February 2015


This page:  Fr Bernie Ryan farewelled  |  Br Charlie's 50 years honoured  |  Journey in the heart  | Special Bulletin on Fr Bernard Ryan  | Passing of Fr Bernard Ryan  |  Cardinal Mafi at Monteverde  |  Muriel's scholarship success  |  Cardinal Bo's Aussie connections  |  Br Charlie rides again  | 'Aboriginal Australians at war' symposium takes shape  |  Fr John Thornhill writes on Pope Francis  |  Passing of Fr Larry Hannan  |  Montbel's Colin table  |  ACRATH wins top new awards  |  Social Justice & Marist Diary for February  |  Herston visitors

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

A packed Villa Maria church was the scene of Fr Bernie Ryan's Requiem Eucharist / thence to Macquarie Park cemetery

Fr Bernie Ryan farewelled

A moving liturgy blending Marist, indigenous and family dimensions in the life of Fr Bernard Ryan marked his farewell from Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, on Feb 27.

Preceded by Marist and family vigil gatherings at 'Montbel', the Requiem liturgy feaured tributes, symbols and prayers from members of Fr Bernie's New Zealand family, his Marist family and the indigenous communities to whom he had dedicated the recent decades of his life.

New Zealand Marist provincial, Fr David Kennerley SM, presided at the Mass assisted by Australian provincial, Fr Bob Barber, and close associate in indigenous ministry, Fr Paul Sullivan, who preached the homily.

[Feb 27]

Above: Vigil gatherings in the Montbel chapel | Fellow former Superior-General, Fr John Jago, and Montbel superior, Fr Paul Mahony at the community vigil.  Below: Eulogies from nephew, Mark Leydon / Fr Kevin Stewart | Aboriginal elder, Aunty Mavis Davis / homilist, Fr Paul Sullivan  | The liturgy beginning with traditional indigenous smoking ceremony | Fr David Kennerley presiding
Above: Lightiing of the Paschal candle by one of Fr Bernie's sisters / Placing of Fr Bernie's stole  |  Placing of chalice by Fr Paul Mahony / placing of symbols by Br Mika and family members.  Below: Congregation included many of the Marist family, Ryan family members from New Zealand and Australia, indigenous representatives from northern rivers communities and many other friends / two indigenous youth from Macksville carried the offetory gifts | Frs David Kennerley, Paul Sullivan and Bob Barber  | Villa Maria parish priest, Fr Kevin Bates, accompanied the liturgy
Above: Fr Bob Barber at the final commendation |  Fr Bernie's sisters sprinkling his casket. Below: baptised by Fr Bernie, indigenous youth, Kim Jarrett, reads the Lord's Prayer in the language of his Koori community / farewelling Fr Bernie in song  |  Graveside farewell by indigenous friends with soil and water / Fr Bernie's sisters farewell their brother in word and song

Br Charlie's 50 years honoured

In a simple celebration at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, on Feb 26 Br Charlie Randle's golden jubilee of religious profession was marked by his community confrères.                     

Br Charlie will join other jubilarians later this year for a province celebration. Happy Anniversary, Br Charlie!

[Feb 27]


'Journey in the heart' group / Ashram's Fr Augustine with Fr Michael Whelan

Journey in the heart

Director of Sydney's Aquinas Academy, Fr Michael Whelan SM, reports on 'Journey in the heart', the recent Academy pilgrimage to India:

'Seventeen of us travelled to India on pilgrimage in February. After a brief retreat at Coorg we moved to the Shantivanam ashram in Trichi for four days.

'This ashram, right down in the south of India, was founded in the early fifties by two Benedictines and made famous by Bede Griffiths who lived out  the last twenty-five years of his life there.

'We then flew to Sri Lanka where we visited a number of Buddhist sites. A special joy: we stayed in the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo, where Thomas Merton had stayed in October 1968!                     

[Feb 26]


Special Bulletin on Fr Bernard Ryan

Following the death of a former Superior-General, from the General House of the Society of Mary in Rome comes a special issue of 'SM Bulletin'.  . Click here

[Feb 23]


Passing of Fr Bernard Ryan

The Marist world mourns the passing of former Superior-General of the Society of Mary, Fr Bernard (Bern) Ryan SM.

New Zealand born Fr Bern came to Australia to work among indigenous Catholic communities after his international leadership term ended in 1985. In recent years he was resident at 'Montbel' retirement facility at Hunters Hill, NSW.

Some months ago he moved to Caroline Chisholm Nursing Home, Lane Cove, NSW, where he died, aged 90, on the evening of Feb 21 after only a very short illness.  May he rest in well-deserved peace. Farewell, Fr Bern.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 am on Fri, Feb 27, at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, thence to Macquarie Park cemetery.  

[Feb 21-22]


Cardinal Mafi at Monteverde. Below: at Mass in the General House chapel, and with Australian, Fr Paul Cooney

Cardinal Mafi at Monteverde

Tongan Cardinal, Soane Patita Paini Mafi, stayed at the Marist Fathers' General House, 'Monteverde', during his recent time in Rome.

At age 53, on Feb 14, he was appointed by Pope Francis as the first ever cardinal from Tonga and became on that date the youngest member of the College of Cardinals with the title of cardinal priest assigned to the titular church of Santa Paola Romana.

SM Bulletin reports: 'The General House was privileged to provide hospitality to Cardinal Mafi of Tonga on the occasion of his creation as cardinal by Pope Francis.

'Growing up in Tonga, studying at PRS Suva, and ministering in Tonga, Cardinal Mafi has been closely associated with Marists. As a school-boy he spent two years at St Patrick's Marist College, Wellington, New Zealand.'

[Feb 21]


Muriel Valles, Bridge Program 2013 / Saw Htoo Htoo, Bridge Program 2011-12

Muriel's scholarship success

Bridge Program graduate and ACU student, Muriel Valles, has been awarded a 4-year Liberal Studies Bachelorate scholarship by Hong Kong's Institute of Education (pictured below). She is one of hundreds of young Burmese refugees furthering their education on the Thai-Burma border.

'I hope this will be an encouragement to other young Karens', says an excited Muriel, who has been an outstanding student at ACU's online program, Mae Pa, Thailand after completing the Marist-sponsored Bridge Program in 2013.

Muriel will return shortly to Mae La refugee camp, Thailand, to share the good news with her friends, before ACU graduation in May and the Hong Kong program in September. Congratulations, Muriel!

BP-er from the previous Bridge Program, Saw Htoo Htoo, has already begun scholarship studies in Business Administration at the University of the Thai Chambler of Commerce in Bangkok.

[Feb 18]


Cardinal Bo's Aussie connections

Australia's Burmese community is celebrating the recent selection by Pope Francis of their country's first cardinal, Charles Maung Bo.

As Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), the then-Archbishop Bo visited Australia in 2011 to meet with local Burmese Catholics and Australian Catholic University staff whose Thai-Burma border online studies program was initiated with Marist support in 2004.

'I want to be a voice for the voiceless,' says Cardinal Bo. 'I want to speak more on behalf of the marginalized and the poor, who have no privileges and facilities.'

[Feb 15]

Below: Pope Francis greeting and bestowing the red hat on Burma's first cardinal on Feb 14 |  Archibishop Bo (second from right) with ACU staff and local Burmese Catholics in Jun 2011.

Br Charlie rides again

Celebrating 50 years of Marist life a few weeks ago, Br Charlie Randle SM has begun chalking up kilometres for this year's 'Cycling for Seminarians' ride. It is Br Charles eighth such ride.

The annual ride, commenced in 2000, has enabled the Marist Mission Centre to raise much-needed funds for the Marist International Formation program.

Click here for MMC appeal page

[Feb 14]


'Aboriginal Australians at war'
symposium takes shape

Members of the combined Marist Family Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) working group met on Feb 10 at Hunters Hill to further plan for its August symposium, 'Aboriginal Australians at war'.

The symposium, to be held on Aug 29 at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield, NSW, is likely to attract lay Marists, secondary school students and members of Social Justice activity groups.

Keynote speaker will be Professor Henry Reynolds, author of 'Forgotten War', exploring the dark history of Australia's frontier wars.

[Feb 11]


Fr John Thornhill writes on Pope Francis

From his retirement setting at Hunters Hill,NSW, Marist theologian and author, Fr John Thornhill SM, has published another book, 'On the way with Pope Francis: Our destination - a renewed church'.

In his foreword Jesuit Bishop Gregory O'Kelly writes: 'It seems clear that Pope Francis has put a new spring into the step of the Church... John Thornhill teases out the reflections of the Holy Father, and explains how they are part of the authentic tradition of the Church, and how they are sourced in Vatican II.'

The 80-page book is available from Fr John at $10 a copy. Bargain reading!

[Feb 10]


Fr Larry Hannan SM / .... with colleagues celebrating 20 years of Fiji Media Watch

Passing of Fr Larry Hannan

Marists throughout the Pacific mourn the passing of Fr Lawrence (Larry) Hannan who died peacefully in Suva on Feb 06, aged 92.

Until recent months Dublin-born missionary and Marist priest for 66 years, Fr Larry had been active in formation and spiritual direction ministry.

In Australia he is also remembered as the former director of Fiji Media Watch, supported by the Marist Mission Centre.

Rest well, Fr Larry.

[Feb 06]


Montbel residents, Fr Tony King SM and Br Mika Cilicewa SM, with the book of prayer intentions / Montbel's Colin Table

Montbel's Colin table

The web site of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, reports:

'An initiative of the Marist retirement community ('Montbel') at Hunters Hill, NSW, Australia, invites community members to both share their prayer intentions and seek the intercession of Jean-Claude Colin. 

'Strategically placed at the entrance to the Montbel chapel, the 'Colin Table' holds a book for intercessions as well as novena leaflets, prayer cards and bookmarks.'

[Feb 03]

Above: Book of prayer intercessions / Colin table in the chapel foyer  |  The picturesque setting of Montbel's chapel
for Australian retired Marists.

One of ACRATH's awards / a proud Sr Noelene Simmons SM

ACRATH wins top new awards

In the 2015 Inaugural 'Restless Press' Southern Cross Catholic Digital Media Awards ACRATH was placed first in two sections. Best Call to Action and Best Use of Social Media. ACRATH draws on the energies and commitment of Australian Catholic religious in the fight against human trafficking.

ACRATH's Sr Noelene Simmons SM says: 'We are grateful to all who voted for us. Thank you for your interest and support. Please continue visiting our website and our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay informed about human trafficking and what can be done to work against this despicable crime.'

Click for 'Restless Press' winners page and ACRATH

[Feb 03]


Social Justice and Marist Diary for February 2015

Go to JPICC diary

[Feb 02]


Herston community and their recent guests: Frs Chris Ketsore, Paul Sullivan, John Begg & Robert Taria / Frs Robert Taria, Lou Molloy, Stephen Truscott & Harry Moore

Below: Fr Stephen Truscott |  Fr Ben McKenna (third from right)

Herston visitors

Fr Gerard Hall reports from the Marist community at Herston (Brisbane), Qld:

'We've had a run of visitors recently from various parts...Fr Robert Taria on way from Bougainville to the Colinian Renewal in France (here's there by now), Fr Paul Sullivan (en route to Thailand to begin sabbatical), Fr Steve Truscott (from Perth, visiting family & handing over his mother Meta's diaries to Uni of Qld) and Fr Ben McKenna (Suva) on the way to visit family in Tassie.'

Fr Gerry also invites us to 'watch this space' for developments of a Marist 'Community of Welcome'. 'You will hear more!', he says.

[Feb 02]