October news

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This page:   Brisbane Marist gathering     |     Glimmers of Grace     |     Welcome back, Fr Tony!     |     Colin bio presentation     |     Hellfire remembered     |     Two new Saints     |     Bulletins and Superior-General's reflection     |     Aussie docs at ARC     |     City Silence     |     Live like Pope Francis     |     Kenneth's final profession     |     More from ARC     |     ARC events     |     Fr Gerard Hall website     |     Latest Marist newsletters


Brisbane Marist gathering

For over ten years lay Marists, Kevin and Trish McGrory, have hosted an Oct 29 celebration in their Stafford (Brisbane) home to mark a foundational moment in the history of the Society of Mary.

It was on this date in 1824 that Frs Jean-Claude and Pierre Colin were joined by a third confrere, Fr Etienne Declas, at the presbytery of Cerdon, south-east France, to form the first community of aspiring Marist priests. Later that same day, Pierre Colin wrote to Bishop Alexander Devie in Belley to announce: 'Today the little Society of Mary has begun.'.

Happy anniversary, Marists!               [Oct 31]

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 Brisbane-based Marists gather at the McGrory home in Stafford Heights, Brisbane, to mark the Oct 29 anniversary. Pre-prandials (above) were followed by a period of reflection and prayer, and a celebratory meal (below),
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Below: The village of Cerdon, France. The presbytery and church are at the far left.   |  The Cerdon presbytery. 
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Glimmers of Grace

Pastor of Holy Name of Mary parish, Hunters Hill/Woolwich, Fr Kevin Bates SM, has faithfully published thoughtful reflections in the weekly bulletin for almost eleven years.

'Watchful, wise, questioning, challenging, laced with humour, and always original, his reflections are renowned throughout the community. They feed mind and spirit, speaking to our inner and outer worlds'... such is the description of Fr Kevin's soon-to-be-released compendium of reflections, 'Glimmers of Grace''.

Fr Kevin notes: 'Thanks to the wonderful editorial and organisational skills of Juliette O'Brien and the artistic gifts of Daniel Dominguez from our parish community here, the book is about to appear.'

To read more and reserve a copy, click here                [Oct 26]

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Welcome back, Fr Tony!

Provincial-elect, Fr Tony Corcoran SM, arrived back in Australia on Oct 23 after twelve years as a member of the Society of Mary's General Administration team in Rome.

Fr Tony has served as SecretaryGeneral, Procurator General and Superior of the General House, and will assume the role of Australian provincial on Jan 01, 2019. He has taken up residence at Villa Maria monastery, Hunters Hill, NSW.

Welcome back, Fr Tony!               [Oct 24]

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Colin bio presentation

German Marist and Colinian scholar, Fr Alois Greiler SM, has written a succinct commentary-presentation on the recently-released biography of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin, authored by fellow-Marist, Fr Justin Taylor

The presentation is likely to appear soon in the Marist online journal, Forum Novum

For Fr Alois' presentation, click here                [Oct 20]

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Hellfire remembered

Memorial events throughout Australia this week mark the 75th anniversary of the completion of World War II's infamous Thai-Burma railway.

12,000 Australian POWs worked on the railway. Of these over 2,700 died, part of a toll of 100,000, mostly Burmese and Thai citizens. Many of these died labouring to excavate the notorious 'Hellfire Pass', so named because of night-long shifts lit by bamboo torches. 'They looked like the fires of hell', one digger remarked.

Marists recall their confrere, Army chaplain, Fr Lionel {'Sam') Marsden SM, whose experiences ministering along the railway led to the foundation of a Marist mission in post-war Japan.

Decades later, Australia's Marist Mission Centre included Hellfire Pass and the River Kwai on the itinerary of 'The Other Half' immersion experience.                   [Oct 17]

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Above: Fr Lionel Marsden   |   ...with a Japanese sword, later to be returned as a peace gesture in Japan   |   Wartime photo of the railway
Below: Bridge over the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi, not far from Hellfire Pass   |   Mountainous countryside near Hellfire Pass
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Above: Pioneer TOH-ers visiting Hellfire Pass in 2000, pausing at the 'Weary Dunlop' memorial. 
Below: War cemetery at Kanchanaburi    |   The grave of Gunner J Francis, who died on the railway, and brother of Marist Sister, Clare Francis SM.   |   Australian-built Museum at Hellfire Pass
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Two new Saints

In a ceremony at St Peter's on Oct 14, Pope Francis affirmed the sanctity of Pope Paul VI and Bishop Oscar Romero.

In the 1960s, Pope Paul led the renewal of the Church begun with the Second Vatican Council. 'We are the Church', he had told his people when Archbishop of Milan.

In 1980, Bishop Oscar Romero was murdered during Mass, after confronting issues of violence in El Salvador.

For more on the new Saints, see the  BBC News report of the canonisations, click here                     [Oct 16]

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Bulletins and Superior-General's reflection

Newsletters from the Marist provinces of USA, Europe and Oceania are available, as usual, on the Members page, and also from here. Click below:

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Aussie docs at ARC

Two documents prepared in Australia were presented to the Annual Review Consultation (ARC) in Rome before its closing on Oct 10.

One session, led by Assistant-General, Fr Paul Walsh, focused on the Cause for Beatification of Marist Founder, Ven Jean-Claude Colin, with input from the Cause Postulator, Fr Carlo-Maria Schianchi.

At another session, Assistant-General, Fr Ben McKenna, presented a proposal from the Australian province's Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Committee to establish international networking on JPIC issues.                   [Oct 12]

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Above: Fr Ben McKenna, presenting the Australian JPIC committee proposal for international networking. 
Below: Fr Paul Walsh introducing Postulator, Fr Carlo-Maria Schianchi with an update on the Beatification Cause of Fr Colin 
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City Silence

On Oct 09 St Patrick's inner-city shrine was again the venue for Sydney's monthly 'City Silence' prayer and Reconciliation.

On the evening of the second Tuesday of the month, a team from St Pat's Young Adults ministry meets in the crypt for an informal pizza dinner before leading an hour's quiet Exposition prayer in the church, during which time the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available.

All are welcome.                   [Oct 10]

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Live like Pope Francis

Marist Laity Australia's next Reflection Day will feature input from Marist Brother Graham Neist with the theme 'Join the conversation: Live like Pope Francis'.

The 10 am to 3 pm event will be held in the crypt of St Patrick's, Church Hill, Sydney, on Sat, Oct 27.  Tea and coffee provided, BYO lunch. 

Full details: click here                   [Oct 09]

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Kenneth's final profession

From Rome on Oct 07, Fr Christian Abongbung SM reports on the final profession of seminarian, Kenneth Ngong Akua, :

'Kenneth, from the Marist District of Africa, made his perpetual vows today in the chapel of the General House. The celebration was attended by members of the Marist family, including the major superiors attending the ARC meeting.

'In his homily at the profession Mass,  Fr Albert Kabala, District Superior of Africa, said, "This is a blessing for the world, the Society of Mary and the District of Africa."  '

Congratulations, Kenneth!       .. and thanks to Frs Chris and Ben for help with this post.         

For Marist Youth International Facebook video of the event, click here.                     [Oct 08]

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Above: Kenneth's prostration in the moments before professing final vows.  Below: With Superior-General, Fr John Larsen, and in the background, Frs Albert Kabala, and Australian formator, Fr Tony Kennedy.   |   Frs Albert Kabala and John Hannan with Kenneth    |    Further below, from left: Fr Setefano Mataele (Oceania provincial), Fr Tony Kennedy (Casa di Maria formation community leader), Kenneth Akua, Fr Christian Abongbung (Africa District) and Fr Ben McKenna (General Assistant)
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More from ARC

From Rome and the Annual Review Consultation come images of our Marist leaders in action. Thanks for most of the pix, Fr Ben...              [Oct 08].

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Above: Anticipating their imminent handover of office, Frs Bob Barber and provincial-elect, Tony Corcoran, with fellow Aussie, Fr Ben McKenna, between sessions.  Below: ARC in session  |   Surreptitious snap of the Sistine Chapel during an ARC day off.
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ARC events

From Rome and the Annual Review Consultation (ARC) of the Marist Fathers, Australian Fr Ben Mc Kenna reports: 

'At Evening Prayer, before the beginning of ARC, the Superior General, Fr John Larsen, presided at a simple ceremony where Fr Tony Corcoran officially handed over two of his roles to other members of the General Administration. He handed over the SM Seal for the Secretariat to Fr Pat Devlin, who has now taken up the role of Secretary-General, and the SM Seal for the Procurator to the Holy See to Fr Juan Carlos Pina. This is all part of Tony’s transition as he prepares to return to Australia as the Provincial-elect.

 'As ARC began, on the morning of Oct 01, the Superior-General, presented his report. It will later be given to all members of the Society.'

Thanks, Fr Ben, for the report and photos.             [Oct 05]

1018 ARC Handing Over 1018 ARC Tony to Pat D Seal of SM Secretariat 1018 ARC Tony to Juan Carlos Seal of SM for Procurator to Holy See
Above: In the chapel of Monteverde, the General House of the Marist Fathers in Rome, Superior-General, Fr John Larsen, with (from left) Frs Juan Carlos Pina, Tony Corcoran and Pat Devlin, and the handing over by Fr Tony of seals of office to his successors., Below: The Superior-General presenting his report on the first day of ARC 2018   |   Flashback to Sep 30, 2017: Fr John Larsen accepts his new role as Superior-General, in the presence of retiring Superior-General, Fr John Hannan (right)
1018 ARC SG presenting his Report to ARC 01 Oct 18 1018 ARC 0917 Larsen J 2b

Fr Gerard Hall website

 Marist 'Priest, Theologian, Educator' introduces the new website of Fr Gerard Hall SM.

The newly-developed site includes many of Fr Gerry's writing and reflections on Christology, Practical Theology, the thoughts of Raimon Panikkar, Mission and Interfaith and Marist themes.

For the website: click here                     [Oct 04]

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Latest Marist newsletters

Newsletters from the Marist provinces of USA, Europe and Oceania are available, as usual, on the Members page, and also from here. Click below:

  • USA - e-Bulletin     [St Peter Chanel exhibit at Atlanta]
  • Europe: Euroinfo   [Br Ivan Vodopivec writes about our sesquicentenary celebrations at St Patrick's, Sydney)
  • Oceania: regular bulletin    [Includes mangrove environment project in Suva]                 

     [Oct 02]

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