June 2024 news

For previous years, go to News menu, above

This page:    Jeanne-Marie Chavoin feast day     |     Thornhill collection     |     District Circular     |     Fr Ben's Africa visit     |     Full House at Casa di Maria     |     SM Bulletin     |     Oceania News     |     Loreto House graduates     |     Euroinfo     |     SM Bulletin     |     Balay Pasilungan's 35 years     |     International Commissions     |     SM Bulletin     |     Champagnat Day     |     'Poor and humble'     |     Portrait for Learning Centre     |     Marist Mission Newsletter


Jeanne-Marie Chavoin feast day

Jun 30 marks the 166th anniversary of the death of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin, revered foundress of the Marist Sisters.

Born in the village of Coutouvre in central France in 1786 the young Jeanne-Marie followed the call of the Colin brothers at Cerdon to establish the first community of Marist Sisters.

Mother St Joseph, as she was known, died in 1858 at Jarnosse, not far from her birthplace. 

We wish our Marist Sisters a very Happy Feast Day !               [Jun 29]

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Above: Portrait of Jeanne-Marie Chavoin at Bon Repos, Belley, near her final resting place   |   Jarnosse: the convent building where she died and the nearby parish church where she was first buried.    |     Tiled cross marking the original burial place of Jeanne-Marie in the church sanctuary of Jarnosse.  Below:  Sydney-based Marist Sisters pictured recently with a new sculpture of their Foundress at Woolwich, NSW.
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Thornhill Collection

A selection, edited by Fr Tom Ryan SM, of the theological and spiritual works of the late Fr John Thornhill SM, is now available in a publication from ATF Press, 'The Church, The Gospel and Culture'. Atf comments 'Fr Thornhill was one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected theologians, known and loved for his dedication to the Catholic community, his gentleness and kindness, and his zeal for the Gospel.

'The essays collected here bear witness to key concerns of Fr John’s theological and pastoral work: the centrality of Jesus and his Gospel, the proclamation of the good news, to Christian faith; ecumenism, including a grateful recognition of Protestantism’s emphasis on the Gospel of salvation; awareness of cultural and historical circumstances, and the imperative for the Church to understand and creatively respond to the concrete contexts that its members inhabit; the centrality of Scripture to Christian faith, and the importance of a theology of Scripture in the life of the Church; a theology that engages at the highest intellectual level with key currents of thought, and, as an "open orthodoxy", is receptive to whatever is true and life-giving in them.'  

For more on the book and its availability, click here.                              [Jun 28]

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District Circular

The latest District Circular of Marist Fathers Australia is available at the Members' Page.                         [Jun 26] 

Fr Ben's Africa visit

Assistant-General, Fr Ben McKenna SM, is back in Rome after a visitation of the Marist District of Africa during which he participated in the District Chapter in Yaoundé. Fr Ben also visited the church of Our Lady of Fatima at Bambili built in 1999 at the initiative of fellow-Australian, Fr Bob Barber, and with the help of the Marist Mission Centre, Australia.                                [Jun 25]

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Above: Fr Ben with Marists and parishioners at Bambili.    |    The Africa District Chapter in session.  Below: Our Lady of Fatima church, Bambili.
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Full House at Casa di Maria

With twenty-four seminarians and three staff, Casa di Maria is happily a full house. From Rome the Marist International Theologate community has sent its latest smiling rooftop photo. The students are presently ending their acadameic year and preparing for holidays and pastoral experiences during the European summer months.  Enjoy your summer, confreres!                                 [Jun 24]

SM Bulletin

This week's SM Bulletin reports on international formation review, Africa District events, Fr Declan Marmion's book award and visitation of the NZ province.

To download click here or go to Members' Page.                               [Jun 22]

Oceania News

The latest issue of the Marist Oceania Province News Bulletin fills three pages with reports on recents events in the vast Pacific province.

To download click here or go to Members' Page.                                 [Jun 17]

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Loreto House graduates

Two members of the Society of Mary's 'MAP' (Marist Asia-Pacific) region were amongst the graduates of the Religious Formation Ministry 2023-24 program at Loreto House, Dublin. They are Frs Roque Rebito SM (Asia District) and Sipiliano Faka'osi SM (Oceania Province, Tonga).

The MAP graduates add to the pool of Marists available to staff local and international formation programs. They are pictured below with fellow members of the RFMP in Dublin.  Congratulations, Frs Roco and Sipi !                                  [Jun 17] 

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The June issue of Euroinfo reports on the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, a deacon's experience at Notre Dame de France, London, and the Marist Week in Bury-Rosaie, France.  o download, click here or go to Members' Page.                              [Jun 15]

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SM Bulletin

This week's SM Bullletin reports on Balay Pasilungan's 35 years in Davao, Atlanta school visitors in Rome, new District Superior for Africa and two committees in preparation for the General Chapter.  o download, click here or go to Members' Page.                              [Jun 15]

Balay Pasilungan's 35 years

A celebration in Davao, Philippines on May 25, marked thirty-five years of care by Balay Pasilungan, a term meaning 'shelter home', offering refuge to street children living in highly dangerous situations, exposed to abuse and exploitation and deprived of parental guidance and opportunities.

The BP Foundation reports: 'Since 1989, Balay Pasilungan, founded by Fr. Pat Devlin SM and administered by the Society of Mary, has provided a safe place for children in need of special protection. Our shelter home offers refuge from street life, family breakdown, and exploitation.

'We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our friends, staff and volunteers. Special thanks to Marist Mission Centre Australia, Australian Marist Solidarity and everyone who supports our mission. As we continue this God-given project, transforming lives, may God's grace, love, and peace be with us always. “Love is never wasted". Thank you for being part of our journey.' 
Below: Scenes from Balay Pasilungan's 35th celebrations, including Fr Pat Devlin SM presiding at the Eucharist and Fr Gil Casio SM addressing the gathering.                             [Jun 11]
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International Commissions

Membership of the Society of Mary's three International Commissions is now listed on the Contacts page of this website. The Commissions meet periodically to address issues concerning Inter-Religious Dialogue and Reconciliation, Migrants and Refugees and Ecology.

Go to International Commissionsclick here.                              [Jun 10]

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SM Bulletin

From Rome, this week's SM Bulletin reports on the convocation of the General Chapter for 2025, Marist Mission workshop in Thailand for Sep 2024 and Fr 'Okusitino 'Ulupani SM as Pacific Regional Seminary's interim rector. To download click here or go to Members' Page.                             [Jun 08]

Champagnat Day

Jun 06 marks the anniversary of the death of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers, and one of the pioneer Marist aspirants gathered at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière, Lyon, France, in 1816. The newly-ordained Champagnat pledged to play his part in forming the Marist Family, soon establishing what is now the world-wide congregation of the Marist Brothers..

Fr Justin Taylor SM, in his biography of Society of Mary Founder, Jean-Claude Colin,(Ch 15: 'End of the beginning, 1839-40) describes some of the last days of Fr Marcellin: '...on Ash Wednesday, 4 March 1840, Marcellin Champagnat was afflicted with a violent pain in the kidneys, which continued until his death. He now set about making his last dispositions... On 18 May, Marcellin dictated his ‘spiritual testament’. It is a document that breathes the holiness of the man. Addressing his ‘very dear brothers’ the dying Champagnat emphasised the unity of the Society of Mary in three branches... From 24 to 25 May, (Jean-Claude) Colin was at the Hermitage to say farewell. On 6 June 1840, Marcellin Champagnat died at the age of fifty-one. He was buried two days later.'

Happy feast day to all our Marist Brothers!                  [Jun 06]

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 Above:  Portrait of Marcellin Champagnat in the church of Marhles near his birthplace in France.   |   Marist Brothers gather in prayer in the bedroom of St Marcellin at the Hermitage where he died.  Below: The Hermitage today.   |   Reliquary bearing the relics of St Marcellin the chapel of the Hermitage.
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'Poor and humble'

Fr John Larsen's reflection for June recalls Pope Francis' reminder to religious of their basic call to live religious poverty, 'both communally and personally'.   To download click here or go to Superior-General's page.                              [Jun 01]

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Historic Portrait for Learning Centre

For the new Colin Learning Centre at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi, NSW, a portrait of Marist founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin, has been accepted as a gift from the Marist Fathers. The modern facility will be blessed and officially opened on Jul 02.

Pictured below, with view of the college and the Learning Centre nearing completion, are college principal, Chris Agnew, and Director of Mission, Sandra Iverson, with the canvas image of the 1927 portrait of Fr Colin by Lyonnais artist, Antoine Tollet.

For more on the Tollet portrait, click here.                                    [Jun 01]   

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Marist Mission Newsletter

The Winter issue of the Marist Mission Centre Newsletter reports on current projects in Bangladesh and the Philippines, with a summary of projects supported throughout 2023. MMC is celebrating its 75th year of mission support this year.

To download click here or go to Members' Page. For more on the work of MMC, click here.                              [Jun 01]

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