March 2016

This page: Latest Marist Laity newsletter  |  Farewell to Sr Margaret Cummins  |  He is risen  |  Easter reflections from Fr Michael Whelan  |  Waiting...  |  Good Friday walk  |  Coming soon...  |  St Joseph - protector of Montbel  |  New leaders and hope for Myanmar  |  Pacific Climate Watch  |  Two books launched  |  SMSM leader's second term  |  Charism and Culture  |  Dean Kev  |  Marist spirituality downtown  |  Guide to Villa Maria  |  Latest Euroinfo  |  Social Justice & Marist diary for March  

Latest Marist Laity bulletin

March issue of the Marist Laity Australia bulletin is now available.

Click here

[Mar 31]


Sr Margaret Cummins SM / Fr Paul Mahony SM presides at the Macquarie Park interment.

Farewell to Sr Margaret Cummins

Members of the Australian Unit of the Marist Sisters gathered at St Peter Chanel's church, Woolwich, NSW on Mar 30 to farewell their oldest Sister, Margaret Cummins SM, aged 94.

In her seventy-four years as a Marist Sister Crookwell-born Sr Margaret had worked in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia in a wide range of teaching roles before retirement at Woolwich and Hunters Hill in recent years.

She died peacefully at St Anne's Nursing Home, Hunters Hill, on Mar 21. May she rest in well-deserved peace.

[Mar 30]


He has risen as He said!


Easter reflections from Fr Michael Whelan.

From Sydney's Aquinas Academy, Fr Michael Whelan offers two reflections for Easter: 'Gospel notes for Easter Sunday' and 'Three Pillars'.

Click here, then scroll down

[Mar 26]



Holy Saturday, and across the world tabernacles are empty, awaiting the moment of Resurrection.

Pictured: the Marist tabernacles of 'Montbel', Hunters Hill, and Notre Dame de France, London.

[Mar 26]


Good Friday walk

Hundreds of local Christians participated in the annual combined churches Way of the Cross on Good Friday at Hunters Hill.

Beginning at All Saints church and pausing at other churches and selected sites along the way, the walk concluded with the Calvary scenes and burial in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery.

[Mar 25]


Coming soon...

The annual combined churches Way of the Cross will again be held at Hunters Hill, finishing in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery.

[Mar 23]


St Joseph - protector of Montbel

As the universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of its Patron and Protector (Mar 19), a statue of St Joseph and Child stands neglected and overgrown in a remote corner of France.

Erected in the 1850s to watch over the newly-built 'Montbel' Marist residence and later formation house and retirement place, the statue was abandoned during the 1903 government expulsion of Catholic religious (including Marists).

The memory of 'Montbel' (near Toulon in the south-east of France) has been perpetuated in the naming of Marist buildings at Hunters Hill, N.S.W., Australia.

The present - and third - 'Montbel' was opened in Nov 2009 and is home to retired Marists as was its foundational namesake.

[Mar 19]


The original 'Montbel' in France  / ... and with some of its original Marist residents

St Joseph still stands guard at 'Montbel'


Today's 'Montbel', Hunters Hill / Jacaranda view from its chapel


Myanmar's new president, U Htin Kyaw / Vice-President Henry Van Thio

New leaders and hope for Myanmar

Following the recent general elections in Myanmar, new presidential leadership has been established.

Parliament voting results were:
New President: U Htin Kyaw 360 votes
Vice President (1): General Myint Swe 213 votes
Vice President (2): Henry Van Thio 79 votes

President U Htin Kyaw has been a long-time member of the National League for Democracy and trusted associate of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whilst Vice-President Henry Van Thio is a committed Christian.

[Mar 17]

Myanmar Times reports:
" The NLD’s overwhelming majority in the two combined houses of parliament ensured that U Htin Kyaw, a 69-year-old academic and long-time aide of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, would become the NLD leader’s proxy president to succeed ex-general U Thein Sein whose five-year term ends on March 30.

'Today's result is a triumph for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,' U Htin Kyaw told reporters before getting into his car and leaving parliament following the vote.

Ex-General U Myint Swe, the military’s candidate, was elected first vice president with 213 votes. The appointed military bloc in parliament holds 166 seats, 25 percent of the total, while the military-backed USDP led by the outgoing has 41 seats in the two houses.

Henry Van Thio, an NLD upper house MP and an ethnic Chin Christian, was elected second vice president with 79 votes.

U Htin Kyaw with Aung San Suu Kyi during the time of her extended house arrest


Pacific Climate Watch

The Marist Province committee for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPICC) advises of a new web site highlighting the plight of Pacific and other maritime countries in the face of climate change.

Pacific Climate Watch is the initiative of combined religious groups, including Marists,

Whilst still in a stage of development, you can visit the site: click here (some images below)

[Mar 15]


Two books launched

Fifty Marists and friends gathered at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, on Mar 11, for the launch of two books from Marist authors and researchers.

Fr Andrew Murray’s ‘Thinking about Political Things: An Aristotelian Approach to Pacific Life’ is a work of political education intended for peoples of the Pacific islands, but applicable to other traditional and small communities.

Fr Charles Girard's compilation of 'Letters from the Marist missionaries in Oceania, 1836-1854' is a selection of correspondence from the pioneer Marists in the Pacific during the period of the generalate of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin.

[Mar 11]

Above: Marists and friends gather on the cloister of Villa Maria monastery for the launch  |  Provincial, Fr Bob Barber SM / Publisher, Mr Hilary Reagan.  Below: Frs Jim Carty, Willy Melteras and Gerald Arbuckle / Frs Brian Wilson & David Wilson

SMSM leader's second term

Congregational Leader of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, Sr Georgeanne Marie Donovan SMSM, has been re-elected at the General Chapter of the Sisters this week.

From their web site the Sisters announce: 'Let us rejoice and ask God to fill Sister Georgeanne Marie with all that she needs to fulfil the Mission that is given to her. '

For more on the Sisters and their General Chapter click here.

[Mar 11]


MCC immersion program participants at St Joseph's chapel (1863) in the grounds of Villa Maria, Hunters Hill / visiting St Peter Chanel chapel. 

Charism and Culture

Twenty staff members of four colleges founded by the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters.are gathering this week at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, NSW, for an immersion in Marist charism and culture.

Selected from all areas of the school staffs (teaching, administration and support) the group is receiving input from Marist Family members reflecting on Marist history, values and spirit.

The Marist Charism & Culture 'immersion week' is intended to be the first of a series for the participating colleges: St John's College, Lismore, NSW; Marist Sisters' College, Woolwich, NSW; Holy Spirit College, Bellambi, NSW; Marist Regional College, Burnie Tas.

[Mar 09]

Above: Eucharist with Fr Gerard Hall SM.   Below: MCC event convenor, Kim Evans / ... Fr Peter McMurrich SM with participants in the Woodbury Hall venue.  |  Walking tour of the monastery's historic grounds.

Dean Kevin Bates / Mercy Door of Holy Name of Mary church

Dean Kev

We congratulate Fr Kevin Bates SM, parish priest of Holy Name of Mary parish, Hunters Hill/Woolwich, NSW, who has been appointed to lead the Northern Deanery of the Archdiocese of Sydney as its Dean.

The appointment of a religious order priest to such a role is rare and is a testimony to Fr Kevin's standing among the priests of the local deanery.

The appointment follows a major reshaping of Sydney's deaneries and will find Dean Kev keeping a brotherly eye on fourteen parishes in the area.

[Mar 07]


Marist spirituality downtown

Another group of mostly lay Marists gathered at St Patrick's, Church Hill, on Mar 03 for the third of the current sessions of 'The Liveable Spirit' program on Marist spirituality.

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

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'.

[Mar 03]


Guide to Villa Maria

Informative and colourful - the newly-published guide for walking tours of historic Villa Maria monastery and grounds, Hunters Hill, NSW.

Authored by province archivist, writer and historian, Fr Peter McMurrich, with design by Fr Ron Nissen, 'A Guide to Villa Maria' will enable visitors to discovery the richness of this iconic Marist precinct.

Download here. Also available at 'Members only'

[Mar 01]


Marist news from Europe

To download latest 'Euroinfo':
click here

[Mar 01]


Social Justice and Marist Diary for March

Go to JPIC diary

[Mar 01].