December 2014

This page:  Brazilian Baptism in Brisbane  |  Two Marist newsletters  | Based on a true story  |  Farewell, Jenny and Jan  |  Final departures of S&L men  |  Church stonework completed  |  Parish crib - a team effort  |  Latest Provincial Circular  |  Toppled gum gone  |  Tree topples near aged Marists  |  New webmaster for OMP site  |  ACU meets with Asia SMs  |  Fourth S&L ends  |  Second Pacific death - Fr Rafa Qalovi SM  |  Sudden death of 2013 S&L participant  |  Colin in Rome  |  Social Justice diary for December

The Colin web site ( is hosted from Australia
Click here for the latest news and photo-of-the-week

Brazilian Baptism in Brisbane

The last monthly Mass in 2014 for Brisbane’s Catholic Brazilian community included a baptism with historic connections.

Former missionary in the Marist mission district of Brazil, Portuguese-speaking, Fr Paul Mahony SM, officiated at the baptism of Giovanni Francischi dos Prazeres who was clothed in the 100-year-old gown used by both his grandfather and his great grandfather. 

Fr Paul, who travels from Sydney every month to be with Brisbane and Rockhampton's Brazilian communities, commented: ‘The Mass is generally very well attended… more than 150 people present at St Patrick’s, Fortitude Valley. And there are many young families from Brazil that are still arriving to call Australia their home.’

[Posted Dec 31]


Two Marist newsletters

Click for the end-of-year newsletters from the Marist Mission Centre and Marist Laity Australia.

[Posted Dec 29]


Above:  .... / Crib scene sent by Fr Albert Kabala SM, Cameroon |  Below: Crib at Marian House (Marist Sisters), Woolwich NSW / Crib icon sent by Fr Ben McKenna SM, Fiji  |  Holy Family, Cook Islands, sent by Bishop Paul Donoghue SM / Crib at Villa Maria's open-air vigil Mass  |  More of the Vigil Mass at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill

'Based on a true story'

A delightful four minutes video, capturing the Christmas event... produced by the children of St Paul's school, Auckland, NZ.

For this charming encounter with Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, wise men and a star: click here

[Posted Dec 24]


Vill Maria manager, Kerrie Sanders, assists at the farewell for Jenny / and Jan

Farewell, Jenny and Jan

The Marist community of Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, is grieving the loss of two esteemed and much-loved staff members, Mrs Jenny Piliotis and Mrs Jan Snelling.

Both have served the 'inner men' of Villa Maria during the past decade, and both have had changes in family circumstances leading up to their leaving.

Mourning Marists did their best to offer Jenny and Jan a cheerful and sincere farewell at a special afternoon tea on Dec 22. Farewell, Jenny and Jan - and a huge thankyou!

[Posted Dec 22]

Above: Kitchen flashbacks: Jan / and Jenny at work at Villa Maria  |  Community leader, Fr Peter McMurrich, leads a series of grateful speeches  |  Jenny and Jan cut an emotional farewell cake / typical dining room scene following the efforts of Jenny and Jan

Final departures of S&L men

The last participants of the MAP 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program have left Sydney for their missions in the Pacific, Thailand and the Philippines.

The ten-week 'S&L' ongoing formation experience was the fourth and final such course to be conducted in Australia by Marist-Asia Pacific.

[Posted Dec 18]


Church stonework completed

Workman recently removed scaffolding, broken and decayed materials and construction gear to reveal Holy Name of Mary Church, Hunters Hill, in pristine state.

The repair and restoration project on the historic building is part of a $500,000 parish program for church and school improvements.

[Posted Dec 17]

Above: Holy Name of Mary church in pristine state    Below: Workers remove scaffolding  | stonework, old and new

Fr Syd Nugent inspects the crib / parishioner, Greg Knoblanche, applying the final coat

Parish crib - a team effort

Veteran missionary, Fr Syd Nugent SM, describes the Christmas crib of Villa Maria parish, Hunters Hill, as a 'team effort'.

Encouraged by 'Montbel' carers, Fr Syd organised the crib figures to be cut by students at nearby St Joseph's College then erected and painted by parishioner, Greg Knoblanche.

Standing in a park area near the parish hall, the crib is floodlit by night and commands the attention of thousands of passers-by daily - and nightly.

Throughout long years in the Japanese Marist Mission Fr Syd created cribs in Gose, Suzaku and other centres. Well done, Fr Syd!

[Posted Dec 16]


Latest Provincial Circular

Available at 'Members only' log-in (Home Page)

[Posted Dec 14]


Toppled gum gone

'Now you see it, now you don't' ... in a swift and expert operation yesterday's fallen eucalypt was dismembered and removed from the Montbel site within 36 hours of its demise (see below, 'Tree topples near aged Marists').

A team of deft woodsmen made short work of the large tree, all in a Saturday morning's work.

Well done, by gum!

[Posted: Dec 13]


Tree topples near aged Marists

Sydney's violent winds in the early hours of Dec 12 toppled a large eucalypt a few metres from 'Montbel', the Marist retirement facility at Hunters Hill, NSW.

The uprooted tree was one of a line bordering the northern edge of the property.

Montbel residents slept peacefully during the incident.

[Posted: Dec 12]


New webmaster for OMP site

Fr Ashton Koleman explores the mysteries of web software with retiring webmaster, Fr Willy Melteras

The web site of the Oceania Marist Province has a new webmaster, Fr Ashton Koleman SM, who takes on the role from Fr Willy Melteras SM.

The site has been redeveloped at various times over the past decade, most recently with Australian Province support by Fr Christian Abongbung and Fr Willy and is one of the more 'navigation-friendly', simple and attractive SM web sites.

It features large-sized photos-of-the-week, regular Bulletins from the OMP leadership, bilingual (English-French) texts and links to the site's companion Facebook page and other Marist web sites, as well as pictorial coverage of each of the province's nine regions.

As Fr Ashton moves to his new posting in charge of the Marist mission at Kanosia, PNG, he will take OMP's web laptop and software - and further steps on the webmaster-learning-curve.

[Posted: Dec 12]


Click here or on the banner below for the OMP web site -


From left: Frs Gil Casio and Lionel Mechavez, ACUs Maya Cranitch and Michelle Haron

ACU meets with Asia SMs

Filipino Marists, Frs Gil Casio and Lionel Mechavez, were visited at Hunters Hill on Dec 10 by two members of Australian Catholic University staff.

Director of ACU's Thai-Burma border online tertiary studies program, Mrs Maya Cranitch, and coordinator of the ACU Developmental Studies' Immersion Progam, Dr Michelle Haron, have a keen stake in the work of Marist Mission Ranong which hosts a branch of the ACU online program. Fr Gil directs MMR's health project at Ranong.

Mrs Cranitch also offered valuable advice for the running of the 'Bridge Program', conducted online from Australia to assist young Burmese hoping to access tertiary studies.

[Posted Dec 11]


Fourth S&L ends

The 2014 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program of the Marist Asia-Pacific region has ended with Mass at Holy Name of Mary Church, Hunters Hill, NSW, on Dec 10.

The 10-week Oct-Dec courses began in 2011 and have offered forty younger Marists from Oceania and the Philippines opportunities for study, prayer, reflection and sharing in a range of spirituality and lifestyle areas.

Left: Happy S&L graduates at Villa Maria / certificates presented by Australian provincial, Fr Bob Barber, and assistant-general, Fr Lote Raiwalui.

[Posted Dec 10]

Above: Homilist, Fr Susitino Sionepoe, vicar-provincial of the Oceania Marist Province / Fr Emeri Ratucoko reading  |  Frs Susitino, Lionel Mechavez and Paul Sullivan (program coordinator) / intercessions in the languages of participants  |  visiting assistant-general, Fr Lote Raiwalui, reads a message from superior-general, Fr John Hannan / S&L participants and friends in Holy Name of Mary church.

: 2014 S&L's smiling graduates, from left: Frs Eneriko Nacolarara, Gil Casio, Francis Takaku, Steven Lugabai, Jean-Vianney Barang, Jacob Aba, Lionel Mechavez, Emeri Ratucoko, Tomasi Sili and Ashton Koleman
Above: Villa Mari'a acting superior, Br Charles Randle, welcomes guests to the celebratory luncheon, with program coordinator, Fr Paul Sullivan   |  Traditional 'Isa Lei' farewell song concludes the luncheon.   Below: More S&L memories...
Above: Theology with Fr Gerry Hall SM / Cultural immersion: the Melbourne Cup  | Monday evening I.T. session / Marist Way reflections wth parishioners at Montbel  Below: Relaxing at Bilgola / Friday evening kava  |  Filipino confreres with the Marist Sisters at Woolwich  |  The wash-up  /  chatting with a senior Marist

Fr Rafaele Qalovi SM, former assistant-general of the Society of Mary

Second Pacific death - Fr Rafa Qalovi SM

Once again this week, Marist Oceania provincial, Fr Ben McKenna, announces the passing of a Pacific confrere, Fr Rafaele Qalovi:
' I have just received the news from Fr Jim Ross, in Nadi, that Rafa died this morning, in the presbytery  at 7.40am. He has suffered greatly, and borne it  patiently, for three years: having diabetes which led to heart stents, kidney failure and transplant, and eventually 3x/wk dialysis.

'His confreres and his family have given him close and loving care, particularly in these last tortuous months for him. Details for funeral celebrations will be sent to those in the Fiji Region in due course - hopefully later today. Rafa was 57 years of age.  Professed in 1979.  Ordained in 1983. May he rest in peace.'

Clck here for Fr Rafa's profile

[Posted Dec 05]


Fr Cornelius Giris SM / receiving his S&L certificate from Fr Bob Barber in Dec 2013

Sudden death of 2013 S&L participant

We join the Oceania Marist Province in mourning the passing of Fr Cornelius Giris SM, in PNG, on Dec 03. Fr Cornelius, from the Region of Bougainville, participated in last year's Marist Asia-Pacific 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program in Sydney.

Oceania provincial, Fr Ben McKenna, reports on Dec 03:  'Cornelius has been immobilized for a long time.  In the last couple of months he developed heart problems. He has been cared for with great love and attention by our confreres at Marist College Bomana over the the last month, both at the college and in hospital.

'He was taken again to hospital last night, around mid-night, and developed kidney failure as well as heart failure. He was 40 years old, ordained in 2007.'

May Fr Cornelius rest in peace.     Clck here for Fr Cornelius' profile

[Posted Dec 04]


Colin in Rome

Kiwi Marist, Fr Craig Larkin SM, has published the latest of his illustrated pilgrim resources "Jean-Claude Colin in Rome, a Superior General at work" following the steps of Jean-Claude Colin in his five visits to Rome.

The book sets out four pilgrimages through the streets of ancient Rome, each of them following the significant places Fr Colin visited during his five journeys to Rome.

Click here for more details here.

[Posted Dec 01]


Social Justice Diary for December

This month's anniversaries include Native Title Bill passed by Australian Senate (1993); death of Thomas Merton (1968)

Go to JPIC Diary

 [Posted Dec 01]