July 2011 News
This page:   Malaysian refugee swap      Fourviere remembered      Coffee shop's 10th anniversary          Community leaders' workshops       Australian consultant engaged      National theology award for Fr John Thornhill     Council of the Province meets     News from the Philippines     Bishop Paul Donoghue ordained      U.S. Marists Down Under     Sri Lanka's killing fields      Fr Pat's golden jubilee      Marist Laity to host Fourviere event      Kachins demand stop to war and abuse      Provincial assembly: final day       Icon-in-the-making blessed

Malaysian refugee swap

Greg Lopez writes on the impending disaster of the Australia-Malaysia refugee swap

See JPIC page: Malaysian refugee swap spells human rights disaster


The chapel of the Blessed Virgin, Fourviere, France

Fourviere promise remembered

The promise by twelve young men in Lyon, France, in 1816, to form the Society of Mary was remembered on the 195th anniversary of this event at Hunters Hill, NSW.

Over seventy members of the Marist Family -- laity, sisters, brothers and priests -- came together to recall the pledge made in the ancient chapel of the Blessed Virgin, at Fourviere, overlooking the city of Lyon.

The event was hosted this year by Marist Laity Australia, led by co-leaders, Andrew Dumas and Margaret Woods.

The celebrations began with Mass celebrated by Fr Kevin Bates SM and included lay Marist, Maria Timmon, speaking of environmental threats to her native Kiribas and Fr Ron Nissen with an update on the Cause for Beatification of Marist Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin.


Fr Kevin Bates presides
at the anniversary Eucharist

Andrew Dumas  /
Maria Timmon


Coffee shop leader, Sr Judith de Montfort  / . .. with her sister, Sr Jill de Montfort.

St Patrick's coffee shop's 10th anniversary celebrations

Jul 23 brought to an end a week celebrating the tenth anniversary of the now-famous courtyard coffee shop at St Patrick's, Church Hill, in Sydney's Rocks district. Patrons enjoyed free birthday cake during the week.

Coordinator, Sr Judith De Montfort SMSM, praised the fidelity of her team of volunteers, many of whom have been with the coffee shop since its opening on 'Fourviere Day', 2001.

A 'sparkling high tea' brought volunteers and other supporters to celebrate the anniversary with singing and music from Angela Chan and John Martin. Parish priest, Fr Ray Chapman SM, gave certificates of appreciation to the 'ten year volunteers' including Br Colin Campbell SM, a regular presence at the coffee shop every Tuesday.

br colin campbell

Workshops for Marist community leaders

Two workshops for Marist community leaders took place during July at the province's holiday cottages at Currumbin, Qld, and Bilgola, NSW.

These were opportunities for participants to reflect on their experience of leadership in the province.  Marists from Gladstone, Brisbane, Macksville, Sydney and Tasmania were present.  Fr Kevin Duffy SM from the General Administration, Rome, also participated.


Superiors, vice-superiors and facilitators from Australian Marist communities at Currumbin  / ... and Bilgola.

fr kevin duffy

Fr Kevin Duffy SM.


Dr John Honner  /
in action at the Australian provincial assembly

Australian consultant engaged for international Marist review

Facilitator for the recent provincial assembly, John Honner, has been engaged to handle an international review for the Marist Fathers. This announcement was issued from Rome on Jul 22:

"The 2009 General Chapter decided that the superior general undertake an external review of all levels of government before the next Council of the Society with a view to continuing structural change.

"After inviting submissions from four prospective facilitators, the superior general has chosen Dr John Honner from Australia to undertake the review. He has expertise in community services and organisational management, and has assisted the Australian provincial administration with its strategic planning, as well as facilitating a number of provincial meetings.

"He will be in Rome during the Annual Review Consultation (ARC) meeting in September to meet with each of the major superiors as well as the General Administration."


National theology award for Fr John Thornhill

His achievements "in the foremost ranks of Australian theologians" has won Fr John Thornhill recognition as a Fellow of the Australian Catholic Theological Association.

At its annual general meeting in Sydney on Jul 09 ACTA's citation for the award (full text) was received with unanimous acclamation.

Fr John's long and distinguished service as a world-ranking theologian began in the 1950s and has continued to his recent retirement at 'Montbel', Hunters Hill, NSW.

emmanus banner

The banner of Fr John Thornhill's 'Emmaus Series' web site, still a much-visited source of weekly reflections.


Council of the Province meets

At its annual meeting on Jul 18 at Hunters Hill the Council of the Province once more reviewed the work of the provincial administration in discharging the decisions of the last provincial chapter (2008).

The Council is made of delegates elected by the provincial chapter and the members of the current provinicial council.

Also present at this year's meeting was Assistant-General, Fr Kevin Duffy SM.

From left: Frs Bob Barber (vicar-provincial), Bill Ryder, Paul Cooney (provincial), Kevin Bates (prov councillor), Gerard Hall, Kevin Duffy (Assistant-General), Paul Sullivan, Tony Kennedy (prov councillor), Michael Mullins, Jim Carty, Ray Chapman (prov councillor).

philippines newsletter

News from the Philippines

The July issue of "Marist Contact' is now available. Click here for : page one, page two.


Bishop Stuart O'Connell lays hands on the new bishop of Rarotonga, Bishop Paul Donoghue.
Co-consecrator, Archbishop Balvo, looks on.

Ordination of Bishop Paul Donoghue SM

The former provincial of the Oceania Marist Province was ordained bishop of Rarotonga (Cook Islands) in a ceremony on Jul 16 at Rarotonga.

Bishop Paul Donoghue SM was ordained by his predecessor, Bishop Stuart O'Connell SM; the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Charles Balvo (Nuncio to NZ and the Islands of the Pacific) and Hamilton diocese's Bishop Denis Browne, a previous bishop of Rarotonga (1977-83).

Newly-consecrated Bishop Paul Donoghue's first blessing, with ceremonial paddle in hand.

Rarotonga's 2,300 Catholics are spread over an ocean area the size of western Europe.

Bishop Paul's mother-of-pearl pectoral cross and episcopal ring

bishop paul donoghue

Bishop Paul on a recent Sydney visit prior to episcopal ordination on Jul 16


Scenes from the ordination, from left: There are no sheep in the Cook Islands so the bishop holds a ceremonial paddle rather than a crozier (crook);   Bishop Paul with fellow bishops and priests;   children with traditional dancing following the ceremony


Frs Jim Duffy and Paul Hachey at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill

U.S. Marists Down Under

Visiting from Atlanta, Georgia, are American Marists, Frs Jim Duffy and Paul Hachey. . Both are members of the Marist Province of USA. Their visit is including Sydney, Melbourne and 'The Hermitage', Mittagong, NSW.

Fr Jim is pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption parish, Atlanta, whilst Fr Paul works in the tribunal area of the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Click here for more of the Marist Province of USA and here for Fr Jim's Assumption parish.


Sri Lanka's killing fields

Australians will not tolerate cruelty to animals. Yet a stony silence follows last week's documentary on the killng fields of Sri Lanka, writes Gordon Weiss...

See JPIC page: "Don't turn a blind eye to Sri Lanka's killing fields"


Fr Pat McCabe''s golden jubilee

One of this year's Marist jubilarians of 50 years ordination, Fr Pat McCabe, celebrated with a Mass and dinner with Villa Maria community and family members on his anniversary, Jul 08.

Fr Pat was one of ten deacons ordained on Jul 08, 1961, in ceremonies at St Patrick's. Church Hill, and Lismore, NSW. Four other jubilarians marked their anniversary in other community celebrations in recent days. (See also 'Jubilarians honoured', June news)


Marist Laity to host Fourviere event

This year's Jul 23 commemoration of the Fourviere pledge to form the Marist Family will be hosted by Marist Laity Australia. Details, MLA July newsletter, just released.


Kachins in Australia demand stop to war and abuse

Go to Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation - 2011


Provincial assembly: Day Three

The provincial assembly of the Marist Fathers in Australia moved to its third and final day on Jul 01 intent on practical plans for renewal.

Opening, as usual, with prayer the assembly then heard from Frs John Thornhill, Gerard Hall and Kevin Duffy on the broad themes touching on renewal of religious congregations and specifically of Marist life and charism.

The assembly concluded with the Eucharist in which Japanese Marists, Fr Oscar Ichiba, recalled the Buddhist philosophy of renewal after emptiness.


j honner

Facilitator, John Honner

Morning prayer, Day Three


john thornhill

Fr John Thornhill intervenes

Evaluating: Fr Bill Ryder  /  Fr Kevin Kerley


From Japan: Frs Oscar Ichiba and Keith Tulloch

Fr Oscar Ichiba preaching at the final Mass


Final Mass of the assembly with Assistant-General, Fr Kevin Duffy, presiding


icon gilding

Colin icon-in-the-making blessed

Auckland-based iconographer, Michael Pervan, with his team at the Studio of St John the Baptist is well advanced in a commission to create an icon of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin.

Michael asked Assistant-General, Fr Kevin Duffy SM, to bless the icon-in-the-making during a recent visit. The icon was commissioned by the Marist Fathers' General Administration and is now at the stage of gilding by the studio team.


icon blessing

Fr Kevin Duffy with Michael Pervan and associates

Line drawing and basic concept of the icon