September 2012 news
This page:     Jubilarians honoured     Constitutions theme for provincial retreat     Anniversary of first Marist professions   J&P planning in Oceania     Kiwi missionary visit     ACU program resumes     Colin leaflet spans the globe    Fr Aliki's mission appeal     Colin Year announced     Davao Marists celebrate Holy Name of Mary     Bellambi golden jubilee     Ranong centre begins     Rocks painting in Rome    Trends from the pie chart     Latest Euroinfo     Colin Corner     

Jubilarians honoured

280 years of Marist priesthood and religious life were celebrated as six Marist-jubilarians were honoured at a Mass in Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, NSW, on Sep 28.

This year's jubilarians are Fr Allan Connors (60 years ordained), Fr Jim Hargrave (50 years ordained), Br Peter Somers (50 years professed), Frs Michael Whelan and Kevin Bates (40 years ordained) and Oceania province's Fr Brian Wilson (40 years ordained).

Above, from left: Br Peter Somers, Frs Brian Wilson, Allan Connors, Michael Whelan and Kevin Bates. (Not present was Fr Jim Hargrave).       /   Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney's welcome at the Eucharist        Br Peter Somers  /  homilist, Fr Michael Whelan
Below: Fr David Wilson proposing the jubilarians' toast at the celebratory dinner in Villa Maria parish hall.

Provincial retreat session at 'Maryvale', Hunters Hill  /  Marist provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, with Fr Gerard Hall

Constitutions theme for provincial retreat

This year's annual retreat for the Australian province of Marist Fathers is being led by Fr Gerard Hall SM.

As the 'Year of the Constitutions' draws to a close throughout the Marist world, Fr Gerard has chosen reflections on the Marist constitutions as the theme for the retreat, attended by Marists from Queensland, NSW and Tasmania at 'Maryvale', HUnters Hill, NSW.

Fr Gerard is associate professor of theology at Australian Catholic University's Banyo campus, Brisbane, and has written significantly on Marist themes in recent years,


Anniversary of first Marist professions

Marists throughout the world remember Sep 24 as the date in 1836 of the pioneer Marist group making their religious vows in Belley, France.

Following approval of the priests' branch of the Society of Mary by Pope Gregiory XVI, the early Marists gathered at 'La Capucinière', Belley, to elect Fr Jean-Claude Colin as their first superior-general and to take their vows as Marist religious. Three months later the pioneer missionaries for Oceania left Le Havre for the south-west Pacific.

Pictured left: The steps on which the first Marists knelt to profess their vows in the chapel of 'La Capucinière', Belley  /  Facade of the chapel.


Justice & Peace planning in Oceania

Australia's Marist Mission Centre director, Fr Kevin Stewart SM (centre) with Oceania Province's leadership team, from left, Frs Susitino Sionepoe, Pio Fong, Setefano Matele and Ben McKenna (provincial).

Oceania Marist provincial, Fr Ben McKenna, reports on the visit of Australia's MMC director, Fr Kevin Stewart, meeting in Suva with the OMP leadership team, Sep 20-22:

'In Oceania we're ministering in 8 different countries and very much aware of a great variety of life-styles, living standards and vastly different opportunities in life.

'We've been looking at health, education and life-projects and considering opportunities for formation of our new team to realise some objectives for Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation.

'The sessions with Fr Kevin have helped raise awareness of how our province can prioritise projects in the various regions to make a difference to those most in need. We have examined the principles: now we want to develop a policy and practice.'


Kiwi missionary visit

New Zealander, Fr Peter Carde SM, is currently visiting Australia, staying at 'Oceania House', Hunters Hill.

After 35 years as a Marist missionary in Rotuma, Samoa and Fiji in secondary education and parish mission work, Fr Peter now lives at Rotorua, NZ.

As the founding parish priest of the Parish of the Holy Eucharist, Laucala Bay, Suva, Fr Peter pioneered a ministry amongst Catholic students of the nearby University of the South Pacific. Welcome, Fr Peter.


Prof Duncan MacLaren with Bridge Program graduates at Mae Pa
and, below, at Marist Mission Ranong with students and staff
Below: scenes at Ranong; further below: ACU study centre, Mae Pa

ACU program resumes

Pioneered with MMC support in 2004, the latest online program by Australian Catholic University on the Thai-Burma border has begun with orientation sessions by ACU's Professor Duncan MacLaren in Mae Pa and at the Marist Mission Ranong.

From Ranong Fr Pat Devlin SM reports: 'A local Buddhist monk spoke encouragingly at the launching of a new academic course.  He said that knowledge is a key to development, both personally and communally, emphasizing that knowledge without wisdom is not helpful. 

'He was speaking to nine migrant and refugee students of the Marist Mission Ranong who are embarking on an 18 month on-line diploma course with ACU.  With the cooperation of professors abroad and local tutors these students will grow in knowledge and wisdom enabling them to be leaders in the future of Myanmar.'


Colin leaflet spans the globe

The most recent translations of the 'Fr Colin Leaflet' connect the Pacifc with eastern Europe as uploads are made in Russian, Ukrainian and two Pidgin English (PNG and Solomon Islands) languages.

With the official icon of Fr Colin, a brief biography and prayer for intercession, the leafet is now available in 44 languages. Click here

As well as the regular leaflet, large print versions will soon be available for downloading and printing.


Fr Aliki's mission appeal

Tongan Marist and former Philippines missionary, Fr Aliki Langi SM, preached the annual appeal for the Marist Mission Centre at St Patrick's, Church Hill, NSW, on the weekend of Sep 15-16.

With stories and songs from 22 years in the Marist Philippines Mission District, Fr Aliki thanked the people of St Patrick's for their faithful support across the years dating from his own school days and seminary years, supported by MMC donors.

Fr Aliki is now a member of the Australian Marist province and is based in the parish of Gladstone, central Queensland.


Above:  Fr Aliki at St Patrick's.        With MMC director, Fr Kevin Stewart  /  preaching the appeal.      St Patrick's congregation

'For us Marists this cannot be separated from a real devotion to his person, a servant of God of holy life with a unique mission.'     (Fr John Hannan)

With the closing of the 'Year of the Constitutions' on Sep 12, Superior-Generasl of the Society of Mary, Fr John Hannan SM has formally announced the 'Colin Year' commencing on Nov 15, 2012.

Fr Hannan says: 'I see this year focusing on Fr. Colin as our founder who has a permanent and relevant message for us from his life and writings.

'My hope is that each of us can familiarize ourselves more with him as a spiritual teacher, deepening our grasp of his teachings and diffusing them among the people of God who are looking for a way to live the gospel today.


'Do we as Marists share enough an actual devotion to this living man to whom we owe so much? Can we ask for the grace to be personally devoted to him, bringing him more into our prayers of intercession and devotional life?

'I would also like to stress in this context the renewal and refoundation of our Society. Drawing closer to our founder, his person, his message and his values, will help us to be creatively present to the contemporary world which is so different from his world and yet in many aspects is also very much the same.

'As he understood his time and responded to it, so we too, drawing from his wisdom and example, can respond to the needs of our times and engage wholeheartedly with the mission of our Society.'

                Right:  Marist Superior-General, Fr John Hannan SM  /  Tollet painting of Jean-Claude Colin


Marists Sisters from Davao participate in the Holy Name of Mary liturgy

Davao Marists celebrate Holy Name of Mary

From Davao City, Mindanao, southern Philippines, Marist formation leader, Fr Chris Ganzon SM, reports on celebrations anticipating the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary:

'With a theme "Pagkamarista -- Gasa" (Marist: A gift) the Marist Family here in Davao celebrated the feast of the Holy Name of Mary early on Sep 09.

There was Mass, table fellowship and a short program. All the Marist branches were well represented as well as many Lay Marists who embrace the Marist spirit in their life.

Marists also shared their talents in dancing and singing. There were about 250 Marists gathered. It was a great and joyful evening for all of us.'

Above:  The priests of the Philippines Marist Mission District gather for the Eucharistic celebration;    from left: Frs Lionel Mechavez, Kevin Medilo, Christopher Ganzon, Pat Devlin (district superior), Fernando Ingente, Gavin Foster and Lauro Arcede.
Below:    Fun, games and friendship are part of the Holy Name of Mary celebration.

Above: Dinner celebrations at the Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow, were marked by 'trivia' sessions on various phases of St Paul's, Holy Cross and Holy Spirit College history.  One question recalled the five Marist headmasters of St Paul's: Frs Myles Glimartin, Frank Lopez, Lou Molloy, Jim Bishop and Bill Ryder.

Bellambi Golden Jubilee

An event celebrating 50 years of Catholic education in Bellambi, NSW, was held at Fairy Meadow, Sep 08.

The occasion marked the golden jubilee of foundation by the Marist Fathers in 1962 of St Paul's College, soon to be followed by the Josephite's Holy Cross College.

The two schools amalgamated 30 year ago to form the present Holy Spirit College.

Above, from left:  The crests of St Paul's College  /  Holy Cross College      Sharing memories: Sr Maria Casey RSJ  /  Fr Michael Mullins SM       Old-boys, Bishop Peter Comensoli and Fr Paul Cooney SM, flank Sr Maria Casey and present Holy Spirit principal, Mrs Amanda Wilson       School captains, Jozo Francovic and Jessica Hinde  /  2013 leaders, Jess Bortolazzo and Jerome Abdelmessih
Below:    Ex-students of St Paul's  /  Holy Cross College       The 'St Paul's girls', pre-amalgamation pupils

Recent blessing of the Ranong site by Surathani's Bishop Joseph, with MMR director, Fr Kevin Medilo SM.

Ranong centre begins

After five years of working out of three rented centres scattered around the southern Thai town of Ranong, the Marist Mission will soon move into their own purpose built 'Marist Education and Community Centre'. MMR Director, Fr Kevin Medilo, reports: 

'The Centre will serve as a school for over 150 poor Burmese migrant children and hundreds of adult migrant workers as well as a centre for HIV/AIDS outreach and Online University study.

'As construction proceeds, fundraising continues as we work to raise the remainder  of  the total construction cost. Many thanks for our generous donors and benefactors who make our dream a reality.'

The Marist Mission at Ranong was established with the help of the Marist Mission Centre. Australian Marist donors continue to support the development.

Fr Kevin continues: 'The foundations have been completed and work has commenced on the concrete columns that will hold up the pre-cast slabs of the first floor. Construction began in July 2012 and the first phase is expected to be complete by January 2013. Though it this depends on the amount of torrential rain that falls in this very rainy town. The project combines Thai and New Zealand engineering expertise.'

Rocks painting in Rome

A scene from the early days of Catholic life in Sydney's Rocks district is one of two paintings by Australian artist, Paul Newton, which now hang in Domus Australia, Rome.

Depicting adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the Catholic pioneer family of William and Catherine Davis and their friends, the painting recalls the first reservation of the Sacrament on the site of present-day St Patrick's church.  The second Newton painting is that of 'Our Lady of the Southern Cross' commissioned at the time of World Youth Day, 2008.

Domus Australia was previously the Marist international scholasticate.

From left: Domus Australia, Rome  /  St Patrick's, the Rocks, Sydney        Detail of the Newton painting  /  St Peter Chapel, Domus Australia     'Our Lady of the Southern Cross'

Trends from the pie chart

For statistic-lovers visiting the web's visitor pie chart continues to supply international trivia.

In August, New Zealand re-captured its place as the No. 1 visitor to the site (after Australia) of the average 75 countries visiting each month. Italy, Thailand and Japan competed for the next places.

Over the past year daily visits to the site have risen 28% with 'hits' increasing by 48%, indicating a likely 3,000,000 annual hits by the end of Dec 2012 and a visitor every 6 minutes.


Latest news from Marist Province of Europe

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Colin Corner

Leaflets in 40 languages concerning the Cause for Beatification of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, are now available to the many persons coming from all over NSW to St Patrick's inner-city shrine, Church Hill, Sydney.

Featuring the 'Fr Colin Leaflet' in English and 'language of the week', the Colin Corner directs enquirers to the parish office and courtyard coffee shop for the multi-language stocks of the leaflet.

When the 'Colin Year' commences in November, the Colin Corner will offer weekly reflection pages for use by laity.