December 2010 News

This page:  African aspirants     Tutu professions     Bougainviile missionaries book     Lambs and llamas     Provincial Council      Bolivian Christmas     Renewal planning     Oceania ordinations     Marist laity news     Oceania web site     Coffee shop ready for Christmas

African aspirants at vocation camp

Deacon Christian Abongbung SM reports from Cameroon that seventeen young men came to the Marist Fathers' community at Bamili, Bamenda, Dec 26-29, to explore more about Marist life.





In November Christian assisted the Australian province in vocations ministry and is pictured above with former Bambili pastor, Fr Bob Barber.

The Marist aspirants with Fr Louis Niyongebo (far left) in front of the Bambili church  /  With Christian Abongbung (far left) and Fr Albert Kabala (third from right) near the Bambili parish house.

Deacon Christian writes: 'I thought you could include this piece of news linking it to the prayer for vocations or as an Africa-Australia connection. The Australian province is doing a good job with regards to the prayer for vocations. This might be one of the intentions to add on.'


The newly-professed Marists / with Oceania provincial, Fr Paul Donoghue SM

Professions at Tutu

Thirteen young men from the Pacific and the Philippines professed their vows at a ceremony on the island of Taveuni, Fiji, on Dec 28.

Prepared by novice master, Australian Fr Ben McKenna and his team, the newly-professed Marists hail from seven different nations of the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2011 they will continue their studies for the Marist priesthood in Suva, Port Moresby and Davao.

dindo calvo
Filipino Marist, Dindo Calvo

Adrian Meuka (Bougainville), Alick Hokari (Solomon Is) and Aubin Naomauri (Solomon Is) /
Joseph Ovia (PNG), Louis Maite (Vanuatu) and Lutoviko Olie (Tonga)

Mika Tuilau (Fiji), Paul Molbwet (Vanuatu) and Paulo Ravunakaidere (Fiji) /
Peter Puamae (Solomon Is), Thomas Gavia (PNG) and Xavier Sariman (PNG)


bougainville book

Book records Bougainville missionaries

Recently-retired bishop of Bougainville, Most Rev Henk Kronenberg SM, has released the late Fr Hendry Saris' work 'Bougainville and its Missionaries, 1989-2010'

The book lists all Marist missionary priests and brothers who have worked in Bougainville with details and photos of the lives of most of these.

Present Australian Province members listed include Frs. Kevin Kerley, Jim Harding, John Begg, Harry Moore, Seamus McMahon, Wally Fingleton and Aidan Carvill.

Deceased Australian Marists who worked in Bougainville were Fr Tom L'Estrange, Br Patrick Thompson, Fr Des Scanlon and Fr Vince Mills.

Appendices include the names of Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Brothers (FMS) and Sisters of St J
oseph of Orange, California, who have been missionaries on the island.

Left: Fr Saris is pictured on the right of Bishop Henk Kronenberg at Hahela, Bougianville, where he laboured for many years / and with his truck powered by coconut oil whose production he pioneered in recent decades.

Fr Saris died in Holland on Aug 27 this year only weeks before the release of the book.
Lambs and llamas at Villa Maria

Once again the parish of Villa Maria (Hunters Hill-Woolwich, NSW) has gone outdoors for a colourful vigil liturgy for Christmas in the grounds of historic Villa Maria monastery...


The Provincial Council of the Marist Fathers' Australian Province, from left, Frs Bob Barber (vicar provincial), Ray Chapman, Kevin Bates, Tony Kennedy and Paul Cooney (provincial) / The Council in session.

New face on leadership team

The Provincial Council of the Marist Fathers' Australian province has met with its new team for 2010-11.

Fr Kevin Bates has taken up the position vacated by Fr Andrew Murray who finished a four-year term recently.


Fr John Hopkinson SM and the Misioneros Maristas team / members of a Basic Christian Community (BEC) in Bolivia preparing for Christmas.


Christmas greetings from Bolivian Marist mission

Brisbane-born Marist missionary, Fr John Hopkinson, sends Christmas greetings from the 'Misioneros Maristas', Tarija, Bolivia.

The full message...


From left: Frs Paul Cooney, Paul Donoghue, Bob Barber and Paul Sullivan at the Villa Maria renewal program site   /  examing the Chanel House accommodation facility.

Renewal planning for Asia-Pacific

Preliminary planning has begun for a series of two-month renewal programs for young Marists in the Asia-Pacific region following decisions taken by Marist Asia-Pacific (MAP) leaders in the Philippines in June.

Oceania Marist provincial, Fr Paul Donoghue, met on Dec 07 at Hunters Hill with his Australian counterpart, Fr Paul Cooney, as well as Fr Paul Sullivan and vicar-provincial, Fr Bob Barber.

The first program will be held in late 2011 focussing on spiritual and lifestyle renewal for Marist priests and brothers ordained or finally professed in the four to ten year range. The Oceania province is likely to have the greatest number of participants.


Newly-ordained Frs Enereko Nacolarara and Emeri Racucoko with Oceania Provincial, Fr Paul Donoghue.

Oceania Marist ordinations begin

The first of a series of ordinations of young Marists in the Pacific began in a ceremony at Sacred Heart cathedral, Suva, Fiji, on Dec 04. Others are following in Bougainville and Vanuatu.

For full details and more photos visit the Oceania Marist Province web site.



Marist Laity news
and Christmas message

Visit the web site of Marist Laity Australia for their latest newsletter and Christmas message.


Oceania web site moves ahead

Since its re-launching on Sep 23 the web site of the Oceania Marist Province has further developed following technical support the Province of Australia.
Webmaster, Fr Suni Halapio, assisted by deacon Christian Abongbung and first year seminarian, Patrick Tukidia, has brought the site up-to-date with current news in the Pacific Marist world.

The site boasts colourful photos and up-to-date news items with links to other Marist sites throughout the world. Visit the site on .

Left: Fr Suni Halapio with Patrick Tukidia at work on the Oceania site / the sites colourful home page.

Coffee shop ready for Christmas

St Patrick's coffee shop is gearing up for Christmas. Its shelves are bulging with Fr Mac's puddings, cards, rosaries and other gift suggestions. This year St Mary MacKillop images, cards and plaques are available..

Marist Missionary Sister, Sr Judy de Montfort, .leads a team of volunteer baristas and staff between 10 am and 2 pm most days. Gluten-free puddings have been added to the coffee shop's growing list of things-to-get- for-Christmas.

Located in the courtyard of historic St Patrick's church in Sydney's 'Rocks' district, the coffee shop is a regular gathering point for Sydneysiders visiting the Marist shrine of St Pat's for Mass and Confessions.