at the Eucharistic liturgy in the parish hall.
Below: Music, sprinkling with water, cruets from France and images of Mary were part of the Fourviere celebrations.
Far right:   The Ancient Chapel of the Virgin, Fourviere, overlooking the city of Lyons  /  the statue of Mary and Child in the Fourviere sanctuary before which the Marist aspirants made their pledge in 1816.

Daily visits to www.maristfathers.org.au during June 2012

June spikes

Observers of statistics for visits to the Australian Marist Fathers' web site noted two curious surges last month.

Average daily visits to www.maristfathers.org.au in the past year were in the range 201 to 273. Yet on Jun 10 visits surged to 1983. Three weeks later, on Jun 29, visits again spiked -- at 1098 visits.

Among the various data offered by statistics pages is a pie chart and subsequent detailed list showing from which countries and in what order visits to the site were generated. On Jun 10 the 'usage by country' pie chart showed that Canada had suddenly appeared with a large slice, upsetting the international rankings for the rest of June.

During 2011-12 visits came from approx 70 countries each month -- except June, when 100 countries were listed as visiting the site. Curious.


Final profession at Ranong - a first?

Director of the Marist Mision at Ranong, Thailand, Fr Kevin Medilo SM, reports on the final profession ceremony of Filipino Marist, Arnold Garferio SM, in Ranong on Jul 21:

'It was a simple but joy-filled celebration..... witnessed by friends from Ranong both Burmese and Thai and also lay Marists from Philippines.

'One Marist commented that this might be the first final profession of an SM Marist in mainland Asia.'      Congratulations, Arnold!


Tollet painting of Marist Founder

A recently unearthed painting of Marist Founder, Fr Jean Claude Colin, by renowned French artist, Jean Jules Antoine ('Tony') Tollet, is likely to be featured during the forthcoming 'Colinian Year'.

In true Marist style the portrait of the Founder lay 'hidden and unknown' in an alcove of the Colin museum at La Neyliere, central France, where Fr Colin lived his final years and where he is buried. Acclaimed as one of the great artists in France of his time Tollet painted the Colin work from a rare photograph taken at the time of the 1866 general chapter of the Marist Fathers.

Born in 1857 in Lyon, Tollet won the Prix de Paris in 1879 and the Grand Prix de Rome in 1885. Painting until the age of 85 he was director of municipal art courses in Lyon and president of the company Lyonnaise des Beaux Arts, the Academy of Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Lyon, the Society of Artists of Lyon and founder of the Union of Societies of Art in Lyon, when he died in 1953 at the age of 96.

His other accomplishments included winning the medal of the exhibition in Lyon in 1896 with The Death of Arthur, becoming a Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1925 and president of the Society of Fine Arts in France in 1923. In1928-29 he was president of the Academy of Lyon and the following year was knighted in the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

Above, from left: La Neyliere, France, resting place of Jean-Claude Colin  /  chapel of the Resurrection and Fr Colin's grave.
Three of the 1866 photographs hang in the Colin museum at La Neyliere.
Tollet's painting (left) of the window (right) of Sacre Coeur, Rue Boissac, Lyon.      

Maori translations for Colin prayer and biography

The leaflet iincluding a short biography of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, and prayer seeking graces through his intercession is now available in Maori language, including the distinctive Cook Island Maori.

Click here for all 34 translations.


BP-ers at Mae La refugee camp, Thailand, in their distinctive program shirts.

Bridge Program success

Competing with over 200 other young Burmese refugees on the Thai-Burma border, 5 members of the 'Bridge Program' have been chosen by Australian Catholic University for their forthcoming 2012-14 online diplioma program.

An online course conducted by Marist Training Resources, Australia, the 'Bridge Program' has prepared them for possible ACU selection.

The program comes under the umbrella of the Marist Fathers Australian Province's Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Committee and focuses on English, computer and social media skills.

Above, from left:   Successful BP-ers from Mae La refugee camp, Naw Victoria. Saw Dingo and Saw Htoo Htoo.      
BP-ers with ACU representative, Maya Cranitch, during preliminary interviews in March; at left, Saw William, liaison for Marist projects on the Thai-Burma border.
Below: Saw Robben (Mae Pa) and Saw Chit Min (Maera Moo refugee camp).

Dundalk visits Ranong


Marist seminarian, Nino Memorial, reports from the Marist Mission Ranong, southern Thailand, on the visit of high school students from Dundalk, Ireland. to experience the work of MMR amongst the Burmese migrant community:

'The Marist Mission Ranong is once again graced by the presence of the 12 Irish students from St. Mary's College in Dundalk, Ireland. The team stayed in Ranong from Jun 25-Jul 04 led by Fr. Jimmy McElroy SM and teacher, Michelle Dullaghan.

The students visited some of the HIV AIDS victims and the poor families of the MMR students and shared their cultures and talents through their active participation to the English Camps here in Ranong.

Their lively presence showed their love and support of Ranong's Marist projects, including the planned Marist Education and Community Centre building.'

Above: Visitors join with the Ranong Marist community and theirt students  /  MMR team with Fr Jimmy McIlroy and teacher Michelle Dullaghan.     Local students and their cultural displays.
Below: Students try their talents  /   a change from Irish cuisine!       The planned education and community centre building.

Provincial Chapter ends

The Marist Fathers Australian Province Chapter ended on Jul 06 at Hunters Hill, Sydney.

The Chapter looked at many issues including the prioritizing of ministries, governance and vocations. A key recommendation from the Chapter is the setting up of a vocations team and the place of Australia in the Asia-Pacific region.

The decisions and recommendations of the Chapter will now be forwarded to the Marist Fathers' General Administration in Rome for ratification.

Pictures tell the story and mood of the Chapter...


Two Marist links

The Marist Mission Centre's winter newsletter is now available on line. Click here for an update on MMC's outreach the poor and needy of Asia-Pacific.

Go to the Marist Messenger (NZ) web site for the story of senior Australian Marist, Fr John Hill SM, 'Prison chaplain in Japan' in the July issue.



World's oldest Marist turns 100

On Jul 03, 1912, in the NZ west-coast coal-mining town of Runanga George Duggan was born. 100 years later the worldwide Society of Mary celebrates its most senior member, a Marist for 81 and priest for 76 years.

Entering Mt St Mary's Seminary, Hawkes Bay, in 1929, and professed in Feb 1931 George was soon sent to Rome for higher studies and ordained priest in 1936 before graduating ( D.D. magna cum laude) in 1937.

Thoroughout his priestly life Fr George ('Chalky' to his Marist confreres) has been noted for his forthright defence of Church teaching, in hundreds of letters to editors, in periodical articles, and in several books, so showing an exemplary sense of the Marist commitment to loyalty to the Pope and the Church.

He has been controversial. But many have found a difference between the 'public' G.H.D., who could be sometimes sharp in writing, and the 'private' man who, as many Religious Sisters have said, has been a wonderfully kind and understanding spiritual director. He has served the NZ Marist province and the Church in the seminary, in parishes, colleges, as foundation Master of Rochester Hall, Christchurch, and Master of Second Novices.

Happy 100th birthday. Father Chalky!


Provincial chapter begins

Delegates from the Australian Province of Marist Fathers have gathered at Hunters Hill for their 4-yearly chapter.

Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney SM, led the group in an opening Eucharist on Jul 02. 'A Chapter is much more than a political process', said Fr Paul in the homily, 'It is a prayerful time of waiting on God to lead us into the future.'

SAfter the Mass Fr Peter McMurrich was elected chapter president and various committees and officers appointed.

Observers from the General Administration and Oceania and NZ provinces were welcomed to the gathering.

Above:  The chapter in session in Holy Name of Mary parish hall, Hunters Hill.
Chapter president, Fr Peter McMurrich  /  Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney.
Committee reports from Fr Jim Carty (Justice & Peace)  /  Fr Garry Reynolds (Aged care)
Above: Chapter session  /  coffee break
Facilitator, Mr John Honner.
Banner of the four Marist founders
Below:  Observers Frs Kevin Duffy (Rome), Kevin Conroy (NZ) and Setefano Mataele (Oceania)

Latest leaflet translations

Four new languages - Fijian, Wallisian, Thai and Khmer - have been added to the growing list of translations of the leaflet with short biography and beatification prayer for Ven Jean-Claude Colin.

Click here for all 32 translations.