June 2011 News
This page:    Jubilarians honoured       Assembly continues      Provincial assembly begins       Burmese archbishop visits     More Oceania events      Eucharistic procession      OMP finance meeting in Sydney      Death of St Patrick's confessor      MAP leaders meeting in PNG      MAP formators      Sisters' jubilees     Postulator's job official     Provincial will have a new job     Champagnat House celebrates         Warnings on Malaysia Solution          Welcome, Fr Paddy           Religious leaders and climate change          JPICC brochure released


Jubilarians before their celebration Mass, from left: Frs Michael Carroll (25 years ordained), Aidan Carvill and Ron Nissen (40), Pat McCabe, John Burke, John L Walsh, Bill Ryder and Garry Reynolds (50 years) (absent: Frs David Wilson and John Hopkinson (40 years)  /  The jubilarians' dinner

Jubilarians honoured

In the evening of Jun 30 2011's Marist jubilarians were honoured at a Mass in Villa Maria church, HUnters Hill.

In the homily Fr Ron NIssen recalled "the things we didn't know back then" and at the celebratory dinner following in the nearby parish hall Fr Kevin Bates proposed the jubilarians' toast and Fr Garry Reynolds responded.


  carvill  hopkinson  nissen  wilson

From left: Frs Michael Carroll (25 years), Aidan Carvill, John Hopkinson, Ron Nissen, David Wilson (40 years)


Frs Kevin Bates and Garry Reynolds proposing and responding to the jubilarians' toast


burke  mccabe  reynolds  ryder  walsh

John Burke, Pat McCabe, Garry Reynolds, Bill Ryder, John L Walsh (50 years)


fr kevin duffy

Assistant-General, Fr Kevin Duffy

Assembly continues

Day Two of the provincial assembly (Jun 30) saw a presentation on abuse issues in the Church followed by Fr Kevin Duffy SM, Marist Assistant-General, with special responsibilities to liaise with the Australian province.

Fr Kevin spoke of the priorities of the General Administration in addressing 2009's General Chapter issues including recruitment, city-centre ministry, renewal experiences, prioritisation of ministries and international formation strategies. Afternoon sessions tackled the practical question of "What do we want our province to do now?" from the range of topics, above.


Day Two of the assembly began in prayer reflecting on the hidden truths in our world and in our lives

The assembly in group session



Provincial assembly begins

Over fifty Marist Fathers and Brothers from Australia and Japan have gathered on Jun 29 at the Villa Maria parish hall, Hunters Hill, NSW, for a three-day assembly of the province.

Proceedings began with a report from provincial, Fr Paul Cooney SM, and led to reflections on Marist identity and mission, and how it has changed over the years. Afternoon sessions were about dreams and concerns for ministry.


Burmese archbishop visits from Yangon

The archbishop of Myanmar's capital, Yangon, Archbishop Charles Bo, visited the North Sydney campus of Australian Catholic University on Jun 28.

Archbishop Bo addressed ACU faculty and members of the Australian Myanmar Catholic Community (AMCC) on the plight of the church in modern-day Myanmar. Afterwards he launched ACU's DVD 'Restoring Hope' featuring their online studies program for Burmese refugee students on the Thai-Burma border .

The program received its initial start through Marist Mission Centre funding in the early 2000's. Through 'MARS' (Marist Asylum Seekers and Refugees Service) the Australian province continues to assist AMCC and the resettlement of Burmese refugees in Australia.


Archbishop Bo in session at ACU   /   with AMCC representatives


FR John Hannan at Tutu

Superior-General, Fr John Hannan (third from left, back row) and Assistant, Fr Lote Raiwalui (far right, back row) with Tutu Marists and novices.

More Oceania events

Superior-General, Fr John Hannan, and Assistant-General, Fr Lote Raiwalui, have visited Marists on the Fijiian island of Taveuni in recent days (Jun 20-26),

They are pictured (left) with members of the communities of the Marist Training Centre and the Marist Novitiate at Tutu, and (below left) Fr John with Br Mua Saurava for whom prayers are being offered in the hope of a cure from his illness through Fr Jean-Claude Colin's intercession.

Also pictured (below) are the six novices with novice master, Fr Boniface Kevon, now finishing the second of their four week-long retreats for 2011.



Meanwhile (left), at Castle Hill, NSW, Oceania provincial, Fr Ben McKenna, visits 'Marymount' formation course participants, Frs Soane 'Ahohako and Justin Ratsi.

Fr Soane comments: 'The course is mostly about understanding and forming myself. If I can do that then maybe I can be of use in the formation journey of others.'


eucharistic procession1

The 2011 'Corpus Christ' procession leaves St Patrick's church.

Eucharistic procession from St Patrick's

Once again Sydney's annual 'Corpus Christ' procession commenced at St Patrick's, Church Hill, in the historic Rocks district. An estimated 5,000 took place in the Jun 26 procession winding its way through the downtown area to St Mary's cathedral.

The Marist city centre shrine is an ongoing place of eucharistic devotion resting as it does on the site of the Davis cottage where the Blessed Sacrament is said to have been reserved in the early days of European settlement in Australia.

A community of six Marist priests continue to minister to city workers and weekend visitors with Mass and Reconciliation.


eucharistic procession2    eucharistic procession3

Benediction for the crowd of 5,000 at St Mary's cathedral


OMP Finance meeting in Sydney

Members of the Oceania Marist Province finance committee have met at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, NSW, Jun 21-23 for their annual three-day meeting.

Pictured left, from left: Frs John Crispin (province bursar), Kevin Mowbray (bursar-general, Rome), Ben McKenna (provincial), Susitino Sionepio (committee member, New Caledonia), Brian Wilson (Oceania House, Sydney) and Ms Sulu Casimira (business manager OMP, Suva).



The OMP finance committee meeting in Villa Maria's faculty room.


fr joe flannery

Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle and Fr Joe Flannery during Rosebery school golden jubilee celebrations in 2008. Fr Joe was Rosebery's first parish priest.

Death of St Patrick's confessor

The Marist Fathers mourn the passing of Fr Joseph Flannery, retired priest of the Archdiocese of Hobart, who died peacefully on Jun17. He was aged 91 and a priest for almost 66 years.

Despite complete loss of vision Fr Joe came out of retirement twenty years ago to join the part-time staff of St Patrick's for its important ministry of Reconciliation.

His cheerful and kindly presence in the confessional every Sunday at midday will be sorely missed by grateful patrons of the city shrine and by the Marist community of St Patrick's.

Bendigo-born Fr Joe was ordained by Bishop John McCarthy on Jul 22, 1945 . His funeral will take place in his home diocese of Hobart. May he rest in peace.


MAP leaders meeting in PNG

Frs Paul Cooney (provincial) and Bob Barber (vicar provincial) represented Australia and Japan at the annual meeting of MAP (Marist Asia-Pacific) leaders, Jun 14-16.

The meeting took place on the outskirts of Port Moresby, PNG, at Marist College, Bomana, and reviewed and planned for activities in the MAP region of Australia, New Zealand, Oceania and the Philippines Mission District. (see 'MAP report from Rome', below)


From left: Frs Larry Sabud (Philippines), Ben McKenna (Oceania), Brian Cummings (NZ), Bob Barber (Australia), Lote Raiwalui (General Councillor), Phil Cody (NZ), John Hannan (Superior-General) and Paul Cooney (Australia).




MAP leaders outside the cathedral at Port Moresby

Frs John Hannan and Phil Cody with Marist College students

For more photos click here and go to Oceania Marist province, June news

MAP report from Rome

From 'SM Bulletin", Jun 17:
"This week the major superiors and vicars of MAP (Marists Asia Pacific), joined by Frs John Hannan and Lote Raiwalui, gathered in Papua New Guinea for their annual meeting.

Besides the presentation of reports on each of the units involved, discussions took place on shared topics such as vocations, formation, laity etc.

Some of the key decisions that have been made were the establishment of a vocations coordinator to act within MAP; the agreement for an ongoing conversation with the General Administration, particularly in the light of the reviews of governance and finance; and the appointment of a person to coordinate the production of a set of principles and guidelines for Society Lay Missionaries within MAP.

At the end of the meeting the participants were very satisfied with the work being done and particularly grateful for the hospitality of the Bomana community. The next MAP meeting will take place in Sydney in June 2012."


MAP formators

Frs Sione Hamala (Tonga), Fernando Ingente (Philippines) and Fabiano Naduva (Fiji)

MAP formators being formed

Three Marists from the Asia-Pacific region are amongst the eight participants in the international formation training program in Rome.

Frs Sione Hamala (Tonga), Fernando Ingente (Philippines) and Fabiano Naduva (Fiji) are well into the course of language and formation issues training. Fr Fernando has almost completed the first year of the two-year formators' program.

The participants are part of the General House community of the Society of Mary at Monteverde, Rome, led by Australian Marist and Secretary-General, Fr Tony Corcoran. Coordinator of the international program is Fr Craig Larkin. Other participants are from Africa, Mexico and Brazil.


map formators

Formation program participants with some of Monteverde community

craig larkin

Program coordinator,
Fr Craig Larkin


marist sisters

From left: Srs Rose Shields, Mary Picone, Joan McBride, Judith Lythall and Vilomena Ruru. (Not pictured: Sr Joan Sheppard)

Marist Sisters' jubilees

Six Marist Sisters celebrated 'round-figure' jubilees at Woolwich, NSW, on Jun 12. Four are diamond jubilarians (sixty years of Marist life) and two are silver (twenty five years).

Diamond jubilarians are Srs Joan Sheppard, Joan McBride, Mary Picone and Rose Shields, while Srs Judith Lythall and Vilomena Ruru (currently at the Marymount formators program, Castle Hill) marked twenty-five years of Marist religious life.

Fr Tom Fulcher SM presided at a celebratory Eucharist at the Marist Sisters' College chapel, which was followed by cake-cutting at nearby Marian House.


Fr Tom Fulcher presides at the jubilee Eucharist

Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin, is quoted on the jubilee booklet

Cutting of the jubilee cake at Marian House



Fr Carlo-Maria Schianchi

Postulator's job official

The Vatican Congregation for the Saints has ratified the nomination of Italian Marist, Fr Carlo-Maria Schianchi, as Postulator of the Cause for Beatification of Marist Founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin.

Fr Carlo-Maria's work as General Archivist for the Society of Mary places him in an excellent position to draw on historical resources to support the Cause. He works closely with Vicar-General, Fr Larry Duffy, in laising with the General Administration in Rome.

Australian Marist, Fr Ron Nissen, continues the task of producing printed and web-related material to promote the awareness of Fr Colin as Marist founder and inspiration for generations of missionaries.


Vicar General, Fr Larry Duffy, with Fr Carlo-Maria

Frs Larry and Carlo-Maria with Fr Ron Nissen examing Cause material.


Fr Paul Cooney  /
 his new home in 2013

Provincial will have a new job to go to

After Australian provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, finishes his present term of office he will not be out of a job!

The General Administration of the Society of Mary in Rome have announced in their Jun10 weekly bulletin:

"The superior general has appointed Fr Paul Cooney to succeed Fr Kevin Mowbray as bursar general of the Society of Mary at the termination of Fr Kevin’s term of office in late 2013.

Fr Paul is at present provincial superior of Australia, his term of office finishing at the end of 2012"


Champagnat House celebrates

Jun 06 is the Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers, as brothers and priests alike recall their important links in founding the Marist project..

Today Australian Marist priests and brothers continue to journey closely as Champagnat House, Hunters Hill NSW, moves well into its second year.

Priests of Villa Maria monastery are regular callers to the brothers' modern retirement centre on Mary St where they minister through Mass, other Sacraments and social visits.



Champagnat House nestles amid heritage buildings a stone's throw
from historic St Joseph's College where a Marist priest is chaplain

Senior Brothers relax in Champagnat House



Villa Maria Marists celebrate the daily Eucharist with the brothers
and a monthly Sacrament of Anointing.


Warnings on 'Malaysia Solution'

Member of the Marist province Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee, Fr Jim Carty, warns of the illegality and dangers of Australia's plans to send unaccompanied minors to Malaysia. Sydney's Catholic Communications report begins:

"Including unaccompanied children with the 800 asylum seekers the Australian Government plans to send to Malaysia as part of a refugee swap deal, would not only endanger the youngsters' lives but be in breach of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child to which Australia is a signatory, warns Father Jim Carty, Coordinator of the Marist Asylum Seekers and Refugee Services."

For the full text go to Catholic Communications release...

fr paddy o'neil

Welcome, Fr Paddy!

New Zealand born, Fr Patrick O’Neil SM, has arrived in Australia from Brazil where he has been working with poor rural peasant farmers in the Marist Fathers' mission in Bahia in the country's north-east.

Fr Paddy spent twenty years working with the Marist Brothers at the Catholic University in Curitiba, Parana State, Southern Brazil.

He will be a member of the Villa Maria community, Hunters Hill, NSW, for the next three months. Welcome, Fr Paddy!



Religious leaders unite on climate change

Australian Marist provincial and chairman of the NSW Conference of Religious Leaders, Fr Paul Cooney, reports that CLRI (NSW) is being well represented at the Jun 02 meeting with Prime Minister Gillard on climate change.

Sr Jill Finnane and other members of the CLRI Social Justice Committee are among the representatives of religious leaders of many different faith backgrounds converging on Canberra to push for action on climate change.  They will be meeting with Julia Gillard, Greg Hunt, Andrew Wilkie and around twenty other MPs.

The leaders are from Hindu, Uniting Church, Jewish, Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Moslem, Jain, and Anglican religions are uniting to share their concerns.

Full text of CLRI (NSW) press release here ...

julia gillard



Climate change images  /  CLRI's own logo


"Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee's" summary brochure

"JPICC" is more of a mouthful than the earlier 'Social Justice Committee' but the meaning is made more clear in it's newly-published brochure summarising the results of a province-wide survey of Marist involvement in social justice issues.

The easy-to-read document will be circulated throughout the province before the forthcoming Provincial Assembly (Jun 29-Jul 01).

Read it in full here....