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On Feb 28, 1873, the constitutions of the Society of Mary received their official approval by the Holy See. Marist Founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin, had worked on this important document since his early days in the village of Cerdon, France, until the years of retirement at La Neylière.
At the General Chapter of 1872 the final form of the constitutions was accepted and then approved by Rome. Following the Second Vatican Council the constitutions were revised and gained further approval on Sep 12, 1987.
On this day each year Marists throughout the world are encouraged to offer Mass for God's continued blessing on the Society of Mary. [Feb 28]
|Above: Present Constitutions of the Society of Mary. | Fr Colin's desk at La Neylère where he worked upon the original constitutions. | The foundational article N. 49 on the spirit of the Society of Mary.
From the Philippines, novice master, Fr Fernando Ingente SM, sends the latest newsletter from Eden, the Marist International Novitiate, on the outskirts of Davao City.
Community leader of Brisbane's Bethany House of Welcome, Fr Gerard Hall SM, reports on a series of visitors in recent days.
'Celebrating his 22nd birthday, Joe Lynam (Liverpool, UK) stayed with us througout February while working with the Edmund Rice Education including events connected with Gregory Terrace where I am chaplain.
'My confrere, Fr Dylan Hatobu, has just returned from holidays in Bougainville. We welcomed his nephew, Joshua, who has just completed Yr 12 at Nudgee College and is about to enrol at Griffith University. Dylan is now in his second year for his Teaching Degree though Australian Catholic University.
'The Gibson Clan visited us: Dominic & Jane Gibson with four of their boys (out of their six children). Dominic stayed with us in early 2019 while he & Jane made arrangements to move from Inverell to Brisbane (with the two youngest boys boarding at Marist Ashgrove) where Jane & Dominic now both have positions teaching in Catholic schools.
'Another visitor was Laurie Smith (Guyra NSW) and last week I joined Fr John Begg, John and Jan Rynn (John teacher at Woodlawn College for a quarter of a century) for John's 80th birthday.'
|Above: Victor (one of Bethany's resident Brazilians), Fr Gerard, Judy Maguire (Ministry Team Gregory Terrace), Christian Brother Tim Scott, and Joe Lynam. | Joshua and uncle Dylan, with Victor and Joe. | The Gibsons with Fr Gerard and Victor. Below: Laurie Smith with some of our community. | Fr Gerry, Jan and John Rynn and Fr John Begg.
Available at Members' Page. [Feb 25]
'Shame, Hope and the Church. A Journey with Mary' is Fr Tom Ryan's latest book in the wake of the scandals of abuse. The book will be released soon by St Paul's Publications.
In two of his regular weekend reflections, Fr Kevin Bates SM, officers thoughtful challenges in the aftermath of recent fires and floods. Click for: After the fires, unfinished business and Too much excess [Feb 22]
From Casa di Maria, the Marist International Theologate, Rome, Fr Tony Kennedy sends the latest ten-page issue of 'La Sorgente' ('The Source'). Students (in their own language) write accounts of life in and around the theologate, with two extra pages of photos. To download, click here. [Feb 20]
Members of the Hunters Hill-Ryde Men's Shed are busy addressing the aftermath of NSW's disastrous bushfires in which thousands of beehives and even more bees perished. In a pilot project the Men's Shed is producing its first batch of hives designed for Queen Bee activity and repopulation of bees.
The Shed hopes local organisations will chip in to expand the project and assist apiarists and their bees. [Feb 19]
|Above: Working bees at the Men's Shed currently include the beehive construction project. Below: Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays see local handimen at work in the Shed's picturesque setting in the grounds of Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill.
For website visitors hankering for the past, good news: our Home Page from 2019 can still be seen, summariisng the news and JPIC posts from the past twelve months. Whilst links to post details have been deactivated, the gist of last year's news (223 items) remains to be enjoyed.
A menu tab under 'Links' will take you there. [Feb 18]
Beginning their program of Sunday pastoral experience in and around Davao, southern Philippines, the young men of the Marist International Novitiate mixed with the boys of Balay Pasilungan at their recent cake sale. While Balay Pasilungan is supported by the Marist Mission Centre, the lads are encouraged to do their bit in fund-raising such as the 'Charity Bake Sale' at St Jude parish last weekend.
The three novices, all from Oceania, are hoping to be joined before long by four other confreres, all from Africa, presently awaiting the visa approval. [Feb 17]
The latest in the ongoing series of 'Bridge Programs' commenced in early February. Twelve young adult 'BP-ers' from various parts of Myanmar and Thailand have begun a twenty-week journey of D.I.Y. assignments geared to prepare them for entrée to higher education and employment.
BP began in 2011 as a consequence of the Marist Mission Centre's involvement with Burmese refugee camp hostels and the establishment of Australia Catholic Universty's online diploma course.on the Thai-Myanmar border.
The Bridge Program is led by a team of former-BP-ers who upload assignments to the BP website and coordinate many of the program's activities including regular Skype video sessions. [Feb 14]
Above: Participants in BP20 | Masthead of the Bridge Program website.
Below: Skype video sessions are integral to the Bridge Program in developing English language skills. | BP's signature image of a refugee youngster crossing a camp bridge into the future. | The Coordinating Team of BP20.
During Sydney's recent wild weather one of Villa Maria monastery's trees came tumbling down... next to an historic pathway.
The century-old flagged stone path once led the way for parishioners coming mostly by boat to a landing on Tarban Creek and climbing the hill to Holy Name of Mary church. They would be greated by the sight of a statue of the Blessed Virgin facing them from the dome of the church. [Feb 12]
This issue has some Aussie faces. [Feb 08]
Fr Kevin Redmond has arrived in Davao, southern Philippines, for the beginning of his cross-cultural experince (see below). Marist District of Asia leader, Fr Christopher Ganzon SM, (pictured with Fr Kevin, below left) joined the community of St Peter Chanel's in Davao for a welcome dinner for Fr Kevin.
St Peter Chanel's is home for 'Marist Interested College students' (MICs) led by Fr Lauro Arcede, accompanied by Frs John Guo Wang and Roque Rebito. [Feb 07]
'Villa Santa Maria', the General House of the Society of Mary, is located in the 'Monteverde' ('green mountain') district of Rome. The Marist community keeps an active ecological eye on the grounds and its groves of fruit trees, terraces and lawns.
Assistant-General, Fr Ben Mc Kenna, (pictured below, watering can in hand), took photos of the recent tree-lopping at 'Monteverde' on the heights overlooking the city of Rome.
See also 'The greening of Rome' (May 2019): click here [Feb 06]
Fr Kevin Redmond SM left Sydney on Feb 01 for a 7-month cross-cultural experience in the Philippines and Thailand. His time will be spent between the Marist missions in Mindanao, southern Philippines, and amongst migrant workers from Myanmar at Ranong, Thailand. .
Fr Kevin's experiences will be part of his preparation for the international mission venture planned for 2021 at Marayong in western Sydney's Parramatta diocese. He will be part of a team of four Marists of different nationalities and cultures. Bon voyage, Fr Kevin. [Feb 01]