October 2008 News

Philippines ordinations          Anniversary          Chapter          'Montbel'          Harvest prayers          Fr Laurie Hannigan          SMSM General          Brothers return         PRS rector

Philippines ordinations

Three young Filipino Marists were ordained to priesthood and diaconate in Davao City, Mindanao, on Oct 30.

Lauro Arcede SM and Lionel Mechavez SM were ordained priests while Br Gil Casio SM was ordained deacon by Most Rev Fernando Capalla, Archbishop of Davao.



The parish church and historic presbytery (right) of Cerdon, France.

Laity host Marist anniversary

Brisbane Marist Lay couple, Kevin and Trish McGrory hosted a little-known anniversary at that Stafford Heights home on Oct 29.  It was on this date in 1824 that Fr Pierre Colin wrote to the Bishop of Belley, France 'Today the Society of Mary has begun'. Fr Etienne Declas had just arrived at the presbytery at Cerdon, France, to begin the first community of Marist Fathers, along with Founder, Fr Jean-Claude Colin.

For more on the events folllowing Oct 29, 1824, see Fr Pat Bearsley's 1994 reflection 'All Steamed Up' on

Kevin & Trish McGrory hosted seven Marist priests from the Brisbane area to mark the anniversary. The evening began with a quiet reflection on the 1824 event followed by barbecue dinner.

2008 Provincial Chapter  click here


'Montbel' construction begins

Construction has commenced of a new aged-care facility for the Marist Fathers' Australian province. Known as 'Montbel' it will recall an early Marist residence and formation centre exisiting almost a century ago in the same precinct.

'Montbel' will be home for ten aged Marists and will be located in the grounds behind the existing retirement centre of 'Maryvale', Hunters Hill.

Oct 21

Oct 22

Oct 23

Dec 2007                                          

                                Dec 2007


'Lord of the Harvest' stained glass window in the parish church, Walgett.

Prayers for the Harvest 

The farming people of Walgett parish in north-western New South Wales are using special prayers for harvest time.

Parish priest, Fr Paul Mahony SM, has composed the prayers for the Catholic communities of Walgett, Collarenebri, Rowena, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Cumborah, Carinda and Angledool.

Harvesting Prayers

God our Father, you are the source of all that we have and all that we are. All times and seasons come from you. We thank you for the many blessings you have given us. This year especially we thank You for the fruitful season. We ask for your continued blessing, particularly during harvesting.

Bless all those who will work extra long hours during this vital time. Keep them alert and protect them from the many dangers involved in this work.

Bless our crops. May they provide not only ‘Our Daily Bread’ but as well, the food for so many hungry and starving people of our world.

St. Joseph the Worker and Protector of the family: Pray for us

Morning Prayer during Harvesting

Heavenly Father you have given me another day to work in the fields that you provide.

Please bless my work today, so that we can provide food for our world and especially the poor who are so near to your heart.

Keep me safe today. Protect our young children during this busy time with many activities with heavy machinery - keep them from all harm.

We ask this prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Joseph the Worker and Protector of the Family: Pray for us.

Family Prayer during Harvesting

Heavenly Father, protect (insert the name of the person here…. my husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, friend) working today on the harvesting of the crops you have given us. Keep them from all harm and bring them safely home.

Guide their work and may it be successful in providing food especially for the poor and hungry of our world.

We ask this prayer through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

St. Joseph the Worker and Protector of the Family: Pray for us.

















Passing of Fr Laurie Hannigan SM

The Australian Province of Marist Fathers marks with sadness the death of Fr Laurie Hannigan at St Anne's Nursing Home, Hunters Hill, on Oct 10. 'Maryvale' superior, Fr Garry Reynolds SM, was with him when he died.

Fr Laurie was well known and respected as the teacher of Sacred Scriptre to generations of Australian Marists. He was 83 years of age.

From 'Pen Portraits of the Australia/NZ Marist Provinces':

Laurie was the eldest of thirteen children of David Hannigan and Margaret Larkin. He grew up on a farm in the Piora district near Casino, NSW. His early schooling was at the local public school and briefly, at the Convent School, Casino, where he won a State Bursary. This enabled him to go to St John’s College, Woodlawn, Lismore. Laurie did his Novitiate at Woolwich and did his Seminary studies at Toongabbie (4 years) St Foy-les-Lyons (1 year) and the Angelicum, Rome, (4 years) where he gained a Licentiate in Theology. He was ordained a priest in 1950. He began studies at the Biblical, but bad health forced him to return to Australia for an operation on a duodenal ulcer.

Over the next thirty years, Laurie’s principal ministry was teaching Scripture to many seminarians at Toongabbie, Hunters Hill, Greenmeadows and Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva. He returned to Rome for two years to complete a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Biblical Institute, Rome, followed by several months in Israel. He also taught for two years at Woodlawn and some months at a new school at Traralgon, Victoria.

All who studied the Scriptures under Laurie appreciated his great erudition, his love of the Word of God, his openness to all new developments in Biblical studies, his dry humour, wit, gentleness and patience. After many years as a teacher Laurie became parish priest of Belmont–Redcliffe in West Australia for six years and afterwards spent another six years on the staff of St Patrick’s, Church Hill and on the staff of Villa Maria, Hunters Hill.

After a course at St Beuno’s, Wales, Laurie became Chaplain for eleven years to Marist Brothers, Randwick, giving regular talks to the Little Sisters of the Poor. Laurie joined the 'Maryvale' community in August, 2005.

Fr Laurie's Requiem was celebrated on Oct 15 at Holy Name of Mary church, Hunters Hill, with Provincial, Fr Paul Cooney, presiding accompanied by twenty-five Marist priests with a large family group from the Hannigans as well as the Marist branches.  Fr Garry Reynolds led the graveside prayers at Macquarie Park.


Marist Missionary Sisters' new
international leader

Sister Georgeanne Marie Donovan SMSM has been elected congregational leader for the next seven years. She is an American who has worked for many years in Jamaica. Her general councillors are Sr Apolina Ikauno (Wallis, missioned in Vanuatu), Sr Pauline Gresham (New Zealand, missioned in Tonga), and Sr Malia Nive Kepu (Tonga, missioned in Colombia).

For more details check the Sisters' website at http://www.maristmissionarysmsm.org/Test_Site/GMD.htm


Brothers return from renewal

Brothers Mikaele Cilicewa and Charlie Randle SM returned on Sep 29 from a five-week Marist renewal course in France and Italy. Eleven Marists from seven countries participated in the English-speaking program. Australian Marist, Fr Paul Pidcock, also took part in the program.

Before their Marist study segment at La Neyliere, France, the two Brothers journey to Anzac Cove in Turkey before a week's following the footsteps of St Paul in Greece.

Br Mika and Br Charlie at Anzac Cove

Three weeks of sessions on Marist history and spirituality were interspersed with visits to places of Marist origins in the South-East of France. These included the town of Le Puy where the original inspiration to form the Society of Mary was received. Also visited was the village of St Bonnet-Le-Troncy and the nearby birthplace of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin.

The Marist pilgrims travelled to many of the isolated Bugey mountain villages first visited by the pioneer Marists in post-Revolution France.

Journeys were made to Lavalla, where St Marcellin Champagnat established the first school of the Marist Brothers, and to Coutouvre, home of Marist Sisters' foundress, Jeanne-Marie Chavoin.

Moving to Rome the renewal group stayed for two weeks at the Marist General House, Monteverde, in Rome, visiting places where Fr Colin had stayed in his early attempts for recognition of the infant Society of Mary.

Fr Paul Pidcock and Br Charlie with African confreres

Marist pilgrims at Le Puy, France

The renewal group at the birthplace of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, at Le Barbery, France

Renewal Marists celebrate the Eucharist in the old chapel of the Blessed Virgin, Fourviere, Lyon. It was here that the pioneer Marists promised to form the Society of Mary in 1816.

Renewal participants outside the Marist General House, Monteverde, Rome.

The Brothers enjoy the first Aussie cuppa in two months
with Marists at Villa Maria, Hunters Hill.



Marist rector for PRS in 2009

New Zealand born Fr Michael O'Connor SM will be the new rector of Pacific Regional Seminary, Suva, Fiji, in 2009.
Fr Michael is presently on the staff of Marist College, Bomana, PNG, and is former Provincial of the Oceania Province
of Marist Fathers.