February 2010 News

This page:      Kate's quarter century     Project Compassion & Fr Mike        Marists at Marymount        Port Vila bishop         Paintings returned           Parish priests gather       Oxford research

Kate's quarter century

The Marist community of Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, NSW, has farewelled their secretary-house manager, Mrs Kate Buckland, after of twenty-five years of service.

Scenes at the farewell dinner


Above: The Villa Maria community gathers around local superior, Fr Bob Barber SM (frornt, centre) next to Kate Buckland and her husband, John.


Project Compassion and Fr Mike

Fr Mike McVerry SM has a lot to be grateful for to Caritas Australia after their help in funding the hydro-electric power system at Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji.

The hydro system is a vital resource for the Marist Training Centre at Tutu as well as several other Marist communities including the novitiate of Oceania province.


The Marist Training Centre provides practical training in agricultural skills for the young farmers of Taveuni as well as periodic, live-in formation programs for married couples and families.

The New Zealand born Marist is a member of the Oceania province and is in Australia for several weeks to assist Caritas in its annual Lenten appeal, Project Compassion. He is speaking to schools and parish groups in several dioceses in NSW, Victoria and ACT including Maitland, Sydney, Canberra-Goulburn and Sandhurst.

Fr Mike is well known across the Pacific not only for pioneering the Tutu project but for his work in the development and leadership of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement in Oceania.


Asia-Pacific Marists at Marymount

Ten members of the Marist Family from six Asia-Pacific nationalities are participating in formation and renewal programs at the Marymount Centre, Castle Hill, NSW. Most are involved in formation ministry and engaging in Marymount's 'Journeying with New Members' six month program.

Pictured, back row: Br Jean-Marie Batick FMS (Vanuatu), Fr Chris Hifo SM (Tonga), Sr Miriama Dituvatuva SM (Fiji) , Sr Vicki Wilson SMSM (Bougainville-Australia), Sr Akanesi Liongi SMSM (Tonga), Br Jone Seduadua FMS (Fiji). Front: Br Ted Fernandez FMS (Philippines), Sr Lusia Meanadrau SMSM (Fiji), Br Tony Caddy FMS (Australia), Br John Votaia SM (Solomon Islands).


Port Vila's new Marist bishop

Bougainville Marist, John Bosco Baremes SM, was ordained bishop of Port Vila, Vanuatu, in a ceremony in Parliament Park on Feb 14. Bishops from all over the Pacific were joined by Apostolic Nuncio for the Pacific, Archbishop Charles Balvo.

Ordaining prelates were Archbishop Michel Calvet (Noumea), Bishop Ghislain de Rasilly SM (Wallis-Futuna) and Bishop Soane Patiti Mafi (Tonga).

Above: The bishop-elect lies prostrate during the litany prayer / Marist bishops at the ordination, from left: Bishops Robin Leamy, Stuart O'Connell, Archbishop Michel Calvet, Bishops John Bosco Baremes, Ghislain de Rasilly and Adrian Smith.

Fr. Jean (John) Bosco Baremes, SM was born in 1960 in Han, Carteret Islands, in the Province of North Solomon in PNG. After primary school on the Carterets and secondary school at St Joseph's, Rigu, Bougainville, he entered the minor seminary of Rabaul then joined the Marist Fathers.

Following novitiate at Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji, John Bosco took perpetual vows in 1981 studying philosophy and theology at Bomana, Port Moresby, PNG, before finishing studies at Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva.

He was ordained priest in 1987 on Carteret Island. then worked in Pouébo, New Caledonia. After this he studied pastoral counseling at Loyola College, Baltimore, USA, then became director of the Bougainville Trauma Counseling Institute in the critical post-crisis years.

John Bosco served as councillor of the Oceania Province of the Marist Fathers for six years before his appointment to Port Vila.

The Diocese of Port-Vila, erected in 1966, is suffragan of the Archdiocese of Noumea, with an area of 11,870 square kilometers, a population of 230,000 inhabitants, of whom 32,500 are Catholics. It has 23 parishes, 24 priests (15 diocesan and 9 religious), 33 religious brothers, 8 seminarians, 1 permanent deacon and 53 religious sisters


Above: With Marist and diocesan priests, from left: Frs Wesley Manu SM and Sosefo Tui, Bishop Baremes, Frs Francois Grossin SM and Rock Apikaua. / With fellow bishops.


Historical paintings returned

After a search of nearly four decades two historical Marist paintings have been returned to Sydney.

The paintings depict the earliest Marist buildings near Tarban Creek, Hunters Hill, which served as a base for the newly-established missions of the Society of Mary in the south-west Pacific. They were housed variously in Rome and at La Neyliere, France, where they were discovered in a basement after going missing in the 1970's.

Fr Michael Mullins SM recently returned from Rome bringing with him the paintings dating from 1854 and commissioned by the then-procurator of the Marist Missions of the Pacific, Fr Rocher. 'It's the end of a thirty-five year saga', says Fr Michael who has been searching for the lost paintings since 1974.

They are now framed and hanging in the provincial offices, Hunters Hill, awaiting a more permanent and suitable home.



Parish priests gather

Pastors of the four parishes in the care of the Society of Mary in Australia met in Sydney recently.

Frs Tony Kennedy (Burnie, Tas), Kevin Bates (Hunters Hill-Woolwich, NSW), Ray Chapman (St Patrick's, Church Hill, NSW) and Paul Mahony (Gladstone, Qld) reflected on what makes a Marist parish different and how best to serve their people in this long-established ministry.

Frs Tony Kennedy and Ray Chapman /
Frs Paul Cooney (provincial), Paul Mahony, Garry Reynolds and Kevin Bates.



Oxford research

Co-director of the Sydney-based Pastoral and Refounding Development Unit, Fr Gerard Arbuckle SM, is on a short sabbatical at Oxford University, UK, to do research for a new book. Fr Gerald aims to clarify how Catholic identity can be maintained in ministries within our postmodern world.



His latest book, Culture, Inculturation, and Theologians: A Postmodern Critique, is to be published in September by Liturgical Press, USA.