December 2023 news

For previous years, go to News menu, above

   This page:      Christmas is coming     |     December Newsletters     |     SM Bulletin     |     An Aussie Advent poem     |     Passing of Barbara Ashwell     |     MLA newsletter     |     District Circular     |     SM Bulletin     |     Marist Symposium     |     SM Bulletin     |     Advent in Le Puy     |     Superior-General's reflection     |     Fr Hoppy's letter     |     MMC newsletter     


Christmas is coming

Pictured below, from three continents season's greetings and celebrations with Marist communities approaching Christmas. .                              [Dec 24]

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Above: Fr John ('Hoppy') Hopkinson SM, with the Misioneros Maristas team and family, Tarija, Bolivia.   |   Students and staff of Casa di Maria, the Marist International Theologate, Rome.  Below:  Marists concluding Advent at Burundi.   |   Party time at Villa Santa Maria with Marist community and staff of the Society of Mary's General House, Rome. 
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December Newsletters

Three end-of-year Marist bulletins are availalble here. Click for: Marist Asia annual newsletter   |  Oceania News Bulletin   |    Euroinfo (one page only)   |   Members' Page.                          [Dec 31]

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SM Bulletin

The final SM Bulletin for 2023 announces membership of the Preparatory Committee for the General Chapter of 2025: Frs Tony Kennedy (chair), Albert Kabala, Kevin Duffy, Setafano Mataele and John Harhager. To download click here or go to Members' Page.                            [Dec 22]

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An Aussie Advent poem

In a flash of pre-Christmas inspiration Fr Gerard Hall SM has sent an Advent poem and reflection with a touch of the Down Under. One verse, for example, speaks of how 'The wolf and lamb together will lie with goanna and kangaroo nearby.'

To download click here  Thank you, Fr Gerard!                             [Dec 22]

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Passing of Barbara Ashwell

Other members of the Marist Family join Marist Laity Australia in mourning the passing on Dec 19 of Barbara Ashwell, longtime member, leader and editor.

MLA records: 'Barbara was a foundation member of Marist Laity Australia in 2003 and became a very active member for more than 10 years. She attended many MLA reflection days, retreats, ran the Bexley Marist Laity group, was the newsletter editor. Even up until May this year she was zooming with our online Marist Laity events. We will greatly miss her. Please pray for Barbara, her family and many Marists who miss her.'
For a recording of her funeral liturgy, click here.                                [Dec 21]
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MLA newsletter

The December Newsletter of Marist Laity Australia is available.  Editors advise 'The December edition reflects on the organization's future engagement with young adults and those seeking reflective opportunities, with a follow-up meeting planned in February 2024 and events throughout the year to deepen prayer and reflection.

'It also touches on the enduring conflicts where Jesus lived, with a poignant reflection from Fr Jim Carty SM and a message of hope from Pope Francis, emphasizing God's unwavering presence.

'The newsletter extends gratitude to committee members and bids farewell to Michael Evison as he retires.

'It memorializes three influential Marists who recently passed away, celebrating their legacy and contribution to the community. Additionally, it highlights the impact of Street Retreats, where students engage with the homeless in Sydney, fostering compassion and understanding beyond mere observation.'

Click here for the newsletter on MLA's website..                                     [Dec 21]

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District Circular

The latest District Circular for Marist Fathers Australia is now available at the Members' Page.                              [Dec 19]

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SM Bulletin

This week's SM Bulletin reports on General Chapter preparations, the 2024 novitiate candidates and a special blessing from Fr John Larsen for Fr Donato Kivi as he sets out for the 'Omnes Gentes' mission at Samsun (Anatolia) in Turkey. The mission is being established together with the SMSM Sisters. To download click here or go to Members' Page.                               [Dec 17]

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Marist Symposium

Several members of the Society of Mary attended the symposium, 'Sources and Streams', Dec 4-9, hosted by the Marist Brothers at their international headquarters in Rome. Amongst the presentations was that of Marist historian and writer, Fr Alois Greiler SM, who spoke on 'Why beatify Jean-Claude Colin?'. To download his presentation, click here.                                [Dec 16]

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Above: Participants in 'Sources and Streams' at the Marist Brothers' General House, EUR, Rome.  Below: Australian Marist Brother, Michael Green FMS, introducing guests at the symposium.   |   Fr Alois Greiler during his presentation.   |   SM Superior-General, Fr John Larsen, presenting a copy of Fr Justin Taylor's biography of Ven Jean-Claude Colin to FMS Superior-General, Br Ernesto Sanchez.   |    Fr Ben McKenna speaking at the symposium.   |   The two Superiors-General together.  Further below: Fr John Larsen presides at the Eucharist during the symposium.
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SM Bulletin

This week's SM Bulletin reports on 'Sources & Streams' Symposium, Fr Luigi Savoldelli's ecological input in Rome and Dala handover in Solomon Islands. To download click here or go to Members' Page.                               [Dec 10]

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Advent in Le Puy

In the cathedral of the historic city of Le Puy, France, the statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child is now clothed in Advent violet. The pilgrim shrine, which features in the story of Marist beginnings, was visited recently by Australian Marist Brothers and Fathers during the course of their Third Age program.

Marist history dating from the early 19th century records the inspiration to found the Society of Mary with its various branches as happening in the sanctuary of the 900-year old cathedral.                              [Dec 07]

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Above:  Advent cloak for Mary & Child at Le Puy.   |   Recent Marist pilgrims approaching the cathedral steps.   |   Some of present sanctuary lamps, replacing previous ones from which pilgrims acrtoss the centuries took miraculously healing oil.   |  Marists on the sanctuary of Le Puy.

Superior-General's reflection

In his December reflection, Superior-General, Fr John Larsen, calls Marists to a simple oneness with the anawin as we begin Advent and approach Christmas. To download click here or go to Superior-General's page for the reflection.                              [Dec 01]

Fr Hoppy's letter

From the community of Misioneros Maristas, Australian Marist, Fr John ('Hoppy') Hopkinson SM, send news from Bolivia. To download, click here.                               [Dec 01]

MMC newsletter

Marist Mission Centre's summer newsletter is now available on the MMC website/newsletter or to download, click here.                               [Dec 01]

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