November 2010 News

This page:    Montbel's first anniversary     Br Charlie's birthday bash    Young Marists in Sydney     Focus on Founder     Fellowship for Fr Tom      Ranong web site     PRS graduation   Dublin & Davao visitors

Montbel's first anniversary

The Marist retirement facility, 'Montbel', is one year old. Opened and blessed on Nov 15, 2009, Montbel has provision for ten senior and frail Marists in the vicinity of historic Villa Monastery and its grounds.

Presently there are eight senior Marists in residence: Frs Fred Limeburner, John Thornhill, John V Walsh, John McMillan, Bill Ryder, Tony King, Jim Bishop and John O'Ryan. Superior and principal carer, Fr Garry Reynolds also lives at Montbel.

Four other community members live in nearby 'Maryvale': Brs Colin Campbell, Terry Garrett, Frs Jim Esler and John Burke.

The anniversary coincides with another anniversary: the death of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, in 1875.


Left: Montbel's popular cook, Maive Ryan, loves the modern kitchen amenities.  /  Thoughtfully interior design reduces an institutional look..
Right: Each of the ten suites includes a spacious study with outlook on to the Villa Maria precinct / The library/common reading room.


Left: The Montbel community hosts a Sunday 'pre-prandial and luncheon to local and visiting Marists.
Right: Jacaranda reflected in the chapel pool  /  Montbel's chapel dominates the local skyline.


Br Charlie's birthday bash

Villa Maria identity, Br Charlie Randle SM, turned seventy on Nov 14 and many family members, fellow Marists and friends joined him in the monastery grounds for the 'birthday bash'. Family members from his native Queensland were special guests of the Marist community.

Br Charlie is a well-known figure to Hunters Hill parishioners and generations of visitors to Mary Street. As well as overseeing maintenance of historic Villa Maria monastery he excels in offering a down-to-earth welcome and true Marist hospitality to all. Happy Birthday, Br Charlie!


Deacon Christian Abongbung and Fr Gil Casio with Hunters Hill parish priest, Fr Kevin Bates.

Young Marists in Sydney

Deacon Christian Abongbung SM (Cameroon, African Marist Mission District) and Fr Gil Casio SM (Philippines Marist Mission District) visited Sydney recently.

Fr Gil, as bursar of the Philippines Mission District, participated in MYOB accounting program training, whilst Deacon Christian is on his way home after concluding five years of studies in the Oceania Marist Province.

They were special guests at the 'Year of Prayer for Marist vocations in Asia-Pacific' celebration evening at Hunters Hill on Nov 13, sharing the place in their lives of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin SM.

Left: Fr Gil Casio and Deacon Christian Abongbung in Sydney. Right: With Frs Jim Esler and Bob Barber at 'Montbel'.

Focus on Founder

The final celebration evening on Sat, Nov 13 for the 'Year of Prayer for Marist vocations in Asia-Pacific' attracted over forty participants. The evening's special theme was Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin SM.

As usual the event commenced with the Vigil Mass at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, followed by a sausage sizzle in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery. Entertained followed by singers from the Catholic Karenni Refugee community of Wollongong before a PowerPoint presentation on Fr Colin and sharings from Fr Gil Casio and Deacon Christian Abongbung (see above: 'Young Marists in Sydney').

karenni singers

ACU fellowship for Fr Tom Ryan

Vice-Chancellor of Australian Catholic University, Greg Craven, has advised that Fr Tom Ryan SM has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship in ACU for 'considerable research and teaching expertise in the field of moral theology'.

Fr Tom is a member of the Marist community of Herston, Qld. Congratulations, Fr Tom!



New web site for Ranong Marists

Marist Mission Ranong has redeveloped and renamed its web site:


PRS graduations

Fr Roger McCarrick SM was the principal celebrant for the graduation Eucharist.on Nov 05 at Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva, Fiji. Four of the third year seminarians of Marist College received their Diploma of Theology: Dennis Levi (Solomon Is), Kosema Masei (Wallis & Futuna), Steve Oudodopoe (New Caledonia) and Patrick Clegg (Tonga). One of their class passed with honours.

Six final year Marist seminarians were amongst those receiving their Bachelor of Divinity awarded by the faculties of PRS and SPATS. Two Marists were amongst the three graduating with honours: Christian Abongbung (Cameroun)  and Raymond Raupepe (Vanuatu).

Other graduating Marists were Christopher Ketsore (Bougainville), Ashton Koleman (Bougainville), Emeri Ratucoko (Fiji) and Basil Ramohaisuta (Solomon Is).

PRS Dean Fr Falani Terry SM  and rector Fr Michael O'Connor SM.were key people in arranging the ceremony.


Dublin and Davao visitors

Marists, Frs Michael Maher SM and Gil Casio SM, have arrived in Australia from Dublin, Ireland, and Davao, Philippines respectively.

Fr Michael is Ireland's national director of the Marian Movement for Priests and has been invited by the Movement in Australia to lead a week-long retreat and to preside at reflection and cenacle prayer gatherings.

Fr Gil will participate in inservices to further develop skills in his role as bursar for the Marist Philippines Mission District. He also assists at the District's formation centre in Davao. His face is well-known as the young man in the Marist life vocation advertisement from 'The Other Half' experience in Thailand in 2005 sposnored by the Australian Province.