Marist Sisters in Australia gathered in Woolwich on Saturday 21st January to welcome our Congregational Leader, Sr Grace Ellul, home to Australia. Grace is making her official visitation of our Unit. It was a very joyous occasion.
The afternoon began with a time of prayerful reflection during which we recalled that 200 years ago Jeanne Marie Chavoin and Marie Jotillon left home and family to begin the sisters branch of the Marist Family. Afternoon tea followed giving us an opportunity to enjoy catching up with Grace and each other. Grace was also able to catch up with a former Australian Congregational Leader, Sr Margaret Purcell.
Pope Francis has delivered a message entitled Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace for the 2017 World Day of Peace which occurs on 1st January. He urges us to imitate Jesus who marked out the path of nonviolence putting an end to hostility (cf. Eph 2:14-16). Quoting the words of St John Paul II Pope Francis reminds us of the fact that “momentous change in the lives of people, nations and states had come about by means of peaceful protest, using only the weapons of truth and justice”.
As we celebrate the World Day of Peace on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, let us ask Mary to guide us that we might be instruments of peace and nonviolence in our world.
In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Lk 1: 78-79)
May the gifts of peace and joy be with you this Christmas and carry you through the New Year.
Sr Birisita Bibi recently graduated from Corpus Christi Training College in Suva Fiji. Our Sisters’ contribution to Catholic Education in Fiji is well known – from those missionaries in the early days who staffed the Teachers’ College and ran the schools from which so many of our vocations came to the local Sisters who continue to serve schools in Lami, Levuka, Nadelei and Suva, as well as reaching out to the Indian community and training catechists. You are following in a great tradition, Biri! We are proud of you! May you, and the students you teach in the coming years, be richly blessed.
Sr Kate McPhee has shared the following reflection on her recent pilgrimage to Spain:
“For the first 3 weeks of October I was invited to be a participant in an Adult Pilgrimage to Spain organized by and for staff members of Cerdon College. The trip to Spain was unforgettable. An incredible country with an even more incredible history, I don’t think I really prepared myself for the cross culture/religious mix that has marked Spain and its history. It was an experience that will take me some time to reflect upon and process.
We covered a big part of Spain, beginning in Madrid, visiting Toledo and Segovia (where Teresa and John of the Cross once lived), then south to Granada which included a day at the Alhambra Palace, then over towards the west to Seville then up through Salamanca, Avila and onto Santiago de Compostela. From there we went further north crossing over the top of Spain towards San Sebastian (near the Pyrenees). We then made our way down heading west towards the coast, stopping in Pamplona, Sabadell, Manresa, Montserrat and finally arriving in Barcelona from where I came back to Sydney. Read more…
“In your difficulties, in your troubles, in your zealous plans, in the problems of your ministry, do you have recourse to God, do your thoughts turn immediately to prayer, to God?” (A Founder Speaks, 132.6)
On this anniversary of the death of Jean Claude Colin, Founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters, we give thanks for the witness of this humble and courageous man. We pray that, like him, all Marists will have a deep dependence on God and a deep resolve to be Mary’s compassionate presence in our world.
“We remain faithful to praying for our Sisters whom God has called to himself.” (Marist Sisters Constitutions 46)
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered recently for a liturgy of remembrance and thanksgiving. The liturgy involved a pilgrimage to the grave sites where sisters who have died in Sydney, Australia, are buried. These women and all deceased Marist Sisters have shared our Marist life and lived in fidelity so we remember, honour and celebrate them.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen
A number of Marist Sisters in the Asia-Pacific region minister to prisoners. We pray for all prisoners and for those who minister to them especially on the 6th November – the Year of Mercy Jubilee for Prisoners.
On Thursday 27 October, 66 leaders and staff from Catholic schools and the education office of the Diocese of Parramatta were recognised for a collective 2570 years of service and 50 years of leadership at a special ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Paramatta. The Staff Recognition Awards were presented by Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation, Rev Christopher de Souza EV and Executive Director Greg Whitby.
Among the awardees was Australian Marist Sister, Sr Kate McPhee, who received an award for 25 years of service. Kate’s community members, Srs Gail & Carmel were there to rejoice with her. Congratulations Kate.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Mt 5:9)
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Click here for a prayer service.
Loving God, guide us to be your artisans of peace,
To use the talents and skills you have so generously given us
To creatively educate and advocate for others who are denied a voice.
Help us to be present to members of the global human family
And to recognize the systems and structures
That deny the dignity of the human person.
Help us to be engaged and fully focused
So we may envision and develop effective strategies
To further justice and to be your artisans of peace in our world. Amen.