December 2016

This page:  Hoppy home for New Year  |  Letter from Rarotonga  |   Christmas all over  |   Mission Accomplished  |  New bishop of Lismore  |  Happy Christmas from Marist Mission Ranong  |  Marist Laity Australia  |  Fr Tony with Hesed group  |  Latest Provincial Circular  |  Marist Laity International  |  MCC at MYL  |  St Pat's Carol Walk  |  Prayers for General Chapter   |  Kiribati calling  |  Colourful site  |  Fr Lauro Ferreira SM  |  Strike One  |  aka Runamok  |  Marist news from Europe  |  Stories of Hope  |  Next 'Bridge Program' underway  |  Missionaries first home in Japan   |  Social Justice & Marist diary for December  

Hoppy home for New Year

Bolivia-based Marist missionary, Fr John ('Hoppy') Hopkinson SM, is home for a month's visit.

Fr John joined Montbel Marists for their Boxing Day celebration recently before moving north to his native Brisbane to visit family and supporters of the 'Misioneros Maristas' in Tarija.

In May he will celebrate forty years as a missionary in Latin America. Welcome home, Hoppy!

[Dec 31]


Letter from Rarotonga

'It was too late to get Christmas cards', writes Bishop Paul Donoghue SM from the Cook Islands.

And so his Christmas letter. Click here 

[Dec 26]


Christmas all over

Seasonal glimpses with the Marists.... 

[Dec 25

Top: Marists gather with Fr John Hill, Eastwood, NSW  /  Crib at Montbel, Hunters Hill.   |   Above: Villa Maria monastery grounds, Hunters Hill  / Brownsville, Terxas, USA   |   Notre Dame de France, London  /  Marist chapel in Brazil.   Below: Balay Pasilugan staff, Davao, Philippines  / ..and the boys of Balay Pasilungan.   |   Blessing new hymn books, Casa di Maria, Rome  /  Marist Mission Ranong, Thailand

'Mission Accomplished'

From Auckland, NZ, Fr Justin Taylor SM happily reports the completion of the definitive biography of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin. He adds that much work still needs to be done before the book can be published.

The final chapter (29), appropriately titled 'Mission Accomplished', records the last years and days of Fr Colin's life, including his death and burial in the grounds of La Neylière, France.

The completion of this definitive work opens the way for a range of smaller texts and publications benefiting from the research and scholarship of recent years.     Congratulations and thank you, Fr Justin! 

[Dec 23]

 Below:  Scenes from the final times of the Colin story:  The grounds of La Neylière where Fr Colin was first buried  /  the bedroom where he died   |    The crucifix said to have been placed in his hands at the time of his death  / Burial place in the newly-built chapel, 1879

New bishop of Lismore

Pope Francis has appointed Carmelite, Gregory Homeming OCD, as the sixth bishop of the diocese of Lismore, NSW.

Bishop-elect Gregory, currently the Regional Vicar of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Sydney, succeeds Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett who has led the Lismore diocese for fifteen years.

We congratulate Bishop Gregory and welcome him to the diocese where Marists have ministered since the establishment of St John's College, Woodlawn, in the 1930s, and we wish Bishop Geoffrey a happy retirement.

[Dec 21]


Happy Christmas from Marist Mission Ranong

Click here for end-of-year good news

[Dec 21]


Marist Laity Australia

Last newsletter for 2016: click here or MLA website

[Dec 18]


Fr Tony with Hesed group

Australian Marist formator, Fr Tony Kennedy, reports on the 'Hesed' program for young religious at the Marist Brothers' centre, Lomeri, Fiji.

Hesed 2016 has been one Fr Tony's last pastoral engagements in the Pacific before leaving in the New Year to direct the Colinian Period of Renewal at La Neylière, France.

Full Hesed report on Oceania Marist web site: click here

[Dec 17]


Latest Provincial Circular

Available at 'Members only' page.

[Dec 16]


Marist Laity International

Worldwide news from Lay Marists in latest newsletter: click here

[Dec 14]


Marist Charism & Culture group at Woodlawn College for the Marist Youth Leadership program


A team from the Marist Charism & Culture group (MCC) joined young adults from Australia and NZ for this year's Marist Youth Leadership program.

The week-long event was held at St John’s college, Woodlawn, NSW, facilitated by the Kiwi MYL team led by Fr Mark Walls SM and the Australian MCC committee.

Marist postulant, Hayden Kennedy, reports:
'Over the six intensive days of study, reflection and practice, the participants come to learn that the spirit of their schools, that they so enjoy is the constant, hidden and unknown movement of Mary in humble service.'

[Dec 13]

'MYL provides the students with a unique stepping stone for young Marist life. It is the flagship and first port of call for much of Australia’s Marist vocational ministry, be it to Religious life or Laity and it is a resounding success. The students who leave this programme, take with them a questioning, a network of Marist contacts and a kick start to their love of Marian living.  

'MYL is a fantastic space for students from many Marist Schools to express their love of the Marian way of life and to grow in their formation of the Marist Charism.

'This MYL highlighted the immensity of untapped yearning for anything Marist amongst our young people. The students and young members of staff, were invigorated and thrilled to learn more about their Marian Spirit. The networks and the spark for Mary-like service, these young people now share, must from this point, continue to be nurtured and harnessed, as the Church’s and the Order’s, base to build of a new and revitalised faith in Christ.  A tremendous success and grace from God.'


St Pat's Carol Walk

Hundreds of Sydneysiders and tourists joined in Christmas carols as the annual St Pat's Carol Walk sang its way through the streets of Sydney on Dec 11.

After prayers by St Mary's cathedral led by St Pat's parish priest, Fr Michael Whelan SM, the group wended its way through Hyde Park, the Westfield Mall, Martin Place and George St, finishing St Patrick's, Church Hill.

This year's carollers included Bishop Terry Brady and choristers from St Patrick's and the Fijian Catholic community.

[Dec 12]


Prayers for General Chapter

From Rome and the headquarters of the Society of Mary, secretary, Sophie Janssens, has sent the special prayer to be used in preparations for the General Chapter of 2017.

In seven languages the prayer card features the image of 'Our Lady of the Journey' recently enshrined in the General House. Thank you, Sophie!

[Dec 09]

Download prayer from here: English (printer friendly)  |  English  |  Dutch  | French  |  German  |  Italian  |  Portuguese  |  Spanish

Kiribati calling

Pacific Climate Watch and the Edmund Rice Centre report...

[Dec 09]

'Last month two climate activists from Kiribati - Tinaai Teaua and Vasiti Tebamare - came to Australia to call on our leaders to take urgent action on climate change.

'At the end of a week in which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull killed any consideration of a carbon price and the Adani coal mine won its final approvals from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Tinaai and Vasiti's message is really important.'  Click here


Colourful site

Oceania Marist Province's web site is a source of engaging images of the Pacific.

The revamped site has regular news bulletins of the province as well as feature photographs of life in Oceania.

Click here for

[Dec 07]


Fr Lauro Ferreira SM

In a ceremony on Nov 26 in the parish of St Gabriel, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, young Marist, Lauro da Silva Ferreira was ordained priest.

Fr Lauro is the latest graduate of Casa di Maria (Marist International Theologate, Rome) to be ordained this year.

Congratulations, Padre Lauro !

[Dec 07]


Strike One

While Montbel resident, Fr Allan Connors SM, serenely watched Sydney's late-afternoon thunderstorm over Hunters Hill on Dec 05 lightning struck a few metres away.

Large limbs crashed from a neaby giant eucalypt, causing damage to the roof of Oceania House and disturbing a flock of cockatoos -- and Fr Allan's reveries.

Pictured: Fr Allan moments after the storm... and the Montbel storm-watching vantage point.

[Dec 05]


a.k.a. Runamok

Villa Maria's third annual overnight camp for fathers-and-kids happened on Dec 03-04.

With 'Camp Runamuck' (a.k.a. 'Runamok') a small sea of tents appears, then disappears, in the usually-serene and ever-picturesque grounds of the monastery at Hunters Hill.

The camp is part of the parish's 'Building Relationships' program and billed as 'an opportunity to campout in the forest, to have some quality time with dad and to have lots of fun with friends.'

[Dec 04]

  Google's 'Daily Writing Tips' observes:

The first recorded use of the phrase to run amok in English dates from the 1670s. The word amok is from Malay amuk, “attacking furiously.” The expression as we use it now usually means “to run about in a wild manner,” As a noun, amok can mean “a murderous frenzy.

Marist news from Europe

Latest 'Euroinfo'.
Click here

[Dec 01]


Stories of Hope

Latest from Marist Mission Ranong, Thailand.

Click here

[Dec 01]


Signature refugee camp image for the program / BP-ers online during a weekly Skype tutoiral

Next 'Bridge Program' under way

A record twenty-two young Burmese have commenced the latest 'Bridge Program', sponsored by the JPICC of the Marist Australian Province.

[Dec 01]

The 20-week online program offers refugee youth skill development to prepare for tertiary studies. BP-ers' participate in weekly group Skype video tutorials as well as submitting regular assignments and special projects.

Participants come from a range of Burmese ethnic groups, some living in refugee camps, other in towns on the Thai-Burma border. More at BP web site

Below: Some of the smiling faces of participants in BP16-17; Mae La refugee camp, on the Thai-Burma border.


Missionaries' first home in Japan

From Nara, Japan, Mrs Maria Sachiko writes:

'Today I am going to send you some photos of my sister's house in Kyoto where the first group of Marists from Australia stayed for a while. I thought you might be interested in this house.

'The Nakamuras owned two houses as shown in the photo (left, see blue and green dots). They were linked by an open corridor and the upper house was used as a priests' residence while the Nakamura family lived in the lower house...

[Dec 01]

'The parlour was used as a chapel and the priests lived on the second floor in rooms of typical Japanese style with tatami mats.The view from the rooms is really beautiful with a big cherry tree in the garden and famous Mt Daimonji nearby.

'My elder sister, Nobuko, living there now with her son and his wife. became a friend of Fr Paul Glynn who visited there several times.

'I wonder how they felt about living in a strange country for the first time - maybe they got homesick. Because for them everything was new and different,or their hearts were burning with the coming missionary works in this non-Christian country with which they had been fighting fiercely until then.

'I thank God for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to express our gratitude to you, Marists. And I was very happy to be able to visit Hunters Hill with my grand-daughter, Akiko, and see the statue of Our Lady of the Journey there.'


Social Justice and Marist Diary for December

Go to JPIC diary

[Dec 01]