October 2015

This page:    Oct 29 anniversary  |  Passing of Br Lawrence Hampton  | Jubilarians honoured  |  Provincial Assembly begins  |  Latest Provincial Circular  |  'Both Ends of the Gun' videos on YouTube  |  CRA leads Canberra human rights meeting | 'Liveable spirit' program at city centre  |  Canberra vigil against child detention  |  ARC ends  |  Packs from Down Under  |  Treehouse Theatre  |  Farewell to Bilgola  |  Round figures for September  | For those who've come across the seas  |  ARC starts  |   Passing of Br Frederick McMahon FMS  |  Social Justice and Marist diary for October

Oct 29 anniversary

Brisbane lay Marists, Kevin and Trish McGrory, again hosted a simple celebration at their Stafford Heights home to remember a special Marist anniversary. Joined by local Marist Fathers they recalled the arrival on Oct 29, 1824, of Fr Etienne Declas at the presbytery of Cerdon, France.

The arrival of Fr Declas to join Frs Pierre and Jean-Claude Colin meant the formation of the first community of the Society of Mary.

That very day Fr Pierre Colin wrote to the bishop, Alexander Devie: 'Today the Society of Mary has begun.'

 [Oct 30]

Above: Frs John Worthington, Aidan Carvill, Lou Molloy and Tom Ryan with Trish McGrory / the Cerdon presbytery today - the window of Fr Jean-Claude Colin's bedroom.
Below:   The presbytery in June 2015  |  The original room of Fr Jean-Claude Colin  


Passing of Br Lawrence Hampton

Marists in New Zealand, Oceania and Australia mourn the passing of Br Lawrence Hampton SM, 95, on Oct 29.

After almost forty years' missionary work in Bougainville, Br Lawrence spent five years in Australia, mostly in Sydney at 'Oceania House', Hunters Hill', where local Marists came to appreciate his gentle ways and varied skills in painting, including the landscapes and buildings of Villa Maria's historic precinct.

Br Lawrence died peacefully in his native New Zealand with confrères from his community of Armstrong Village, Christchurch, nearby.

Rest in peace, Br Lawrence.               [Oct 29]


Jubilarians honoured

Nine Marist priests and brothers with jubilee anniversaries of ordination and profession were honoured at a Mass on Oct 28 at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill. A celebratory dinner followed at nearby 'Montbel'.

This year's jubilartians are Fr John Thornhill (ordained 60 years), Frs Harry Moore, Tom Ryan, Neville Byrne and Michael Mullins (ordained 50 years), Fr Peter McMurrich (ordained 40 years) and Br Charles Randle (professed 50 years).

Deceased golden jubilarians, Frs Arthur Moynihan and John Bonato were also remembered.

[Oct 28]

Above: Jubilarians entering Holy Name of Mary church / homilist, Fr Peter McMurrich   . Below: Jubilee Eucharist   |  Diamond and golden jubilarians, Fr John Thornhill and Br Charles Randle / jubilee dinner at 'Montbel'  |  Fr Kevin Bates proposing a toast to the jubilarians / with fellow Marist entertainers


Provincial Assembly begins

ABC presenters, Caroline Jones and Geraldine Doogue, opened the way for Marists of the Australian Province of Marist Fathers to begin their assembly at Hunters Hill on Oct 27.

The two-day gathering is addressing reconfiguration issues facing the congegation worldwide.

[Oct 27]

Above: Assembly committee member, Fr Gavin Foster / facilitator, Mr John Honner  |  Some of the fifty Marists attending the assembly
Below: Marists search for visual images to reflect feelings about Marist life and future / Fr Tony Kennedy with Caroline Jones  |  Provincial, Fr Bob Barber, presides at the afternoon liturgy / updating the group on developments since the last assembly
Further below: Parish Hall, Hunters Hill, venue for the provincial assembly

Latest Provincial Circular

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

[Oct 24]



Both Ends of the Gun Conference - Professor Henry Reynolds - Keynote Speaker

Both Ends of the Gun Conference - Uncle Dave Williams - Keynote Speaker

Both Ends of the Gun - Aboriginal Australians at War - Panel

'Both Ends of the Gun' videos on YouTube

Thanks to the excellent work of Catholic Communication's XT3 administrator, Laura Bradley, three videos of 'Both Ends of the Gun' are now online on YouTube.

The August seminar on Australian Aboriginals at War was sponsored by the Marist Family Justice & Peace group at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield, NSW.

Click on links at left

[Oct 24]




CRA leads human rights meeting in Canberra

The peak body for Catholic religious institutes in Australia, Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), has taken the lead in calling faith leaders to action onpressing human rights issues

CRA called on other faith bodies.to join them in holding an urgent meeting calling on politicians to restore the human dignity of refugees and asylum seekers in Canberra on Oct 15.

Click here for CRA's media release

[Oct 19]


Marist Brother Rod Thomson speaking on the life of St Marcellin Champagnat / banners of the Marist founders form a backdrop to the session

Representative of the various Marist branches (priests, brothers, two orders of sisters and laity) spoke of the life and spirit of their respective founding personalities. An afternoon workshop, led by Dr Liz Lamb, focussed on practical aspects of living out the 'liveable spirit'.

'Liveable Spirit' program at city centre

Twenty-five mostly lay Marists gathered at St Patrick's, Church Hill, on Oct 15 for the second of the current sessions of 'The Liveable Spirit' program on Marist spirituality.

Coordinator was St Patrick's staff member, Sr Fidelis McTeigue SM.

[Oct 15]


Canberra vigil against child detention

Australians nationwide are invited to joiin or organise their own prayer vigil in support of a meeting in Canberra on Oct 15 between the Congregational Leaders of Religious of Australia and some Parliamentarians in the hope changing the Government's policy of keeping children in detention.

Click here for network of prayer vigils.  
Click here for a page for your own prayer vigil

[Oct 12]


A 3-minute presentation capturing the people and places of ARC is available on YouTube and features the excellent photography of Assistant-General, Fr Alejandro Munoz.
Click here to enjoy it.
Muchas gracias, Padre Alejandro!

ARC ends

The 'Annual Review Consultation', gathering unit leaders from across the Marist world has ended at La Neylière, France, on Oct 09.

Australian Provincial, Fr Bob Barber, returns on Oct 13.

[Oct 10]


Packs from Down Under

Australian-made information packs on Marist Founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin, were distributed this week at the 'ARC' gathering at La Neylière, France.

Giving an update on the Beatification Cause of Fr Colin, Vicar-General, Fr Larry Duffy, distributed the multi-languages packs amongst the international group of Marist leaders.

Australian Provincial, Fr Bob Barber, carried the heavy bundle from Sydney to La Neylière. Thanks, Fr Bob!

See also: Fr Colin web site

[Oct 09]

Above: Contents of the information pack include a selection of material from the Colin web site www.jeanclaudecolin.org  |  Vicar-General, Fr Larry Duffy / ... with Superior-General, Fr John Hannan, in the 'Espace Colin'  Below: ARC participants in session (spot the three Aussies!)  |  Fr Bob Barber presiding at one of the ARC Eucharists by the tomb of Fr Jean-Claude Colin

Treehouse Theatre

Fr Kevin Bates' weekly parish reflection focuses on Sydney high school refugee students speaking with courage, candour and gratitude. Go to JPICC

[Oct 09]


Farewell to Bilgola

Contracts have been signed for the sale of the Marist Fathers' holiday house at Bilgola, NSW.

Nestling amongst protected cabbage tree palms and the lush foliage of a secluded nook near one of the Sydney's northern beaches, the house has been a refuge for Marists for over sixty years. (continued below...)

[Oct 08]

Originally purchased as a holiday house for seminarians of St Peter Chanel's Scholasticate, Toongabbie (1964 postulant group pictured below), the Bilgola facility has since been enjoyed by many other Marists including 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' course participants from Oceania and Asia (also pictured) from 2011 to 2014. Farewell, Bilgola. Sniff, sniff...

Round figures for September

Last month's web statistics for the simple:

Daily average: 400 visits to this web site, opening 2,700 pages - 11,000 files - 15,000 hits (whatever they are).

For the month (about 30 times the above): 12,000 visits - 82,500 pages - 322,000 files - 460,000 hits.

Enlightening, eh?

[Oct 04]


For those who've come across the seas - justice for refugees and asylum seekers

Taking words from Australia's national anthem, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference presents a powerful Social Justice Statement for 2015-16: 'For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers.'

The introduction by Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, is alone worth serious reflection.

Click here for 2015-16 Social Justice Statement.
Click here for Bishop Long Van Nguyen's introduction
Cick here for Ten Steps towards justice for refugees and asylum seekers

[Oct 03]


ARC starts

The Society of Mary's 'Annual Review Consultation' has begun at La Neylière, France.

Four Australians are amongst the provincials, district superiors and General Administraton members gathered to review and plan Marist life and ministry.

Commencing on Oct 01, this year's ARC is being held at the resting place of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, instead of the customary venue of 'Monteverde', Rome.

[Oct 02]

Top: Opening session of ARC 2016 / Superior-General, Fr John Hannan   Above: Eucharist in the Pentecost Oratory  | Fr Bob Barber (Australian provincial) / fellow Australian, Fr Paul Cooney (Bursar General)
Below: Four Australians by the tomb of Fr Colin: Frs Tony Corcoran (Secretary General), Bob Barber, Paul Cooney and Ben McKenna (Oceania provincial) / Frs Paul Cooney and Didier Hadanou (Africa district superior) in the grounds of La Neylière

Latest 'Euroinfo'

Click here for the Marist European Province newsletter - and spot the Aussies.

[Oct 02]


Passing of Br Frederick McMahon FMS

The Australian Marist Brothers and members of the wider Marist family mourn the death of Br Frederick McMahon, 87, at Campbelltown, NSW, on Sep 29. He had been a Marist Brother for sixty-six years.

Br Frederick is well remembered and revered not only as an educationalist but as historian and author of numerous works on the origins and spirit of the Marist Brothers. May he rest in peace.

[Oct 01]

Br Frederick's fifty words

At the time of the amalgamation of the Australian Province of Marist Brothers several years ago, each Brother was asked to write fifty words about himself. Here are Br Frederick's fifty words:

'When the I graduated from the Novitiate in 1950. I was then engaged in the apostolate of Secondary school education as a teacher, and, eventually as Headmaster until called upon to be the Province Econome. Six years later I returned to secondary education. In 1985 I went to the General House in Roe with a commission to carry out Champagnat Research and write a 'popular' life of the Founder. I stayed in Rome for eight years, being engaged in further writing on Marist themes and assisting Marist renewal groups. In 1995 I returned and was placed at Randwick where I have been engaged in further research and writing, in teaching an Adult Education class and in being an official guide to St. Mary's cathedral.'


Social Justice and Marist diary for October

Anniversaries include Marists arriving at Rochefort-du-Gard and the shrine of Notre Dame de Grace (Oct 10, 1846) and feast days of Pope St John XXIII (11th) and Pope St John Paul II (22nd)

Go to JPIC diary

[Oct 01]