May 2014

This page:   Br Charlie introduces St Peter Chanel  | Oceania meetings in Sydney  |  ACMRO: review of Manus Is detention  |  Brazilians & Filipinos honour Mary  |  Sr Doreen turns 100  |  Our Lady Help of Christians  |  Asylum Seekers: Bishops' statement & commentaries  |  Refugee Council May bulletin  |  Passing of Fr Jim Bishop |  Marist Laity reflection day  l  Aquinas Academy to host Mary McAleese  |  His father's footsteps  |  'One of the giants' laid to rest  |  Combined Marist J&P event planning  |  Passing of Fr John O'Ryan  |  Local community honours Fr Kevin OAM  |  Two Marist newsletters  |  New priest welcomed home  |  Pilgrims homeward bound  |  Hoppy's mission adventure  |  Investiture of Fr Kevin OAM |  Social Justice diary  |  Latest provincial circular

Click here for the Colin web site's latest news and photo of the week

Br Charlie introduces St Peter Chanel

Confirmation candidates from the local parish, schools and suburbs enjoyed a day in the precincts if Villa Maria church and monastery, Hunters Hill, on May 30 as part of their sacramental preparation.

One of the highlights was a session with Br Charlie Randle SM and an introduction to St Peter Chanel, Marist and first martyr of the Pacific, with an inspection of the historic chapel and its relic of the saint, each participant receiving a leaflet copy of the life of St Peter Chanel.

Bishop Peter Comensoli also conducted sessions for the group.                  [Posted May 31]


From left: Frs Setefano Mataele and Michael McVerry, Ms Janne Pender, Frs Gerry Arbuckle and Ben McKenna

Oceania meetings in Sydney

Two significant meetings of Pacific Marists and associates were held at Hunters Hill in the closing days of May.

The Oceania Province's Finance Committee (pictured below) met from May 27-29. The Commmittree thanked retiring member, Fr John Crispin, for his years of outstganding service. Fr John has attended 19 of the Committee's 25 meetings.

May 30-31 saw an 'ad hoc' committee (left) considering the Marist Training Centre, Tutu, Fiji, with ongoing discussions about future directions for the centre.

Oceania Marist provincial, Australian, Fr Ben McKenna, and councillor, Fr Setefano Mataele, were present at both gatherings.        [Posted May 31]


ACMRO: review Manus Is detention

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) is calling on the Australian Government to reconsider its policy of resettling refugees on Manus Island.

Full text of May 27 press release: click here  

[Posted May 29]


Brazilians and Fiipinos honour Mary

Former missionary in Brazil, Fr Paul Mahony SM, reports on the May devotions of the Brazilian and Filipino Catholic communities in Rockhampton, Qld:

"We did the crowning of Our Lady at the 10 am Sunday Mass in the cathedral on May 18 and joined with the Filipino community with their Flores de Mayo. There were some lovely angels attending, too. 

"It was a great day. There were a few surprised 10 o'clock Mass-goers who thought they would have had the normal fare for the day but they had 20 minutes extra!"  

[Posted May 28]


Sr Doreen reads her greeting from Queen Elizabeth. Other messages came from the Governor-General, the NSW State governor, the Prime Minister, the Premier of NSW and the local member, Joe Hockey.

Sr Doreen turns 100

Along with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, and national and state leaders, we congratulate Marist Sister, Doreen McOscar, on her 100th birthday on May 25.

Sr Doreen's numerous decades of Marist life span dedicated years of teaching and educational leadership. She was the founding principal of Cerdon College, Merrylands, NSW.

The much-loved centenarian's birthday was celebrated with Mass at St Anne's Nursing Home, Hunters Hill, with Fr Kevin Kerley SM, OAM, and an afternoon 'high tea' at Marian House, Woolwich, attended by many Sisters, relatives, ex-students and friends.

Happy Birthday, Sister Doreen!

[Posted May 26]

Above: Fr Kevin Kerley with Sr Doreen at Mass at St Anne's.   |   Marist Sisters, relatives, ex-students and friends surround Sr Doreen at the Marian House festivities.    Below: Sr Doreen with Sr Patricia de Coek SM at St Anne's  / Marian House leader, Sr Carmel Murray SM, reads the Queen's message  |  Sr Carmel with Sr Doreen / ..and ex-students  |  Doreen McOscar with her parents and brother

Our Lady Help of Christians

Celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary as Patroness of Australia on May 24 we recall the history of this devotion and its connections with early Catholic life in Australia: click here

Also available is the prayer often associated with Our Lady, Help of Christians, the 'Sub Tuum' ('We fly to your protection'): download from here

[Posted May 24]


Bishop Eugene Hurley / Bishop Christopher Saunders

Prof Neil Ormerod / Kerry Murphy

Asylum Seekers: Bishops' statement and commentaries

Click below for three recent and important articles on Australia's present attitude towards those seeking asylum in our country....

    [Posted May 23]


Refugee Council May bulletin

In easily-readable summary format, RCOA offers a wide range of topical issues concerning refugees and asylum seekers. Important reading.    Click here

    [Posted May 21]


Fr Jim Bishop (left) at the blessing of Montbel in Nov 2009 / celebrant of the first Montbel Mass, Dec 2009.

Passing of Fr Jim Bishop SM

Marists and friends of the Australian Province mourn the passing of a second confrère this month. Fr Jim Bishop, 89, died peacefully at Caroline Chisholm Nursing Home, Lane Cove, NSW, on the evening of May 18.

In recent times Fr Jim had been in nursing care after several years as a pioneer resident of 'Montbel', Hunters Hill.

His funeral will be at 10.30 am, Tue, May 27, with Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill.

For more on the life of Fr Jim Bishop see his 'Pen Portrait', 2008                 [Posted May 19]


Marist Laity reflection day

Marist Laity Australia co-ordinator, Andrew Dumas, advises:

"Dear Marists, you are invited to a reflection day, 'Marist Pilgrims ~ the inner and outer journey' at St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney, on May 31.

"To find out more here and please pass this information on to anybody in your community or family which this may benefit. God Bless"

    [Posted May 19]


Aquinas Academy to host Mary McAleese

Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, will be the guest of Sydney's Aquinas Academy and Catalyst for Renewal in the first week of September.

A feature event will be an interview by Andrew West (Radio National's Religion and Ethics Report) at the Sydney Town Hall on Sep 07. More details and bookings at the Academy web site and Catalyst for Renewal.

    [Posted May 19]


His father's footsteps

Brisbane's 'Catholic Leader' recently focused on local Marist, Fr John Begg SM, for its back page feature.

Pictured, left, with his father's war medals, Fr John, later became a missionary in Bougainville, and is now a member of the Marist community of Herston, Qld. Click here for the 'Leader' feature.

    [Posted May 19]


'One of the giants' laid to rest

In a moving liturgy at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, NSW, on May 15, Fr John O'Ryan SM was farewelled with tributes from laity, Marists and fellow priests from near and far.

Marist provincial, Fr Bob Barber, presided at the Requiem Eucharist while Fr Paul Mahony, leader of the Maryvale-Montbel community, officiated at the final obsequies including interment at Macquarie Park cemetery.

In his homily Fr Tom Fulcher said: "Johnno, you were one of the giants! In current terminology, a 'lifter' not a 'leaner'."   For 'Climb every mountain', the tribute of long-time friend, Fr Michael Mifsud, click here. For Tom's homily, click here.          [Posted May 15]


Combined Marist J&P event planning

Members of the Marist Family came together at Hunters Hill on May 10 to plan a combined Justice & Peace event later this year.

As Australia prepares to celebrate the centenary of World War II and the Anzac memory, the Marist JP groups will focus on the 'Forgotten War' against our indigenous peoples, balancing the country's pre-occupation with overseas war involvements and stories. More later.
[Posted May 13]

Above, from left around the table: Andrew Dumas (Marist Laity), Fr Kevin Bates Marist Fathers JPICC and parish priest), Nehme Khattar (Marist Brothers' Youth Ministry), Frs Ron Nissen, Paul Mahony & Jim Carty (Marist Fathers JPICC), Sr Grace Ellul (Marist Sisters), Srs Jacinta Fidow & Kateia Kai Kai (Marist Missionary Sisters), Sonia Zec (Holy Name of Mary Social Justice group).
Right: Fr Jim Carty SM, Srs Kateia Kai Kai SMSM, Jacinta Fidow SMSM & Grace Ellul SM.

Passing of Fr John O'Ryan SM

Marists of the Australian province and many friends and ex-students mourn the passing of Fr John O'Ryan, 88, at Longueville Private Hospital, NSW, on May 10.

Well known as a gifted science teacher, witty conversationalist and valued confrère, Fr John ("Johnno" to his Marist confrères) died peacefully after some weeks in hospital. He had been a Marist for seventy years and a priest for sixty-three years. Of recent times he was a member of the 'Montbel' retirement community, Hunters Hill, NSW.

Requiem Mass for Fr John will be celebrated at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, on Thu, May 15, at 10.30 pm before his interment at Macquarie Park cemetery. May he rest in well-deserved peace.                                          [Posted May 10]


Local community honours Fr Kevin, OAM

In the wake of official moments being awarded the Order of Australia Medal and the recent investiture cermony, Fr Kevin Kerley SM, OAM, was honoured by his local community of Villa Maria, Hunters Hill,NSW, in a simple dinner celebration on May 07.

With Fr Kevin's medals taking pride of place on the community dining table, there was a speech and further medal presentation from community superior, Fr Peter McMurrich, followed by the guest-of-honour's succinct response.

Villa Maria's genial celebration host, Fr Tom Fulcher, provided the customary pizza and ice-cream repast.

Congratulations yet again, Fr Kevin!               [Posted May 07]


Two Marist newsletters

Click below for the latest issues of EuroInfo (newsletter of the Marist European province) and the Marist Mission Centre newsletter.

EuroInfo    MMC newsletter


Newly-ordained Fr Augustine Shwe reads the passion on Palm Sunday at Mae La Oon refugee camp, Thailand / Easter Sunday at St Teresa's church

New priest welcomed home

Ordained in Burma on Mar 19, Karen priest, Fr Augustine Shwe, 34, returned to Mae La Oon refugeee camp and to his home village of Baw Caw Done for Easter celebrations -- and a proud welcome by the Catholic community.

In his teenage years Augustine lived in the remote refugee camp of Mae La Oon in the jungles of the Thai-Burma border before moving to Marist-supported 'True Life in God Mission', near Maesot, Thailand.

During seminary years in Burma he was supported by the Australian Myanmar Catholic Community.

Congratulations, Fr Augustine!

[Posted May 06]

Above: Fr Augustine arrives at remote Mae La Oon refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border / stopping en route;      Presenting his first retreat: three days for the people of St Teresa's church, Mae La Oon, in Holy Week
Below: Saw William (centre) stands proudly by his grandson, Fr Augustine, with visiting Karen Sisters and a Brother     Fr Augustine visiting his home village of Baw Caw Done for the first time in twenty-three years, the new priest blesses the cemetery / ... visiting his mother's grave

Fr Ray Chapman (far right) and fellow-pilgrims farewelled from La Neylière by Fr Ad Blommerde (far left) & Fr Jean-Bernard Joly (2nd from right) / bedroom of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin at La Neylière

Pilgrims homeward bound

The group of Lay Marists led by Fr Ray Chapman SM visiting the places of Marist origins in France are making their way home.

The nine pilgrims are returning through Rome where they are calling on the General Houses of the various Marist branches.

The group's nine-seater minibus took them to the towns and villages in the region around Lyon where the Marist Fathers, Sisters and Brothers were founded.

 [Posted May 06]

Above: Sr Teri O'Brien SM (2nd from left) and pilgrims at the former home of Marist Sisters' foundress, Jean-Marie Chavoin in Coutouvre / J-M Chavoin remembered in a window of the parish church.     Pilgrims about to leave Belley / burial place of J-M Chavoin, Bon Repos, Belley   
Below: Pilgrims at La Coria near Cerdon where Jean-Claude Colin experienced encouragement from the Blessed Virgin / the village of Cerdon.       Rome, visiting Marist General Houses:  Marist Fathers, the rooftop of Monteverde / Marist Missionary Sisters, Fr Ray with Sup-General, Sr Georgeanne Donovan.     Marist Brothers, EUR, with Br Tony Leon (2nd from left in front) / Marist Sisters, morning tea with Sr Bernadette (centre).

Hoppy's mission adventure

At the mission of the 'Misioneros Maristas', Tarija, Bolivia, Fr John ('Hoppy") Hopkinson SM, with his team is celebrating almost four decades of missionary life in Central and South America.

May 05 marked thirty-seven years since the Brisbane-born Marist first arrived in Mexico where he was to work amongst the poorest of the poor before moving to Bolivia. He will celebrate forty-three years priesthood on May 27.

Fr John has sent images recording some of his missionary memories.

[Posted May 06]


Investiture of Fr Kevin OAM

In a ceremony on May 01 at Sydney's Government House, Gympie-born Marist, Fr Kevin Kerley, 85, was invested with the OAM (medal in the general division of the Order of Australia) for 'service to the international community through humanitarian roles in Papua-New Guinea'.

Vicar-provincial, Fr Peter McMurrich, describes the event:
'While the ceremony had an appropriate air of formality, the Governor’s personal gifts of friendliness, approachability, and humanity shone through, and counterbalanced and complemented the more formal aspects. With its fairy-tale gothic features and superb harbour setting, Government House was a wonderful venue for the investiture.'

After Marist profession, Fr Kevin (then a Brother SM) worked in Bougainville from 1954 to 1972, before returning to Australia for priestly studies. Ordained in 1980, he returned to Bougainville where he worked until 2001 including through the tumultuous period of the Bougainville crisis.

At Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, NSW, Fr Kevin continues his work of assembling memoirs of the crisis years. He is a keen commmentator on Australian affairs. Congratulations, Fr Kevin OAM!

 [Posted May 01]

Fr Peter McMurrich, Fr Kevin, Fr Paul Pearce and Villa Maria business manager, Kerrie Sanders-Perry

The OAM / Fr Kevin with seventy years of other insignia

Fr Kevin with Kerrie Sanders-Perry / ... and Fr Paul Pearce


Social Justice Diary for May

This month's anniversaries include National Sorry Day and the end of World War II.

Go to JPIC Diary

 [Posted May 01]


Latest Provincial Circular

Available at 'Members only' log-in.

 [Posted May 01]