December 2018 news
The Marist Province of Oceania and the Marist Mission District of Africa have sent their final newsletters for the year.
A Christmas/New Year environmental calendar has been produced by Global Catholic Climate Movement, offering a challenge to all Catholic s to embrace the Holy Father's message of 'Laudato Si'.
GCCM notes, 'Pope Francis urges the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and all people of good will to take urgent action against the injustice of climate change and the ecological crisis, to protect the poor and future generations. His encyclical letter Laudato Si’ is a compelling call to care for our common home, Earth, building on a long history of Catholic teaching. We are building a vibrant movement to respond to Pope Francis’ call.'
His Holiness, Pope Francis, has announced the appointment of Fr Susitino Sionepoe SM, as the new bishop of Wallis-Futuna, following the resignation on Dec 24 of Bishop Ghislain de Rasilly SM.
A native of Wallis-Futuna, Fr Tino (53) recently completed a term as vicar-provincial of the Marist Oceania Province. He participated in the 'Spiritualtiy and Lifestyle' program held at Hunters Hill, NSW, in 2014 and is pictured, below, along with Bishop Ghislain who visited at that time.
Congratulations and every blessing Bishop Tino. Bishop Ghislain, enjoy a well-earned retirement. [Dec 26]
|Christmas has arrived... and welcomed prayerfully and colourfully by parishioners of Holy Name of Mary parish, Hunters Hill
|An open-air Vigil liturgy in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery led by parish priest, Fr Kevin Bates, was replete with angels, shepherds and their flock, wise men and, of course, Jesus, Mary and Joseph... and Fr Aliki's ukuleles. [Dec 25]
|Scenes from the Vigil Eucharist at Villa Maria. Assistant pastor, Fr Aliki Langi is pictured further below in the midst of his newly-established and popular ukulele ensemble.
Undaunted by foul weather, members of Sydney City youth and St Patrick's Young Adults were joined by random Sydneysiders recently on their annual Christmas carol walk from St Mary's Cathedral to St Patrick's church at the Rocks.
The carollers witnessed to the coming of Christ along the newly-laid light rail tracks and in the shelter of the Sydney Post Office collonade in Martin Place. [Dec 23]
Superior-General, Fr John Larsen, and Australian Marist missionary in Bolivia, Fr John Hopkinson, have each sent Christmas messages to their confreres.
At Members page
Marists throughout the world mourn the passing of Dutch Marist, philosopher and writer, Fr Jan Snijders SM, aged 90. He was a Marist for 70 years and priest for 65 years at the time of his death in Hulst, The Netherlands, on Dec 13.
Fr Jan had held leadership positions in the Dutch Marist Province and as Assistant-General of the Society of Mary. Of recent years he contributed to the history of a critical period of the pioneer Marist missions of the Pacific in his work 'A mission too far ... Pacific commitment and the Marist Missions, 1835-1841'. May he rest in well-deserved peace. [Dec 15]
Dec 13 saw the end of a 110-year history of the Marist Sisters' presence at Woolwich, NSW, as the community departed from their Marian House residence. The property will be used as part of the adjacent school complex.
Generations of Sisters have staffed the girls' high school (Marist College Woolwich) since the Marists arrived in 1908.
In more recent years Marian House has been home for senior Sisters and their carers, whilst the cottage 'No 64' was until recent times the base for Sisters active in a variety of ministries in the Sydney area.
Farewell, dear Sisters.. and thank you for your century of service and gentle presence. [Dec 13]
|Above: Marian House's 'million dollar view' of the Lane Cove River and environs. Below: Smiling, though sad, the departing community near their statue of 'Our Lady of the Smile', from left, Srs Carmel Murray, Julie Brand, Ruth Davis, Patricia Bartley and Elizabeth McTaggart. The Sisters are moving to the Marist residence at Haberfield, while the historic statue will be kept in Villa Maria monastery's Chanel House..
| Below: Marian House chapel motif for Australia Day | The chapel's Stations of the Cross will soon find a new home in the Pacific. |
School, residence and guest cottage each shares Woolwich's 'million dollar view'
As reported in October News, more than ten years of the weekly reflections of pastor of Holy Name of Mary parish, Fr Kevin Bates SM, have now been published.
The compilation, 'Glimmers of Grace', was officially launched at a recent function at the Hunters Hill Club.
The book's initial print run of 750 is now almost exhausted and a further 1,000 copies are expected to be available before long.
To read more and reserve a copy, click here [Dec 12]
|Scenes from the Nov 27 launch at the Hunters Hill Club, including (top right) Fr Kevin with artist, Daniel Dominquez, and editor, Juliette O'Brien
Recent Marist newsletters from USA, Europe and the Pacific are now available. Click below or go to 'Members' page
Celebrating twenty-five years of choral presence in the Hunters Hill area, the Joubert Singers held their Silver Jubilee Concert in Holy Name of Mary church on Dec 09.
Led by conductor, Rachelle Elliott, the choir's anniversary repertoire included Mozart's Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore K339, a cappella works from Nordic Countries and Australian Christmas songs.
Happy anniversary, Singers! [Dec 09]
In a simple service in the chapel of 'Montbel', Hunters Hill, on Dec 08 senior Marists participated in the 'Sorrow and Promise' liturgy prepared by CRA (Catholic Religious Australia), acknowledging the tragedy and sadness of abuse of minors and vulnerable persons in the Church.
A time of prayerful reflection was followed by community discussion.
For the CRA liturgy booklet, click here. [Dec 08]
Brazilian Catholics in Rockhampton, Qld, recently gave Fr Paul Mahony a touching farewell as he concluded a 12-year, monthly ministry amongst them.
Having worked in the Marist Mission District of Brazil for twenty years and with fluency in Portuguese language, Fr Paul has become a valuable guide to Brazilians in Queensland and New South Wales. He is presently leader of the 'Montbel' Marist Aged Care residence at Hunters Hill.
Muito obrigado, Padre Paulo! [Dec 07]
Fr Paul Glynn was an honoured guest at the anniversary Mass and dinner marking the 50th anniversary of the Tomigaoka parish church in Nara prefecture, Japan.
On land originally acquired by Fr Syd Nugent, the initial building was a two-story kindergarten opened in 1968 and also used as a Mass centre until a proper church could be constructed. Later, Fr Paul's brother, Fr Tony Glynn, took responsibility for Tomigaoka and built the present church in 1973.
With Tomigaoka friends, Fr Paul offered Mass at the cemetery where Fr Tony's ashes are interred.
|Above: Fr Paul Glynn (front, second from right) with Kyoto's Bishop Otsuka and some of the large congregation attending the anniversary Mass. (Another similar photo shows the other half of the congregation!) Below: Scenes from the Mass and dinner. Further below: Memorial Mass at Fr Tony Glynn's grave.
Leader of the Marist District of Asia, District, Fr Christopher Ganzon SM, recently celebrated another year of priesthood, recalling memories of his first overseas mission experience in 2002.
Within weeks of his ordination in November 2002, the young Fr Chris embarked on the Marist Mission Centre' s 'The Other Half' experience to countries on mainland Asia. He was soon to remark, 'I have spent most of my priesthood overseas!'
Fr Chris' newly-ordained adventure took him to Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand and jungle refugee camps of the Thai -Burma border.
In 2018 he was appointed to lead the Marist Mission District of Asia. [Dec 04]
| Above: Fr Chris (third from left) celebrating sixteen years of priesthood, with family and friends.
Below: With confreres working in the Marist District of Asia (Fr Chris: middle row, second from left)
|Flashback to Fr Chris' TOH adventure of 2002-03. Above: Christmas Mass at Maera Moo refugee camp, Thai-Burma border | With students on Don Bosco Hostel, Dhaka City, Bangladesh | MMC Leadership and management training, Dhaka. Below: Crushing sugar cane, Battambang, Cambodia | With youngsters, rural Camboida | Relaxing with fellow Marist TOH-ers, Maesariang, Thailand.
Following recent visits to Toulon and Dakar, Fr John Larsen reflects on Christmas images and the Marist spirit in education.
See Members' Page [Dec 02]
Welcome to Advent! [Dec 02]
On Dec 01, 1887, Thérèse Martin ended her journey from Normandy to the city of Lyons, France, by climbing the steep steps to the shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière. It was a few weeks before her fifteenth birthday.
Later known as The Little Flower, Thérèse followed the centuries-old tradition of seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin for her future. Seventy years earlier, twelve Marist aspirants had climbed the same steps to pledge their commitment to form the Society of Mary.
At the time of Thérèse's visit to Fourvière, the giant basilica has just been completed (1884), adjoining the ancient chapel of the Blessed Virgin. A plaque in the chapel remembers Thérèse's visit. She entered Carmel a few months later, in April 1888. [Dec 01]
| Above: Fifteen-year-old Thérèse Martin | Fourvière today, with the ancient chapel now topped by a statue of Mary and dwarfed by the basilica.
Below: The steps to Fourvière | Inside the ancient chapel | The plaque recalling Thérèse's visit
Villa Maria monastery's Advent calendar has appeared on the wall of the dining room, marking the countdown of days to Christmas.
The calendar is the handiwork of women and girls from the Sarnelli House outreach program in northern Thailand, supported by the Marist Mission Centre. It is a gift from the Thai Redemptorists who conduct the program.
Villa Maria community members take one of the felt crib images and place it on the calendar each day until Christmas when the Christ-Child figure is put in place. [Dec 01]
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