October news

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This page:     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


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]

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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)
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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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