Marist Sisters in Aotearoa-New Zealand held their annual assembly from the 25th to the 28th of April. This involved a contemplative dialogue on their present reality and consideration of needs at this time. The last day of the assembly was dedicated to celebrating Sr. Kathleen Bright’s 60th anniversary of Marist religious profession. Bishop Denis Brown was the main celebrant for the thanksgiving mass and many of the Sisters were present. Kathleen’s sister and brother in law joined in the celebration plus Brother Mark fms and his guide dog Rosco.
Two of Year 7 students from Marist Sisters College, Mt Albert came to visit the sisters at the Mt Albert Convent in New Zealand. One of the students had her RE Assessment with her and Sr. Patricia Bowley showed great interest in it.
The student was very surprised when she discovered that Patricia was 91. The two girls are daughters of ex-students taught by some of the sisters at Marist College in years gone by.
St Peter Chanel, a Marist Father, was in the first group of Marist missionaries to Oceania. Peter arrived in futuna in November 1937. During his lifetime Peter saw little success in his work. During his first six month on Futuna he baptised only one Futunian – a dying child. Early in the morning of April 28, 1841, Fr. Peter was wakened from sleep and clubbed to death, his skull split by the axe of a Futunian warrior. He was thirty-eight years old. He was the first martyr of Oceania and the first Marist to be canonised.
You are invited to join us in praying that young people of today may, like Peter Chanel, respond generously to God’s call to follow Christ as Mary did. Download the novena prayer here.
Following the tragic massacre of so many members of our Christchurch community there was an outpouring of grief, compassion and support throughout New Zealand. Here in Auckland, Bishop Pat arranged a special prayer service in our church in Vermont Street which is opposite one of the Muslim mosques. We Marist Sisters were pleased to be able to attend. The church was filled up to capacity and among those were some fifty Muslim men and women who were seated at the front of the church. After the service, we crossed the road expecting to place our gifts of flowers with those already there outside the fence of the mosque. However, we found the gates open and so became part of a long procession which ended at the entrance to the mosque itself. There, we were graciously welcomed inside by Muslim women and seated inside, heard again of the gratitude for our presence and support. We came away happy to have been part of this special experience.
Marist Sisters College Woolwich (MSCW) recently acknowledged the contribution of the Marist Sisters to Catholic Education in Woolwich over 110 years. The celebration began with a Mass presided over by Marist Fathers Provincial Fr Tony Corcoran and five of his Marist confreres. MSCW Principal Dr Anne Ireland welcomed past and present students, staff and friends of the College. The College Captains shared their reflections on life at the College over the various decades in comparison with what they currently experience. Direction of Sydney Catholic Schools, Dr Dan White, spoke of his association with the Marist Sisters over many years. Following the Eucharistic celebration those present were treated to a scrumptious afternoon tea prepared by MSCW students. The Marist Sisters left the Woolwich site in December 2018 confident that MSCW has a bright future as staff, students and college friends are guided by the Marist Compass for Life.
On Wednesday 21st March 2019 the Marist Sisters of the Nadi community in Fiji witnessed a very simple but meaningful missioning ceremony of Sister Lora who is undertaking a reforestation project in the Yasawa Islands. Also present were Srs Lavinia Henry, Fiji Unit Leader, Noelene Simmons, General Bursar, and Lorraine Campbell, Fiji Unit Bursar. The hymns and readings reflected the purpose of missioning Lora to the land of her ancestors named MATANIWAI. The reforestation project that she is undertaking involves planting long term and short term trees, shrubs, flowers, fruit trees and vegetables. The principles of Laudato Si as expressed by Pope Francis are mirrored in this project. The Marist Sisters support Lora in this project and wish her well.
The Marist Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Fathers led the joyous celebration of the Feast of Santo Niño, the patron of the Davao City Main Jail Chapel . This is an annual religious and cultural festival. Devotion to the Santo Niño (Holy Child), an image of Jesus as a small boy typically dressed as a king, is a mainstay of Philippine Catholic life.
(Click on the images below to see the full-size photo)
It was with great delight that a number of Marist Sisters in Australia attended the blessing and opening of a new building at Cerdon College Merrylands recently. The building which comprises new classroom areas, Theatrette and Science laboratories, has been named Bon Repos, the name of the original ‘Mother House’ for the Marist Sisters in Belley, France. A plaque on an exterior wall of the building displays an etching of the Bon Repos site in France. Following the ritual of blessing guests were treated to a scrumptious morning tea prepared by the Hospitality students.