December 2011 News
This page:  Pacific professions     Philippines Marist newsletter     Christmas on the Web    Christmas in the Marist world     SOS web site linked    Brothers help with refugee gifts      Beatification prayer in 30 languages    Fr Des Darby returns to NZ    S&L program ends     Br Darryl Slater dies in Cambodia     S&L on the home run    Advent at St Patrick's    Marist Peacekeeper Anonymous    Exploring lifestyle     Colin photo-memories: St Bonnet le Troncy     'Sticky business'

From left: Terence Aihi (Bougainville), Humphrey Karua (Solomon Is), Basil Ramohaisuta (Solomon Is), Ignatus Latu (Bougainville) and Leone Balewaiyevo (Fiji)  /  View from Tutu novitiate

Pacific professions

Five young men took their vows as Marists in a ceremony at the Marist novitiate, Tutu, Tavenui, Fiji, on Dec 28.

In 2012 Tutu will be the venue for the Society of Mary's International English-speaking novitiate with Kiwi Fr Pat Breeze SM as the novice master, assisted by present novice master, Fr Boniface Kevon (Oceania province) and Fr Fritz Arnold (Province of Europe).

Twelve young men from Holland, Cameroon, Oceania, NZ and USA will begin their novitiate in February.


Philippines Marist Newsletter

Recording a year of achievement throughout the Marist Mission District of the Philippines the December newsletter is available online.

The Philippines Mission District is part of the Marist Asia-Pacific configuration of Marist provinces and missions.

Click here for the newsletter

The Priests & Brothers of the Society of Mary of Australia (Marist Fathers)
wish all our web visitors the happiest and holiest of Christmases

Christmas in 50 words

Christmas on the Web

YouTube angles on the Christmas story... (click on the images)

Kiwi kids' Christmas story
A digital Christmas


Christmas in the Marist world

Images of Christmas from a few parts of the Marist world...

Left & below: From Valencia, Venezuela, Fr Tony O'Connor sends these images, including the National Guards' crib (with permission from the police chief!), the sanctuary of St Peter Chanel's chapel in Barrio Paso Real (mural by Italian Marist, Fr Colosio - Mary & Child in Futuna), and the main avenue of Paso Real near Fr Tony's community by day /  and by night


    Above: Facebook images from the Marists of Davao: their Christmas and Advent celebrations with Marist Laity.  
 Below: Pre-Christmas Reconciliation, St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney  /  Christmas tree near Our Lady's shrine, St Patrick's;    Marist Sisters' crib, Marian House, Woolwich, NSW;         Further below: Open-air parish vigil Mass in Villa Maria grounds, Hunters Hill, NSW.

SOS web site linked

The web site of Star of the Sea parish, Gladstone, Qld, ( is now accessible from our 'links' page.

In the care of the Marist Fathers for over a century, SOS parish is preparing for boom days as the port city of Gladstone is set to explode with massive industrial development. Click here for SOS web site.


Brothers help with refugee gifts

Fresh from the recently-concluded MAP program, Brothers Pierre Bulekek SM (Vanuatu) and Andrew Wetara (Solomon Islands) are pictured delivering Christmas gifts for distribution amongst Burmese refugee families in Sydney and Wollongong.

The pre-Christmas project is coordinated by the Australian Myanmar Catholic Community, drawing help from other denominations and friends of Marists.


Beatification Prayer in 30 languages

The translation into Japanese of the official prayer seeking the intercession of Marist Founder, Venerable Fr Jean-Claude Colin, brings the number of translations to thirty.

A miracle is needed as the next step in advancing the Cause of Fr Colin towards beatification hence the need for people of many languages to be encouraged to use the prayer.

For all translations go to Fr Founder - prayer. For the Japanese translation click here.


des darby

From left: Frs Des Darby, Paul Sullivan and Kevin Redmond.

Fr Des Darby returns to NZ

Three key players in the recent MAP Spirituality & Lifestyle program are pictured following the program's closing Mass on Dec 14 (see item below).

Kiwi Marist, Fr Des Darby, crossed the Tasman to take the place of Fr Kevin Redmond at St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney, while Fr Kevin stood in for program coordinator, Fr Paul Sullivan, at the Aboriginal ministry centre, Macksville, NSW.


Spirituality & Lifestyle program ends

The first of four 9-week ongoing formation programs for Marist Asia-Pacific concluded on Dec 14.

(See 'S&L on the home run', below).

The next course begins in Oct 2012.

Above: Thanksgiving Eucharist at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, NSW  /  Marist Assistant-General, Fr Lote Raiwalui, presides, accompanied by Australian provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, with program coordinator, Fr Paul Sullivan, and local Marists and visiting Fijian clergy..
Below left: S&L participants join with the local Villa Maria community to reflect on the program's impact on both groups.  Below right: The ten participants lead the singing at the thanksgiving Mass  /  each was presented with a Certificate of Participation by Fr Paul Cooney.


Above: Prayers of Intercession in six languages  /  Br Andrew Wetara (Solomon Is) receives his Certificate of Participation from Fr Paul Cooney.     Lay and religious visitors at Villa Maria  /  Farewell songs from participants and the Fijian community.
Below left: Villa Maria staff and community are thanked by the course members.      Farewells to Fr Kevin Medilo, returning to the Marist Mission Ranong, Thailand  / Villa Maria's senior member, Fr Frank Callanan, with Fr Tony Nawata (Bougainville)..


Br Darryl Slater dies in Cambodia

Australian Marist Brother, Br Darryl Slater FMS, has died suddenly at Lavalla School, Takmao, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Dec 11. Br Darryl, 63, was a key member of the Marist Brothers' team working amongst physically disabled youngsters for the past eleven years.

Australian Marist Fathers have had close association with Br Darryl through the Marist Mission Centre's collaboration with Lavalla since its inception in 1997-98. A funeral service and cremation will be held on Dec 15 in Phnom Penh, and a memorial Mass at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, NSW, on Dec 16,

Pictured left, Br Darryl was present (rollover, top left) with Br Terry Heinrich at the opening of Villa Maria, Takmao, in Dec 2006.

S&L on the home run

Marist Asia-Pacific's 'spirituality & lifestyle' program will end soon. During its final days the course's ten participants, from the Oceania Marist Province and the Marist Mission District of the Philippines, continue to work on healthy habits for body and soul.

Recent activities for the Hunters Hill-based program have included planning for ongoing networking, developing further communication and Internet skills and a week-long retreat.

A final Mass will conclude the course on Dec 14. Further programs are envisaged for 2012, 2013 and 2014.


Above: Mass in the historic chapel of St Joseph in Villa Maria's grounds.  Below:  Participants at a network planning session.    Br Pierre Bulekek SM (Vanuatu) models one of the course's souvenir polo shirts.   Daily exercise walks/jogs are a regular occurence..


Advent at St Patrick's

Hundreds of Sydneysiders and visitors from rural New South Wales have begun their pre-Christmas pilgtrimage to the city shrine of St Patrick's to prepare for the coming of Christ.

In addition to the regular 6 daily weekday Masses and 11 Sunday Masses, St Patrick's confessionals will be available for extended hours in the week leading up to Dec 25.

Priests will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation 9 hours daily at 7.30 am and then continuously from 9 am to 6 pm.


Nestling amid the skyscrapers of downtown Sydney, St Patrick's is a haven for those seeking quiet moments before the Blessed Sacrament, the spiritual nourishment of the Eucharist and the peace of Reconciliation.


fr kevin kerley

Fr Kevin Kerley SM,
peacekeeper anonymous,
wearing his APPVA badge.

Marist Peacekeeper Anonymous

Veteran Marist missionary, Fr Kevin Kerley SM, has been accepted as a member of the Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans' Association.

In a moved endorsed by military and church personnel aware of his presence in Bougainville during its crisis years, Fr Kevin takes his place amongst Australian nationals who have lived in the Pacific's most troubled spots.

At age 83 the Gympie-born Marist continues to work at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill, NSW, on his memoirs and the history of the events of Bougainville's most tumultuous years in the closing decade of the 20th century.


Exploring lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle choices have been high on the agenda of the 'Spirituality & Lifestyle' program for Marist Asia-Pacific about to conclude in Sydney. In wholesome spirit participants have opted for walking, jogging or cycling during their 9-week program which ends on Dec 14.

PNG-born S&L program member, Fr Stephen Posirou SM, took the cycleways recently as part of the health and exercise regime encouraged by the course. Accompanied by Br Charlie Randle SM, Fr Stephen explored the harbour shoreline and the historic Rocks district as well as pedalling across the Anzac and Harbour Bridges.


A Marist priest for 11 years, Fr Stephen Posirou, 47, hails from Manus Island, PNG, working in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands. Speaking of the Spirituality & Lifestyle program he says: 'It's been very helpful in helping me reflect on how I was going in my ministry and how to deal with situations in the future more confidently.'


Colin photo-memories: St Bonnet le Troncy

December's photo memories focus on the place of Jean-Claude Colin's boyhood -- the village of St Bonnet le Troncy in central France.

Go to Father Founder - Memories


'Sticky business' -- web visitors lingering longer

The statistics page of shows that visitors to the Australian Province web site are spending more time, visiting more pages and opening more files.

The phenomenon of 'stickiness' indicates the popularity and usefulness of web sites.

Whilst the total hits can look impressive (just over 2,000,000 for us in the past 12 months), more realistic indicators are the actual visitors and how much of the web site that visit.


The highlighted figures above (for Nov 2010 and 2011) show that whilst the number of daily visitors has increased only marginally (12%), they visit almost twice as many web items now than a year ago. The average daily visitor opens 6 or 7 pages and views 28 items.