April news

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This page:     Euroinfo for April      |     On whatever distant shore     |     St Peter Chanel     |     Happy 97th, Br Colin !     |     Dialogue at Ranong     |     Fr Hoppy's Easter letter     |     A taste of Anzac     |     Passing of Fr Jack Soulsby     |     Way of the Cross     |     St Peter Chanel novena     |     Now you see it...     |     Shopping for good     |     Pacific and USA bulletins     |     Joeys' boys in Davao     |     Bishop Tino     |     Superior-General's reflection 



Euroinfo for April

Download the latest Marist news from Europe: click here                  [Apr 30]

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On whatever distant shore...

On Apr 29, 1836, a parchment document was signed in Rome giving official approval to the Society of Mary.

Three weeks later, in Belley, France, a delighted Jean-Claude Colin with his pioneer Marist confrères received the letter with due ceremony and great joy.

Not long before, when the suggestion was made that the fledgeling group should undertake the missions of the south-west Pacific, Fr Colin had responded 'We will work on whatever distant shore.''  (Click here for leaflet)

The document meant that the Marists were now official. It was signed on behalf of Pope Gregory XVI, who, as Prefect of the Congregation 'Propaganda Fide' (then Cardinal Mauro Cappellari) had shown himself a vigorous promoter of the missions.

Marists today offer Mass for God's blessing on the Society of Mary.                           [Apr 29]                   

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St Peter Chanel

On the south-west Pacific's distant isle of Futuna on April 28, 1841, the Society of Mary and the vast world of Oceania received their first martyr: Fr Peter Chanel SM.

Two small resources about St Peter Chanel are available here... . Click on the following:   'A short prayer service'    |    'Life of St Peter Chanel'.                  [Apr 28]

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Happy 97th, Br Colin !

The oldest member of the Society of Mary's Australian province is Br Colin Campbell SM, who turned ninety-seven on Apr 27.  

After joining the Marists in 1951, Cessnock-born Br Colin left Australia in 1960 for four decades of missionary life in Oceania, returning in 1998 and eventually taking up residence at the Maryvale/Montbel community, Hunters Hill.

Below: Br Colin outside Montbel, awaiting a lift to a birthday luncheon.  Happy 97th, Brother !               [Apr 27]  

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Dialogue at Ranong

From Rome, SM Bulletin reports on the meeting of the Marist Commission on Inter-Religious dialogue at Ranong, Thailand:

'The members of the Committee are Frs. Larry Sabud (chairman), Kevin Medilo, Michael Jacques and Gerry Hall (theological adviser). The Superior General introduced the meeting, proposing directions for the work of the group and suggesting its scope and boundaries. The group was the then led in a theological reflection by Fr. Gerry Hall.

'The group dialogued with local Muslim and Buddhist leaders at a mosque and temple. Time was dedicated to setting future directions for the Commission. The time in Ranong included meeting with the Marist community and also local migrant people from Myanmar, mostly Buddhists, who have benefitted from the mission of Marists among them over the last fifteen years.

'The new Marist community house in Ranong provided a welcome home for prayer and hospitality.'                   [Apr 27]

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 Above: Committee members with Fr John Larsen, from left, Frs. Kevin Medilo, Larry Sabud (chairman), John Larsen (Superior-General), Gerry Hall (theological adviser) and Michael Jacques.
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Fr Hoppy's Easter letter

From Tarija, Bolivia, and the Misioneros Maristas comes an Easter message from Australian missionary, Fr John ('Hoppy') Hopkinson SMClick here.                     [Apr 26]

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A taste of Anzac

Anzac Day this year falls only days before the Marist Mission Centre celebrates its 70th anniversary. 

MMC's foundation is intimately connected with the drama of World War II and the plight on Australian, New Zealand and other allied prisoners-of-war and their experience of forced labour on the Thai-Burma railway.

On May 01, MMC's 70th celebrations at Hunters Hill will include a pictorial presentation of its history and origins through the ministry of wartime chaplain, Fr Lionel Marsden SM. Some of the images are pictured below.... 

For MMC website, click here.               [Apr 25]

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 Above: Fr Lionel ('Sam') Marsden SM in the days before the fall of Singapore   |    Japanese POW camp in Thailand 
Below: Construction of the notorious Thai-Burma railway
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 Above: The River Kwai near Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
Below: Members of MMC's first 'The Other Half' journey at Hellfire Pass, Thailand
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 Below: Allied war cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
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Passing of Fr Jack Soulsby

Marists and myriads of laity in over ninety countries will mourn the passing of Fr Jack Soulsby SM, who died peacefully at St Vincent's Hospital, Brisbane, on Easter Monday, Apr 22.

In the world of Charismatic Renewal, Cornish-born, energetic and faith-filled Fr Jack ministered on most continents of the globe. He died just four days short of his golden jubilee of priesthood.

For a profile of Fr Jack's life, click here.  May he rest in well-deserved peace.                   [Apr 22]

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Way of the Cross

Good Friday saw the now well-established combined churches' Way of the Cross concluding in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill.

A final station, the burial of Jesus, was enacted at the chapel of St Peter Chanel, and followed by morning tea on the monastery steps.                     [Apr 19]

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St Peter Chanel novena

From Rome, Marist Youth International has provided this year's novena for vocations leading up to the Feast of St Peter Chanel SM (Apr 28).

For the novena, click here                   [Apr 19]

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Now you see it...

..and now you don't. The wounded eucalypt (see January news) in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery has been removed.

A giant limb from the ageing gum outside Woodbury Hall mysteriously fell on Australia Day. Only the stump remains. Visitors, mind your toes.                 [Apr 17]


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Shopping for good

From Sydney Archdiocese's Justice & Peace Office, comes this reminder:

It's time to start thinking about where to source your ethical Easter eggs for 2019!

Fortunately, there are a bunch of different options fair trade options which means they are made without modern slavery in their supply chains. For example, the Moser Roth mini Easter eggs (available from ALDI) are fair trade. Alternatively Oxfam stocks fair trade Easter eggs as well as a range of fair trade chocolate products. The Fairtrade website has a list of several brands that sell certified fair trade chocolate available from a range of online and in-store retailers—however pay attention while buying as not necessarily all products from the listed brands are fair trade. To be sure look for the fair trade mark! For more ways that you can shop ethically visit the Sydney Archdiocese Anti-Slavery Taskforce’s “Shop for Good” website. You can also check out our printable poster here.

Please spread the word about purchasing ethical Easter eggs among your family, friends, parish and community.                    [Apr 16]

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Pacific and USA bulletins

Latest bulletins from the Marist provinces of Oceania and USA are now available at Members page or click here: Oceania bulletin     |     USA e-Bulletin Apr 05     |     USA e-Bulletin Apr 12 

[Apr 13]

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Joeys' boys in Davao

A dozen students of St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, NSW, have commenced a two-week immersion experience in Mindanao, southern Philippines.

Accompanied by College staff including chaplain, Fr Gavin Foster SM, the lads were welcomed at Davao airport by youngsters of Balay Pasilungan Centre for street kids whose director, Fr Lionel ('Long') Mechavez SM, will be in Sydney next month for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Marist Mission Centre.

Meanwhile, the Joeys' students have already commenced work constructing a concrete basketball court for Balay Pasilungan.                  [Apr 10]

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Bishop Tino

In a colourful ceremony on Mar 24 in the cathedral of Mata’Utu, Bishop Susitino Sionepoe SM, was ordained to become the bishop of Wallis-Futuna.

The main celebrant was Noumea's Archbishop Michel Calvet SM assisted by Bishop John Bosco Baremes SM (Port-Vila),  Bishop Ghislain de Rasilly SM (Bishop emeritus of Wallis-Futuna) and several other bishops.

SM Bulletin reports: 'A special delegation of two hundred people came from New Caledonia, where Bishop Tino served for more than fifteen years in the parish and where he left a big impact on the local community. The solemn Mass was followed by a great feast, showing the Polynesian way of hosting guests, celebrating and rejoicing. On Monday 25 March, on the feast of the Annunciation, bishop Tino gave his thanksgiving mass at Hihifo.'

In 2014, Bishop Tino was part of the 'Spirituality and Lifestyle' program at Villa Maria, Sydney.                    [Photos, courtesy Fr François Grossin SM]                           [Apr 06]

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Superior-General's reflection

This month's reflection from Fr John Larsen.... See Members page.                   [Apr 04].

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