May 2017
This page: Farewell to autumn  |  Superior-General's chapter report  |  Referendum anniversary  |  Fr John Hill's farewell  |  Ardeer Golden Jubilee  |  Thai-Burma border graduations  |  Birthday of Marcellin Champagnat  |  Passing of Fr John Hill SM  |  Song for Nagasaki in German  |  Brisbane Marists gather  |  Hand in hand with Mary  |  'I come from Heaven'  |  Our Lady's centenary touch up  |  St Pat's team in London  |  Double degrees  |  Launch and award  |  Oslo visit  |  Visiting provincials  |  Pacific finances reviewed  |  Marist news from Europe  |   Provincial Circular  |  Takayama Ukon statue blessed  |  Social Justice diary

Farewell to autumn

The picturesque grounds of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, are at their best as a colourful season comes to an end.

As winter comes... autumn leaves...

[May 31]







Superior-General's chapter report

The report of Marist Superior-General, Fr John Hannan SM, is being distributed worldwide in preparation for the Society of Mary's general chapter in September.

In his report, 'To lead our Society in rediscovering our deepest identity as Marists', Fr John reflects: 'It is with gratitude that I look back over the past eight years. I realise that the leadership of the Society though always exacting was a grace-filled time.

'I am pleased to be part of the dynamic that will lead to the election of a new superior general who will bring the Society forward in the spirit of our Blessed Mother, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit advance the reform that is being propelled by Pope Francis and
to which we are called to be active collaborators.'

[May 29]


Referendum anniversary

May 27, 2017, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the historic referendum in 1967 changing articles in the Australian Constitution discriminating against Indigenous people and, 25 years later on Jun 03, the Mabo decision on land rights.

A special, limited-issue of Australia's 50 cent coin marks the anniversaries.

See also our 'Social Justice diary for 2017'

[May 27]


Vigil celebration at Montbel, Hunters Hill

Fr John Hill SM

Fr John Hill's farewell

Veteran Japan missioner, Fr John Hill SM, was farewelled by family, fellow Marists and friends from five States on May 25.

Fr John's nephew, Bishop Bernard O'Grady OP, presided at the Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, before the interment in Villa Maria's historic missionary cemetery.

[May 25]

Above:  Requiem Mass begins at Holy Name of Mary church   |   Niece, Carmen Fairbairn, delivers the euology  /   ... and fellow Japan missioner, Fr Syd Nugent, the homily   Below:   Bishop Bernard O'Grady OP is assisted by provincial, Fr Bob Barber, Fr Paul Mahony and fellow Marists and visiting priests   Further below:   Fr Paul Mahony presides at the graveside in Villa Maria's missionary cemetery  /  Fr Paul Glynn leads a small choir of Japanese Catholics by the graveside
  Click here for more on Fr John Hill

Mother of God Church, Ardeer, Vic

Ardeer Golden Jubilee

Marist provincial, Fr Bob Barber SM, and veteran Japan missioner, Fr Syd Nugent SM, represented the Marist Fathers on May 21 for the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Mother of God Church in Melbourne's western suburb of Ardeer.

Fr Bob records: 'The church was built in 1967 when Fr John Flannery was PP but Fr John ('Gandy') Ryan was responsible for that part of the St Paul’s parish and the building of the Church.

'The church was transferred to the parish of Albion in about ‘77. It has been for a long time a centre for the Polish Catholic community of that part of Melbourne. John’s brother in law, Bill Howard was the architect. Fr Barry Hughes, the present parish priest, during the homily spoke of the beauty of the church.'

[May 24]

Fr Bob continues: 'Fr Syd Nugent (pictured below, right) was in the parish from 1953–57 when the services were conducted, first in a tent, and then in a Nissen hut. Fr Syd was remembered by a number of old timers including some of the Brigidine Sisters whom he used to drive to school each day in the parish ute. The Brigidines are shortly finishing up in the parish after 60 years. There is a triving little Catholic school next to the church.' 

Thai-Burma border graduations

Five 'BP-ers' were amongst the graduates of Australian Catholic University's latest Diploma program on the Thai-Burma border.

A number of other former Bridge Program participants attended the ceremony in the northern Thailand town of Maesot on May 20 with good wishes for their fellow BP-ers.

Congratulations to Hnin Set Win, Aye Aye Mwee, Saw Yu Nwe, Zau Du Lahpai and Thura Hein!

[May 23]

Below:  BP-ACU graduates with Australian Catholic University staff and fellow BP-ers.
Above:  Proud families were present with their sons and daughters. BP-er, Hnin Set Win, with her family / receiving her diploma   |   the graduation ceremony at Maesot, Thailand
Below: BP-er graduate, Lahpai Zau Du, with fellow Kachin BP-er and ACU graduate, James Brangnu, currently studying at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok  /  Hnin Set Win with George Myo Zaw Mya, former BP-er and local coordinator of the ACU study centre, Mae Pa   |     At Ranong, southern Thailand, the ACU graduation some days earlier with students from the Marist Mission Ranong. (MMR's Fr Kevin Medilo SM is 3rd from left in front row)

Birthday of Marcellin Champagnat

May 20 marks the anniversary of the birth in 1789 of Marcellin Champagnat, in the hamlet of Le Rozet, central France.

One of the 'Fourvière twelve' in 1816, Marcellin established the Marist Brothers the following year. He was beatified in 1955 and canonised in 1999.

Happy birthday, St Marcellin!

[May 20]

Above:  The birthplace of Marcellin Champagnat, Le Rozet   |   Painting of St Marcellin at La Valla   Below: The countryside surrounding Le Rozet  |   Chapel and shrine of St Marcellin at Le Rozet



Fr John Hill SM  /  ... on his 92nd birthday in 2015

Passing of Fr John Hill SM

Marists and friends throughout the world, but especially in Australia and Japan, mourn the passing of veteran missioner, Fr John Hill SM, on May 20, aged 93.

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.

Returning from the Japan mission in 2012, the ever-cheerful Fr John joined the Maryvale/Montbel community at Hunters Hill, NSW, before moving to St Catherine's Aged Care facility at nearby Eastwood.

May he rest in well-deserved peace.  Click here for more on the life of Fr John Hill.

[May 20]

Below: Rembering Fr John in Montbel chapel  |  Fr John with confrères and carers, Christmas, 2016   |   with his cousin, Bishop Bernard O'Grady OP, in Jul 2016 celebrating Mass on his 68th anniversary of priestly ordination


Song for Nagasaki in German

Fr Paul Glynn's best-seller, Song for Nagasaki, is now available in German. [Check the German web site 'Media Maria'.]

The moving story of Japanese convert, scientist and atomic bomb survivor, Dr Takashi Nagai, has now been printed in twelve languages, seling over 100,000 copies since 1988.

Fr Paul directs all proceeds from book sales to the poor and needy in various parts of the world.

[May 18]


Brisbane Marists gather

Following their two-day meeting at Currmbin, Qld, the Provincial Council of the Marists Fathers met with Brisbane-based confrères on May 16.

The gathering was held at the 'Bethany' House of Welcome, Paddington, Brisbane.

Pictured, from left, standing: Frs Gerard Hall, Michael Rego, Peter McMurrich, Gavin Foster, Garry Reynolds, Paul Sullivan, Bob Barber and Chris Ketsore, Br Charles Randle, Fr Aidan Carvill;   seated: Frs John Begg, John Worthington and Ekuasi Manu.

[May 17]


Hand in hand with Mary

An image of 'Our Lady of the Journey' is being used during the month of May to accompany contact information for Fr Gerard Hall.

To download image of 'Our Lady of the Journey', click here

For contact info, click here

[May 14]


'I come from Heaven'

May 13, 2017, marks one hundred years since the first of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal.

'Where are you from?', the children asked. The Lady replied, 'I come from Heaven'. Click here

[May 13]


Our Lady's centenary touch up

From the grounds of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, Fr Paul Mahony observes: "Our Lady is getting a touch up for 100 years since Fatima"

[May 11]


Fr Michael Whelan SM

Sr Fidelis McTeigue SM

St Pat's team in London

Marists, Fr Michael Whelan and Sr Fidelis McTeigue, represented St Patrick's, Church Hill, NSW, at the recent Alpha Leadership Conference in London, UK.

They were part of a group of twenty-one Marists and co-workers in the City Centre Evangelisation ministry who joined six thousand other Christian believers from different denominations, countries and continents exploring the meaning of Christian Leadership.

The conference was followed by the second international seminar of the network of Marist City Centre Churches.

[May 10]

Below: Marist participants in the London City-Center Churches gatherings, coming from
Sydney, Wellingon, San Francisco, London, Passau, Rome and Mexico City.  

Double degrees

Bougainvillean Marist, Fr Chris Ketsore, received Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) & Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) degrees in an ACU graduation ceremony in Brisbane on May 04.

Fr Chris was accompanied by 'House of Welcome' confrères, Frs John Worthington and Ekuasi Manu, as well as cousins and nieces from Brisbane.

Congratulations, Fr Chris!

[May 06]


Launch and award

Fr Gerald Arbuckle's latest book, Intentional Faith Communities in Catholic Education, was formally launched at Sydney's Polding Centre on May 04 by the headmaster of St Joseph’s College, Sydney, Mr Ross Tarlinton.

The book is the first in a series on Catholic education, under the commissioning editorship of Professor Anthony Maher. The launching was hosted by the Broken Bay Institute as co-sponsor with St Pauls Publications.

Following the launching Professor Neil Ormerod, Theology Faculty, Australian Catholic University, presented Fr Gerald with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Practical Theology, the first such award by BBI, acknowledging his national and international contribution to theology, as cultural anthropologist, lecturer and author of over twenty books.

[May 06]


Oslo visit

From Norway, Australian Marist theologian, Fr Gerry Hall, reports: "I was in Oslo for Conference of International Academy of Practical Theology, and visited the Marists there, Andreas, Rory & Erik. They were wonderfully hospitable.

"They have just built a new Church (very Colinian I told them!) which is a great credit to them ... with new wave of Catholics among refugees & immigrants mainly from Middle-East, Africa & Asia."

[May 06]


Visiting provincials

Leaders of the Marist Provinces of Oceania and New Zealand spent brief periods in Sydney this week.

Pictured left, Frs Ben McKenna and David Kennerley attended Fr Gerald Arbuckle's the book launch on May 04, while Fr Ben participated in the annual finance meeing for his province.

Welcome and farewell, Frs Ben and David!

[May 05]


Pacific finances reviewed

Members of the Oceania Marist Province Finance Committee are meeting this week in Sydney (May 01-04).

On Mon, May 01, OMP's Sydney-based advisors to Marist Missions of the Pacific met with the committee, later joining them for a meal at Villa Maria monastery.

The meeting is hosted by Fr Brian Wilson, OMP's financial manager in Australia.

[May 02]

Above, OMP finance committee and advisors: standing, Lawrence Cakau (finance manager, Suva), Fr 'Ofa Vaihu (Tonga), Peter Sheahan, Fr Brian Wilson, Fr Kevin McGuire (secretary); seated: Fr Ben McKenna (provincial), Ms Anne Whittaker, John Gorman, Fr Susitino Sionepoe (representing the province bursar)  /  OMP finance committee
Below: The committee in session with advisors  /  evening meal with Villa Maria community members

Marist news fromEurope

Download latest 'Euroinfo': click here

[May 01]


Provincial Circular

See 'Members only'

[May 01]


Young Takayama statue blessed

Following the recent Beatification of Takayama Ukon, a statue was blessed on Apr 27 of the young Takayama, depicting him about the time of his Christian baptism,

The ceremony took place in Uda city in the northeastern region of Nara prefecture where the 16th century Daimyo grew up.

Blessed Takayama was beatifed in Osaka on Feb 07. Marist connections are included in the February News story: click here.

For Fr Paul Glynn's article, click here

[May 01]


Social Justice diary for May

JPIC: click here

[May 01]