October 2011 News
This page:  Unknown disciple     Reflections on a pilgrimage     Villa Maria revisited     African Marist web site coming soon    Memorial for Br Viliame     Holy Father opens Domus Australia      Domus Australia blessing     Bishops welcome onshore processing     S&L early days      Peace walk at Paso Real     S&L program begins     MenAlive at city shrine     Day of prayer for displaced Kachins     New supply of SM cross & badge    Leaders head for home      Sudden death of Br Viliame     S&L program arrivals          

The unknown disciple

'The unknown disciple' - Marist Laity reflection day at St Pat's

Marist Laity Australia will conduct a reflection day at St Patrick's Church, Church Hill, Sydney, on Sat, Nov 05 (10 am to 1 pm, in the crypt).

Participants will explore where Mary, 'the unknown disciple', is today through meditation, reflection and action. Presenters include Maria Baden, Andrew Dumas & Margaret Woods.

RSVP info@maristlaityaustralia.com soon.


Reflections on a pilgrimage

Aquinas Academy director, Fr Michael Whelan SM, reflects on the Academy's recent pilgrim experience in India.

Read more....


Nimul & Kangchana at the first 'Villa Maria'

Villa Maria revisited

The founder of one of Cambodia's most innovative facilities for disabled young people has visited Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, as part of a two-week period of Marist development and promotional activity.

Nimul (Peter) Ouch and his wife, Kangchana, care for some of Cambodia's many children with physical disabilities at another 'Villa Maria' at Takmao on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

YODIFEE (Youth with Disabilities Foundation for Education and Employment) was established in 2002 with Australian Marist Mission Centre support and is now part of the Marist Asia-Pacific Solidarity foundation. Experiencing Marist hospitality during a previous visit to Hunters Hill, Nimul decided the new home for his charges would also be named 'Villa Maria'.


The 'second Villa Maria', at Takmao, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


www.maristafrica.org -- coming soon

African Marist web site
coming soon

Cameroonian Marist, Father Christian Abongbung, reports that a web site for the Marist Mission District of Africa is soon to go online. Keep watching...


Memorial Mass for Br Viliame

Following the sudden death of Br Viliame Lotawa SM, participants of the Spirituality & Lifestyle program gathered on Oct 21 in Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, to remember their confrere.

Br Vili was to have been a member of the S&L program. His untimely death on Oct 03 occured a few days before the beginning of the course.

Members of the Sydney Fijian community joined local Marists and S&L participants for the Mass. Marist Assistant-General, Fr Lote Raiwalui, presided at the celebration while Br Elia Sawesawe gave the eulogy. A social gathering and kava sharing followed the Mass.


Holy Father opens Domus Australia

Scenes from the live webcast, Rome, Oct 19. (See previous item, below, on Australian and Marist links with Domus Australia)


After the entry of Pope Benedict, Cardinal Pell reflected on the history of the Domus Australia building 'once the international formation house of the Marist Fathers'. He acknowledged 'the amazing missionary contribution of the Marists, founded in 1836 by Jean-Claude Colin', likening his hopes for Domus Australia with St Patrick's, Sydney 'a place of prayerful vitality whch continues the missionary activity of the Marists.'


blessing Domus Australia

The relic of St Peter Chanel from St Patrick's, Church Hill, now enclosed in the altar of Domus Australia.

Blessing of Domus Australia -- links with St Peter Chanel and Australian Catholics

A few days before the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, officially opens Domus Australia (Oct 19) Sydney's Cardinal George Pell recalled the links between the first Marist Saint, Peter Chanel, pioneer Australian Catholics and the refurbished residential facility and former house of the Marist Fathers at Via Cernaia, Rome.

A relic of St Peter Chanel led the list of those of a number of saints to be enclosed in the altar of Domus Australia.

In a ceremony on Oct 16 Cardinal Pell consecrated the new altar in the chapel dedicated to St Peter Chanel, pioneer missionary of the Pacific and its first martyr. Present were the Australian bishops gathered in Rome as their Ad Limina visit drew to a close.


Cardinal Pell remarked: 'The relic of St Peter Chanel was obtained from St Patrick's, Church Hill in Sydney, the site where Catholics in a private house adored the Blessed Sacrament in the early colonial days before they enjoyed religious freedom and were allowed to have a Priest.'

Other saints whose relics were placed in the altar are Vietnamese martyr, St Andrew Dung-Lac, St Maria Goretti, St Mary MacKillop, St Jerome and St Pius V,.


Bishops welcome on-shore processing of asylum seekers

From the Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee office, Fr Maurizio Pettena, speaks for the Catholic bishops of Australia...

Media release... JPIC


S&L early days

The first days of the MAP 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program have been begun with a full and varied schedule.

Formal sessions with visiting resource persons have commenced as well as excursions to places of Marist history and interest.

Participants have been encouraged to experience the local Marist scene -- and the sights of Sydney.


From top: sessions in the Woodbury Hall
exploring historic Villa Maria;    discovering Sydney
Marist Family barbecue and dinner.


Peace walk at Paso Real

Marist missionary, Fr Tony O'Connor SM, recounts how the peace-loving barrio dwellers of Paso Real, Valencia, Venezuela, address violence to their youth...

Full story... JPIC


The S&L program begins around the statue of Mary in the grounds of historic Villa Maria monastery.

S & L program begins at Villa Maria

Indigenous elder, John Marshall, (Macksville NSW) welcomed participants in the Marist Asia-Pacific 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program at a moving opening ceremony at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, NSW, on Oct 10.

After a traditonal smoking ceremony, participants moved to nearby Villa Mary church for a Eucharist led by Assistant-General, Fr Lote Raiwalui. Australian provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, preached the homily and, with St Paul, encouraged the S&L group to be the saints that we are all called to be.

Participants prayed the intercessions in their native tongue and brought to the altar a symbol of their particular culture before .


'MenAlive' at city shrine

Participants of the 'MenAlive' program in the crypt of St Patrick's, Church Hill

The specific needs of men and their male spirituality are being addressed by the downtown ministry of Marists at St Patrick's, Church Hill, in Sydney's Rocks.

The program, spread over four sessions throughout 2011, focuses on male spirituality and culminated last weekend (Oct 08-09) in a rewarding retreat experience for its twenty-five participants.

Parish priest, Fr Ray Chapman SM, comments: 'So successful has the program been this year, with attendances between 35 - 63 men, that we intend to offer the program again in 2012. 

'The focus on male spirituality and identity sits comfortably with the ministry at St Pat's because the majority of the congregations at Mass throughout the week are men.'


Day of Prayer for displaced Kachins

As Burmese army attacks on villages continue and more than 20,000 now forced out of homes, Banmaw's Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam calls for a day of prayer on Oct 09.

Full story... go to JPIC 2011


New supply of 'SM cross' and Marist badge

Stocks are now available of an Australian-designed cross and an internationally-used badge for Marists.

Produced in the 1970s the 'SM cross' was first worn by the Brothers of the Society of Mary in Australia. In 2000 after a request from the Oceania Marist Province the 'SM cross' became available for newly-professed Marists and later to all members of the Pacific province. It is now available for priests and brothers in Australia and Oceania.

The Marist badge is worn by professed Marists and Marist laity alike.


Marist leaders head for home

Major superiors of the Marist Fathers have completed their meeting in Rome with the international leadership team.

The Annual Review Consultation reviewed a range of matters including Marist responses to the world's neediest and to issues of reconciliation, justice and peace in a globalised world,

The agenda also included ongoing formation, preparation of future leaders and training of local superiors as spiritual leaders, as well as vocations, the beatification of Fr Founder and spiritual formation of Marist laity.


From left: Prayer before the new icon of Fr Jean-Claude Colin in the chapel of the General House, Rome;    Australian Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, presiding at the Eucharist;    three Aussie Marists relaxing (Frs Paul Cooney, Tony Corcoran and Ben McKenna).

br viliame lotawa

Sudden death of Br Viliame

Within 48 hours of arriving in Sydney for the 'Spirituality & Life' program (see below), Fijian Marist, Br Viliame Lotawa SM, died suddenly at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, Oct 03.  Br Willy, as he is known by Marists throughout the Pacific, was eagerly looking forward to the 9-week program.

Several Marists were with him immediately after his collapse at 10 am in Chanel House where he was anointed and died despite resuscitation attempts by confreres and paramedics.

May he rest in peace -- and intercede for blessings on the S&L program.


Australian, Br Peter Somers SM, (left) welcomes the first S&L program arrivals

Spirituality & Life program participants arrive in Australia

First participants for the Marist Asia-Pacific 'Spirituality & Life' program have arrived in Australia on Oct 01.

Frs Leronio Vodivodi and Stephen Posirou SM and Brs Elia Sawesawe, Pierre-Marie Bulekek and Viliame Lotawa SM have taken up residence at Villa Maria's 'Chanel House', Hunters Hill, NSW.

They will soon be joined by six other Oceanian Marists and one Filipino for the start of the program on Oct 10. It will be the first of four such programs to be conducted over the next five years.



'S & L' program participants take in their first sights of Sydney and of Villa Maria monastery grounds...
and join Marist confreres for lunch at 'Montbel', Hunters Hill.