June 2015

This page:  Jeanne-Marie Chavoin feast day  | Latest Provincial Circular  |  Passing of Fr Craig Larkin  |  Aussies on the roof  | Coste to Colin  |  Marist Mission Centre newsletter  |  Sisters' heritage leadership centre  |  Laudato Si released  |  Marist Q&A at City Centre |  MAP underway in Fiji  |  Refugee week 2015  |  August  event web site launched  |  Q & A  |  Colours of Villa Maria  |  Celebration for Fr John Hill  |  ACMRO action call on Rohingya refugees  |  Corpus Christi procession from St Patrick's  |  St Marcellin's feast day  |  Bridge Program success  |  Latest Euroinfo

Sister Teri O'Brien SM with the new plaque at Bon Repos / Jarnosse, France, where J-M Chavoin died in 1858

Jean-Marie Chavoin feast day

Jun 30 marks the 157th anniversary of the death of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, revered foundress of the Marist Sisters.

A recently-placed plaque of her image marks the resting place of Jeanne-Marie in the chapel of Bon Repos, Belley, France.

Born in the village of Coutouvre in central France in 1786 the young Jeanne-Marie followed the call of the Colin brothers at Cerdon to establish the first community of Marist Sisters.

Mother St Joseph, as she was known, died in 1858 at Jarnosse, not far from her birthplace. 

[Jun 30]


Latest Provincial Circular

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

[Jun 28]


Passing of Fr Craig Larkin SM

Throughout the world Marists mourn the death of their confrère, Fr Craig Larkin SM, writer, historian and formator, who died peacefully in Wellington, NZ, on Jun 27, aged 71.

Having served in his native New Zealand province as teacher, seminary rector and provincial, Fr Craig was elected to the General Council of the Society of Mary, and later coordinated Marist international formation programs.

He is well-known and appreciated for his books on Marist themes, including recent publications on the life of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin. May he rest in well-deserved peace.

[Jun 27]

Above: Fr Craig Larkin / ... with 'Letters received from Oceania', inspiration for his book on the spirit of Marists, 'Bearings'.
Below: Fr Craig with a formator-in-training at Innimont, Bugey mountains, scene of pioneer Marist missions  |  Fr Craig's publications: 'A Certain Way' / 'Bearings'  |  'Pilgrim's guide to the places of Marist origins' / 'A superior-general at work: Jean-Claude Colin Rome'

Fr Paul Cooney and cousin, Therese Bolt, Fr Tony Corcoran with Maryanne and Greg Knoblanche / Monteverde community and guests

Aussies on the roof

The Society of Mary's General House, 'Monteverde', Rome, boasts a rooftop area ideal for summertime relaxation of guests and community.

Recent Australian visitors have included Therese Bolt (cousin of Bursar-General, Fr Paul Cooney) and Greg and Maryanne Knoblanche (Hunters Hill parishioners and friends of Fr Tony Corcoran, Secretary-General and former parish priest of Hunters Hill).

They are pictured, left, enjoying the cool of a Monteverde summer evening and overlooking the rooftops of Rome.

[Jun 26]


Coste to Colin

Twenty-five years ago, on Jun 25, 1990, Marist historian, Fr Jean Coste SM, gave a talk at the General House of the Society of Mary, 'Monteverde', Rome, marking the bicentenary year of the birth of Founder, Jean-Claude Colin.

In a touching addendum to his speech, Fr Coste spoke directly to Fr Colin... Click here.

[Jun 25]


Marist Mission Centre news

Winter edition of MMC Australia's newsletter is now available. Click here..

[Jun 23]


'Woodbury Hall, a popular venue': Sr Cath Lacey (centre) with Srs Kate McPhee and Noelene Simmons.

Sisters' heritage leadership centre

When recently-appointed leader of the Marist Sisters in Australia, Sr Cath Lacey SM, comes to her place of work each day at Woodbury Hall, Hunters Hill, she follows in the steps of Sisters a century ago.

Today's Marist Sisters use the historic building (part of the Villa Maria monastery precinct) as their leadership and administrative base.

Bursar, Sr Kate McPhee, and accountant, Geraldine Carter, make up the regular team, assisted by other Sisters. Woodbury Hall is a popular venue for gatherings of local Marist Sisters.

[Jun 23]

Named after pioneer Australian Marist theologian and teacher, Fr Austin Woodbury, the building's heritage is described by historian, Fr Peter McMurrich: 'Constructed 1902-3, the ground floor became the new kitchen for the Villa Maria monastery, replacing the original one in the southern wing; and a dining room for the Third Order of Mary Regular Sisters who lived on the site.

'Upstairs was overflow accommodation for the use of T.O.M. Regular Sisters visiting Sydney. After 1929, with the building of the Western Wing which accommodated a modern kitchen, the entire building became available for use by the Sisters.'


Laudato Si released

Pope Francis' encyclical letter on the environment, 'Laudato Si', ('Praise be to You') has now been released.

For the full text click here.

[Jun 19]


Marist Q&A at City Centre

Parish priest of St Patrick's City Centre church in Sydney, Fr Ray Chapman SM, reports on the Q&A held on Jun 16 and hosted by the Marist Family branches::

'Marist Q & A' is an initiative of the Pastoral Team at St Pat's, in response to the Superior General's letter of 2014 on the Year of Consecrated Life.

'It went very well last Tuesday with over 20 people there. The Q & A format was particularly helpful.  We plan for a follow-up session in September.'

[Jun 18]


From left: Frs Susitino Sionepoe [Oceania] Pat Devlin [Asia] Ben McKenna [Oceania] Peter McMurrich [Australia], David Kennerley [NZ], Larry Duffy [Vicar-General, Rome], Neil Vaney [NZ] and Bob Barber [Australia]

MAP underway in Fiji

Leaders from the Marist Fathers' units of Asia, Australia, NZ and Oceania are meeting in Suva this week. Oceania provincial Fr Ben McKenna, reports: 'The MAP Meeting has a fine, trusting spirit, and making good progress.

'The agenda includes a brief report from each Unit, Vocations, . Prioritization of Works, Re-structuring, Website/Social Media and Ongoing Formation.'.

[Jun 15]


Refugee Week 2015

The National Refugee Week begins on Jun 14. For the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) schedule of events click here.

[Jun 14]


August event web site launched

The latest Marist web site to be launched is an initiative of the Marist Family Justice and Peace group in Australia: www.maristfamily,com.au.

Led by Fr Jim Carty SM, the group's site advertises its forthcoming August 29 Strathfield event, 'Both Ends of the Gun', focussing on Australian aboriginals at war.

Click here to: Download the flyer  |   Go to the web site.

[Jun 13]



Quoted on the Marist City Centre Churches Network blog Fr Ray Chapman reports on an important vocations initiative of the Marist Family:

'We are inviting young people who may have been thinking of religious life to come along and to get some answers to their questions.

'We're having an evening Question and Answer session at St Patrick's on Tue,Jun 16, and have opened a dedicated Twitter account and Facebook page. The Question and Answer format is popular among young people.'

Click here to download the Q&A flyer

[Jun 13]

Below: The Marist Q&A team. Standing, Br Greg Macdonald FMS and Fr Paul Mahony SM; seated, Sisters Judith Lythall SM, Janice Ruff SMSM and Celina Gavie SM and Fr Ray Chapman SM.

Colours of Villa Maria

Ever on the lookout for fine photo opportunities, Montbel's community leader, Fr Paul Mahony, sends these samples of the colours of the Villa Maria precinct, Hunters Hill, as autumn moves to winter.

Pictured is a Japanese tree planted and lovingly tended by Fr Paul Glynn and the rainbow appearing over Holy Name fo Mary church during a recent break in Sydney's winter weather.

Thanks, Fr Paul.

[Jun 13]


Celebration for Fr John Hill

Sydney's 'Montbel' community and visiting Marists honoured veteran Japan missioner, Fr John Hill SM, on his 92nd birthday on Jun 05.

Born in Adelaide in 1923, and after education by the Josephites Sisters and Marist Brothers, John joined the Marists in 1941 to become one of the best-known and loved Marist missionaries in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

He now resides at St Catherine's Aged Care facility at nearby Eastwood, and joins the 'Montbel' community each week for Sunday Mass and lunch. Happy Birthday, Fr John!

[Jun 12]


ACMRO action call on Rohingya refugees

Pleas from Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) chairman, Bishop Vincent Long Nguyen, and director, Fr Maurizio Pettena,

Click here for ACMRO statement.

[Jun 10]



Corpus Christi procession for St Patrick's

Once again Sydney's diverse Catholic community participated in this year's Corpus Christi procession from St Patrick's, Church Hill, to St Mary's cathedral on Jun 07.

Leaving the Marist Eucharistic shrine the procession was led by Bishop Terry Brady, priests, deacons and seminarians and several thousand of Catholics, young and old, reflecting the ehnic richness of the local Church.

[Photos: Jonathan Alvin]

[Jun 07]

Above: Bishop Terry Brady brings the Blessed Sacrament from the high altar of St Patrick's, accompanied by deacons of the archdiocese / the procession begins down Grosvenor Street. Below: St Patrick's parish priest, Fr Ray Chapman SM (right) with Bishop Brady and deacons  |  Procession through the streets of Sydney  |  At St Mary's cathedral

St Marcellin 's Feast Day

Members of the Marist Family unite on Jun 06 in remembering, honouring and celebrating St Marcellin Champagnat, Founder of the Marist Brothers.

As one of the pioneer Marist aspirants gathered at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière, Lyon, France, in 1816, the newly-ordained Champagnat pledged to play his part in forming the Marist Family. He soon established what is now the world-wide congregation of the Marist Brothers.

Pictured: Glass window image of St Marcellin Champagnat, Differt, Belgium / the bed in which he died, and the chair on which sat his last visitors, including Jean-Claude Colin

[Jun 06]


Bridge Program success

Five participants in the Bridge Program of 2014 and 2015 have been accepted by Australian Catholic University for its 2015-16 online program.

The 20-week program equips young Burmese with skills to apply for tertiary education. A total of sixteen 'BP-ers' have now been accepted by ACU in the past four years, and eleven graduating with a Diploma of Liberal Arts in 2013 and 2015.

The Bridge Program is offered by 'Marist Training Resources' under the auspices of the Marist Fathers' 'Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation' committee.

[Jun 02]

Above: Amoe and Hnin Set Win, on the day of their ACU entrance tests. Below: Successful BP applicants for the ACU program: Amoe, Du Du, Hnin Set Win, Thura Hein and Saw Yu Nwe.

Latest Euroinfo

Recent news from the European Province of the Marist Fathers includes the priestly ordination of Fr Thilo Saft SM. Click here

[Jun 01]