December 2009 News

Tutu professions          Fr Jim Harcombe's passing          TOH-er ordained         Aussies visit Ranong          MMC celebrates           Montbel in business          Br Pat resting            

Above: Newly-professed Marist, Patrick Semi SM (Tonga) and family /
Kosema Mateasi SM (Futuna) and family

Professions at Tutu

On Dec 29 six Marist novices took religious vows at the Oceania Province novitiate, Tutu, on the island of Taveuni, Fiji.

The newly-professed young men come from four Pacific countries. They follow in the footsteps of two hundred and sixty others who have experienced the novitiate formation program at Tutu since 1972 preparing for Marist missionary work in Oceania and other countries around the globe.

The six newly-professed Marists (from left): Epoki 'Okusitino SM (Tonga), Ambrose Kakatai SM (Bougainville), George Baruka SM (Bougainville), Patrick Semi SM (Tonga), Dennis Levi SM (Solomon Islands) and Kosema Mateasi SM (Futuna). /  With Oceania Provincial, Fr Paul Donoghue SM (fourth from right) and Tutu formation staff.
Left: The novices pronounce their vows to become Marists, holding lighted candles, a sign of their commitment to Christ.
Right: Vested now in albs and leis the new Marists receive the book of Marist Constitutions.


Passing of Fr James Harcombe SM

After a short illness Australia's oldest Marist priest, Fr Jim Harcombe, died peacefully at St Anne's Nursing Home, Hunters Hill, NSW, on Dec 17.

Fr Jim was the first Australian-born provincial of the province, overseeing a period of vigorous expansion in the 1960's. He celebrated seventy years of priesthood on Nov 30.


TOH-er ordained deacon

Matthew Crawford SM was ordained to the diaconate in a ceremony in Auckland cathedral, NZ, on Dec 13.

Matthew is a member of the New Zealand Marist province and was a participant in the Marist Mission Centre sponsored 'The Other Half' journey of 2005-06.

Many Australians know Matthew from his time at novitiate at Ermington, NSW, in 2004. After two years of cross-cultural experience in Mexico and completion of theology studies in Auckland, Matthew will now take up a posting at St Mary of the Angel's, Wellington.

Right, above: Matthew with Marist provincial, Fr Brian Cummings SM and Bishop Robin Leamy SM.
Right, lower: With Australian Fr Tony Kennedy SM, seminary rector for 2009.



Above: Scenes from Matthew's final profession ceremony at St Mary of the Angel's church, Wellington, in November. Below: Matthew and members of 'The Other Half', Cambodia and Thailand, 2005-06.



Young Aussies visit Ranong Mission

Six members of the Catholic Asian Students Society leave Sydney on Dec 12 to visit the Marist Mission at Ranong, southern Thailand, as part of a three week exposure experience in Thailand and Cambodia.

Leader of the group and former CASS president, Clement Cheung, was himself a member of 'The Other Half' group sponsored by the Marist Mission Centre in 2006-07. He is accompanied by his sister, Gladys, and four other CASS colleagues

Planning their adventure the group meets at Hunters Hill, front left, back: Linda Mou, Gladys Cheung; front: Lawrence Mou, Clement Cheung, Roland Fan, Calvin Chiu.

After their Ranong experience the young people will visit the Marist-supported YODIFEE (Young People with Disabilities Foundation for Education and Employment) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


MMC celebrates a million dollar year

As Christmas approaches the Marist Mission Centre, Hunters Hill, celebrates the end of a very successful year.

At a function on Dec 08 MMC director, Fr Kevin Stewart SM, thanked the team of staff, volunteers and supporters for such a fruitful year despite the economic downturn internationally.

Over $1,000,000 was sent to development projects throughout Asia-Pacific and to the Marist missions worldwide


Typical of projects supported by MMC is Guangzhou Huiling, China. Huiling means 'wisdom' and 'soul' and expresses commitment to help persons with mental disabilities to have a thinking mind and a loving heart.

Huiling was born as a simple shelter for mentally disabled persons. Now it includes various types of service and accepts people with mental disabilities of any age and social condition. Guangzhou Huiling looks after more than 200 persons with mental disabilities spread in various centers and a dozen family homes.

Click here for more on this and other MMC projects.


Montbel in business

The first meal has been served and the first Eucharist offered in the newly-opened Montbel retirement facility at Hunters Hill, NSW.



Two weeks after the opening and blessing ceremony most of Montbel's first residents have moved in. On Sunday Dec 06 they welcomed local and visiting Marists for the first meal to be served in their new home. This continues a tradition of nearby Maryvale's 'open house' for Sunday lunch.

Left: A John Coburn painting dominates the lounge area at Montbel while Marists enjoy pre-dinner refreshments. Below: Scenes of Montbel's striking chapel and first Mass on Nov 07.

Happy residents of Montbel are settling in. Left: Fr John O'Ryan / Fr John McMillan and Fr John V Walsh.
Right: Fr Tony King.



Br Pat resting at Tutu

Australian Marist, Br Patrick Thomson SM, laboured for over sixty years in the Pacific before his death on Taveuni, Fiji, in 2007.

Br Pat pioneered young farmer training in Bougainville before joining the formation community at Tutu. In his latter years he taught the art of rosary making to Marist novices and other confreres.

Photos of Br Pat's resting place have recently become available to our web site.

       Members of the Marist novitiate and formation
            communities gather to honour Br Patrick and
          others resting in the cemetery at Tutu, Taveuni, Fiji.