September 2008 news

Province birthday          Final WYD meeting         Sr Anne-Marie Webb          Provincial returns



Province's 70th birthday

On Sep 20 the Australian Province of Marist Fathers quietly celebrated its 70th anniversary. The Province was established as an outreach of the New Zealand Marist Province in 1938.

The Villa Maria community of Marists at Hunters Hill celebrated the occasion with a barbecue for the 'boys on the block'.

95-yr-old Fr Jim Harcombe SM blessed the steaks and sausages, being the only Marist present who was present at the beginnings of the province.



Marist Brothers, Sisters, Missionary Sisters, Laity and Fathers worked together for almost a year to prepare for the major Marist presentations of WYD. Focal points were the EXPO display at Darling Harbour and the devotional centre and talks on Marist themes at St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney.

Final WYD meeting
The multi-branch group coordinating Marist events of World Youth Day met for the last time on Sep 15 at Sydney's Aquinas Academy.


Passing of Sr Ann-Marie Webb SM
After a recently-diagnosed illness Marist Sister, Ann-Marie Webb SM, died in Sydney on Sep 02. Sr Ann-Marie had recently returned from the Marist Sisters' General Chapter in Rome. She had been Provincial of the Marist Sisters in Australia (1995-2000) as well as a much-loved and respected principal of the Marist Sisters' College, Woolwich, and Cerdon College, Merrylands.
Led by Hunters Hill parish priest, Fr Kevin Bates SM, seventeen priests, including many local Marists, concelebrated at her Requiem on Sep 05 in a packed chapel of St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, before interment at Macquarie Park cemetery.


Provincial returns from Rome
During August Fr Paul Cooney was in Rome to attend the meeting of the Marist Fathers' General Finance Committee of which he is a member. Fr Paul succeeds previous Australian provincial, Fr Bill Ryder, on this committee which oversees the finances of the Society of Mary internationally.