April 2015

This page: Latest Provincial Circular |  Br Charles leaves Sydney  | 'Both ends of the gun' planning  |  Feast of St Peter Chanel  |  Kiwi catch-up  |  Passing of Fr Roger Dumortier  |  e-Novena to St Peter Chanel  |  Marching with the Irish  |  Fourvière bicentenary web site launched  |  Provincial's renewed term  |  Second Australian elected to Marist Sisters' team  | Marist Sisters elect Australian Superior-General  |  Br Charlie farewelled  |  Vocations novena and reflection resource  |  Thornhill book launch  |  Farewell, Br Mika  |  Welcoming community blessed  |  Bougainville advisor visits Fr Kevin Kerley  |  Eucharistic convention-bound  |   Pope Francis drop-in centre opened  |  Thornhill book launch soon  |  Newsletters from USA, Europe  | Good Friday at Villa Maria  |  The Francis Factor  | Fr Michael Whelan for St Patrick's  |  Herston guests  |  Social Justice diary for April  |  New ministry ahead  |  'Care for creation' month  |  Marist Sisters' General Chapter  |  March hits
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Latest Provincial Circular

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[Apr 30]


Br Charles leaves Sydney

After over forty years, on and off, living in Marist communitieis in Sydney, Br Charlie Randle SM, left for his native Brisbane at first light on Apr 29, his signature roof-top bicycles safely fixed for the journey.

Recent weeks have seen Br Charlie busy with clearing the decks at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, including a massive clean-up of the monastery's historic cellar.

Enjoy Queensland, Charlie!

[Apr 29]


Conference chairman, Jeff McMullen, with Br Paul Hough FMS / ... during a break in the planning group's meeting

'Both ends of the gun' planning

Planning proceeds for the conference on Australian Aboriginals at war, being hosted by the Marist Family Justice & Peace group,

Present at its meeting this week was journalist, author and film-maker, Jeff McMullen, who will chair the Aug 29 event.

The conference will be held at Santa Sabina, Strathfield, NSW. Pictured below is JPICC coordinator, Fr Jim Carty, and Santa Sabina's Director of Community Relations, Margaret Molloy.

[Apr 29]


Feast of Saint Peter Chanel

  • Born, Cuet, France, 1803
  • Ordained, Bourg, France, 1827
  • Professed with the first group of Marists, Belley, France, 1836
  • Member of the first mission band sent to the Pacific, 1836-37
  • Martyred on the island of Futuna, Western Pacific, 1841
  • Declared Saint of the Church, Rome, 1954

For a friendly leaflet on the life of St Peter Chanerl SM, the first Marist Saint and protomartyr of the Pacific, click here

[Apr 28]


Kiwi catch-up

After celebrating 50 years of Marist life in 2014, Kiwi Marists, Frs John Craddock, Kevin Stewart and Mike McVerry gather each year to recall their novitiate and seminary times together.They are pictured, left, at the Marist Mission Centre, Hunters Hill on Apr 27.

This year saw them gather at the Marist holiday house, Currumbin, Qld, and this week in Sydney, where Fr Mike preached a weekend Mission Centre appeal at St Patrick's.

A fourth member of their profession band, Fr Barry Malone, is a missionary in Brazil. Enjoy your catch-up, Fathers!

[Apr 28]


Passing of Fr Roger Dumortier SM

Marist across the world mourn the passing of former Superior-General, Fr Roger Dumortier SM, who died in Paris on Apr 26, aged 86.

Fr Roger was the eighth Superior-General of the Society of Mary and held office from Dec 08, 1969 to Sep 18, 1977, when he was succeeded by Fr Bernard Ryan who died recently in Sydney.

[Apr 27]


e-Novena to St Peter Chanel

Follow the novena to St Peter Chanel daily from Apr 20 to 28 (courtesy of the NZ Marist province).

Easy.  Just click on the day. First check on the structure of the novena


Marching with the Irish

World War II veteran and senior Marist, Brother Colin Campbell SM, set off from his Montbel, Hunters Hill, home on the morning of Anzac Day to march with an Irish contingent in the city parade.

Br Colin, oldest member of the Australian Province of the Society of Mary, turns 93 on Apr 27.

March proudly, Br Colin!

[Apr 25]


Fourvière bicentenary web site launched

SM Bulletin from the Marist General Administration in Rome announces a new web site in preparation for the 'Fourvière Year', www.maristinter.org.

It is an initiative of the combined Marist Family committee planning for the bicentenary of the pledge to form the Society of Mary made by young Marist aspirants in Lyons, France, in July 1816.

Features of the multi-language site include history, program details, resources and the famous pledge itself.  Click here for the Fourvière, 1816-2016 web site

[Apr 24]


Re-appointed: Fr Bob Barber (provincial) / Fr Peter McMurrich (vicar-provincial)

Provincial's term renewed

From Rome, the Secretary-General of the Marist Fathers has advised Australian Marists that the provincial, Fr Bob Barber SM, has achieved two-thirds of the first preferences in the consultation for election or re-election for the office of provincial.

Accordingly, the Superior General, Fr John Hannan, has confirmed Fr Bob in the office of provincial for a further three years as from Jan 01, 2016..

Fr Hannan and his Council have conveyed their congratulations and fraternal support.

Shortly after the annoucement, Fr Bob confirmed that his vicar, Fr Peter McMurrich, was re-appointed for the same period.

Congratulations, Frs Bob & Peter!

[Apr 22-23]


General councillors, Srs Sylvette Mané, Vivienne Goldstein and Anne McCabe

Second Australian elected to Marist Sisters' team

Australian Sr Vivienne Goldstein SM is one of three Marist Sisters elected on Apr 21 to their international leadership team.   

With Srs Anne McCabe (UK) and Sylvette Mané (Senegal), Sr Viv will support newly-elected Superior-General, fellow-Australian, Sr Grace Ellul.

Congratulations, Sister Viv!

[Apr 22]


Marist Sisters elect Australian Superior-General

At their General Chapter in Nemi, Italy, the Marist Sisters have elected Sr Grace Ellul as their new Superior-General. Born in Egypt of Maltese parents, Grace and her family migrated to Melbourne where she joined the Marist Sisters.

Announcing the news on Apr 20 the Sisters report:
'It is with great joy that Sr Jane Frances O’Carroll, current Superior General, announces that Sr Grace Ellul has been elected as our 14th Superior General.

'Let us hold Grace in prayer over these days and assure her of our loving support as she prepares to take up her role.'
   Congratulations, Sister Grace!

[Apr 21]

Sister Grace Ellul is no stranger to ethnic diveristy having spent long years in the Sisters' mission in Brazil and with multi-cultural groups in Australia. She is pictured below (third from right, and near fellow Marist and former leader, Sr Gail Renneker) with migrant families of Sydney's outer west during her ministry with the 'House of Welcome' / Sr Grace is a member of the combined Marist 'Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation' group (second from right).
  For news of the Sisters'
General Chapter, click here

Br Charlie farewelled

After a rolling series of farewells in the Hunters Hill area Brother Charles ('Charlie') Randle SM will return soon to his native Queensland after having spent much of his fifty years of religious life in Sydney communities.

Famous for his cycling exploits over sixty years, the much-loved, multi-skilled and no-nonsense Marist will be missed not only by local Marists but many parishioners and friends,

Members of Br Charlie's family came from Brisbane and regional NSW to be part of the farewells. They will soon see more of him from his new base at Herston, Brisbane. Farewell, Br Charlie, we will miss you!

[Apr 19]

Above: Holy Name of Mary parish farewell on Apr 19  |  Farewell cake / Br Charlie with a grand-niece  |  a familiar sight on the roads of NSW & Qld  Below: Family members join the Villa Maria community in its private farewell to Br Charlie  |  Br Charlie speaking at Montbel during the recent farewell of another brother, Mika Cilicewa

Vocations novena and reflection resource

The Marist province of New Zealand has prepared a resource, 'Called to be
instruments of Mercy'
, to be used for personal or community reflection during the annual Novena for Vocations through the intercession of St Peter Chanel.

The novena, beginning this year on Mon, Apr 20, traditionally precedes the feast of St Peter Chanel on Apr 28.

Click here for Novena booklet  |  'Called to be instruments of mercy'

[Apr 18]


Thornhill book launch

Members of the Marist Family and other friends gathered at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, to support the book launch of Fr John Thornhill's book, 'On the way with Pope Francis - our destination: a renewed church'

The Apr 17 launch was led by Fr Martin Maunsell, parish priest of St Kevin's Eastwood, who highlighted Fr Thornhill's insights into scripture, liturgy and the mind of Pope Francis.

[Apr 17]


Farewell, Br Mika

On Apr 16 Marists from all over Sydney gathered at Montbel, Hunters Hill, to farewell Fijian Marist, Br Mikaele Cilicewa SM, who leaves Australia after twelve years' ministry amongst indigenous peoples in the Northern Rivers districts of NSW.

From the Oceania Marist Province, Br Mika joined the Macksville community of Marists in 2003 where he worked alongside the late Fr Bernard Ryan and Australian Marists in their ministry.

Leaving Sydney for Fiiji on Apr 17, Br Mika takes up residence at the Marist Fiji Regional House, Laucala Bay, Suva. His gentle, generous presence in the Australian province will be much missed. Farewell, Br Mika.

[Apr 17]

Above: Br Mika surrounded by local Marists at his 'Montbel' farewell / Montbel superior, Fr Paul Mahony, thanks Br Mika.
Below: Br Mika with indigenous friends and co-workers at Macksville.

Rosalie's first guest, Fr Justin Ratsi, with community members Frs Gerard Hall & Chris Ketsore, and Hayden Kennedy / Local aboriginal elder, Aunty Joan Hendriks, with Marists at Rosalie

Welcoming community blessed

In house-warming and -blessing cermonies on Apr 11, the newest community of the Marist Fathers in Australia - a house of welcome for Marists and interested aspirants - has been established in Rosalie, Brisbane, Qld.

Community member, Hayden Kennedy, reports: 'With seventy guests, much merriment and hospitality was enjoyed by all. The local PP Fr Peter Brannelly has been terrifically accommodating and helpful to our community... the neighbouring Marist Brothers have also been exemplary in their generous welcoming spirit.' 

The pioneer community comprises Frs Gerard Hall and Chris Ketsore and Hayden Kennedy.

[Apr 13]

Bougainville advisor visits Fr Kevin Kerley

From ANU's Research College of Pacific & Asian Studies Anthony Regan paid a visit to Fr Kevin Kerley SM over the weekend of Apr 11-12, gleaning material for new research on the Bougainville conflict.

Co-editor of 'Bougainville before the conflict' Anthony has spent almost twenty years living in PNG and Bougainville and as a constitutional lawyer helped negotiate the Peace Agreement Bougainville. He still advises the Bougainville Government,

[Apr 11]

Eucharistic convention-bound

Armed with a box of his popular books, Marist author and spiritual writer, Fr Paul Glynn SM, left for New Zealand on Apr 10 for this year's Eucharistic Convention to be held in Auckland over the Divine Mercy weekend..

Fr Paul will preside and preach at one of the convention Masses, emphasising the relevance of Pope St John-Paul II's teaching and support of Divine Mercy seer, St Faustina, and the need for deeper prayer and devotion in today's world.

[Apr 10]

Pope Francis drop-in centre openend

Director of Australia's Marist Mission Centre, Fr Kevin Stewart SM, was present at the opening and blessing of the latest Marist initiative for street kids in Davao, southern Philippines.

Marist Asia's web reports: 'Balay Pasilungan, the Marist home for street children in Davao City, has expanded its ministry with the opening of a drop-in center... an extension to Balay Pasilungan’s residential program, blessed on Apr 06. A large number of friends and benefactors attended the blessing...'

For the whole story: click here

[Apr 09]

Thornhill book launch soon

Fr John Thornhill's book, 'On the way with Pope Francis: Our destination - a renewed church', will be launched on Apr 17, at Villa Maria monastery, 1 Mary St, Hunters Hill, Sydney, 6.30 to 7.30 pm.

See also 'Fr John Thornhill writes on Pope Francis', February news

[Apr 08]

Newsletters from USA, Europe

Marist bulletins from the provinces of USA and Europe are now available:

e-Bulletin (USA)  |  Euroinfo (Europe)

[Apr 07]


He is risen!

Easter candle, St Joseph's Hostel, Hunters Hill


Good Friday at Villa Maria

Damp weather did not deter several hundred followers of the Hunters Hill inter-church Way of the Cross on Good Friday, Apr 03.

Beginning at St Mark's Anglican church, the procession wended its way through the streets of Hunters Hill, culimnating with the Crufixion and Burial scenes in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery.

[Apr 03]


The Francis Factor

Marist author, Fr Gerald Arbuckle, has just published a book on personal and institutional aging, 'The Francis Factor and the People of God: New Life for the Church'.

Described as 'a timely book not just for individuals, but also for many Catholic institutions facing diminishment, or seeking rebirth and renewal', the book is published by Maryknoll, NY, Orbis Books.

Click here to order

[Apr 03]


Fr Michael Whelan for St Patrick's

Director of Sydney's Aquinas Academy, Fr Michael Whelan SM, has been appointed by Archbishop Anthony Fisher as parish priest of St Patrick's, Church Hill, as of Jan 01, 2016.

Fr Michael will continue heading the Aquinas Academy which will continue to offer a range of course including within the city centre.

[Apr 02]


Fr Tom Ryan, Christian & Claude-Helene Mayer, Lollo, Blanche, Frs John Begg & Lou Molloy with 'Ici' and Fr John Worthington

Herston guests

The Marist community of Herston, Qld, recently entertained South African guests.

The Mayers, a German family from Pretoria, are travelling around Australia in a campervan, pausing for dinner with the Herston Marists.

[Apr 02]


Social Justice diary for April

This month's anniversaries include Pope John XXIII's 'Pacem in Terris' ("Peace of Earth') (1963) and the martyrdom of St Peter Chanel (1841).

Go to Social Justice Diary

[Apr 02]


Fr Justin Ratsi (left) with fellow Oceanian, Fr Willy Melteras / ... with a new Aussie friend during the 2011 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program

New ministry ahead

Bougainvillean Marist, Fr Justin Ratsi SM, is in Australia briefly between two very different ministries.

Having recently overseen the closure of Marist College, Bomana, PNG, Fr Justin is now preparing for the Oceania Marist province's new parish venture in Port Moresby. He remarks, 'Revisiting our Oceania origins at Villa Maria has been an especially important part of my visit'.

In Sydney and Brisbane he is taking the opportunity to acquire new resources for the pastoral work he will soon be doing.

[Apr 01]


'Care 4 Creation' month

Pope Francis’ universal prayer intention for April 2015 is 'That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God'.

The Global Catholic Climate Movement says: 'In the face of human-made climate change which is undoing God’s gift, let’s join Pope Francis praying and acting for creation together, to prepare ourselves for his upcoming encyclical on ecology.'

Click here for Climate change facts and GCCM web site.

[Apr 01]


Marist Sisters' General Chapter

'Women of the Word - embracing life' is the theme of the forthcoming General Chapter of the Marist Sisters.

Six Australians are amongst the Asia-Pacific delegates attending the Chapter at Nemi, Italy, Apr 08-29.

For news of the Chapter proceedings go to the dedicated web site: click here.

[Apr 01]


March hits

For the number lovers: visits to this web site continue to climb, with a record 734,000 'hits' during the month of March.

Daily visits averaged 812, peaking at 1427 on Mar 11.

Throughout the month 109 countries were recorded as having visited the site, Australia accounting for ca 40% of the visits.

[Apr 01]