Saturday 8 December 2018 was a day of significance for the Marist Sisters in Australia.
The day began with a prayer of farewell to our property at Woolwich. Woolwich was the foundation community in Australia when the Marist Sisters arrived in Sydney some 110 years ago. We had much to acknowledge and remember… including
the support, service and friendship shown us by the Marist Fathers from the beginnings till now;
the many thousands of teachers, students and their families of Marist Sisters College, Woolwich;
those who had worked with us in caring for the property including the doctors, nurses, carers and cooks who have been so much part of Marian House since its beginning in 1979;
After singing the song “Holy Ground” those gathered were invited to a time of quiet reflection on the people, things, events and experiences which were part of our years at Woolwich.
At the conclusion of the prayer we adjourned to the dining room where we continued to share stories and memories over lunch.
At the conclusion of the meal, during a prayer, members of the former leadership team lit the Unit of Australia candle and passed the candle to the new leadership team of Sr Cath Lacey (Unit Leader) and her two assistants Julie Brand and Ruth Davis.
On Saturday 9th June Marist Sisters in Australia gathered to discern their governance structure for the coming years. The day was facilitated by Marist Brother Graham Neist. We all appreciated the bonds of communion and the open discussion experienced throughout the day. At the conclusion of this day Sr Noelene Simmons was missioned by all present as she prepares to take up the role of General Bursar for our congregation.
In a spirit of joy and thanksgiving we all gathered again on Sunday 10th June to celebrate our jubilarians – Sr Carmel Murray (Diamond) and Srs Carroll McDonald and Maureen Crick (Golden). Celebrants at the Jubilee Mass were Fr Peter Jones osa(nephew of Sr Maureen) and Marist Father Ron Nissan. Also celebrating her Golden Jubilee this year, our Congregation Leader, Sr Grace Ellul, was remembered during the Mass.
Click on images below to see a larger version of the photo.
Marist Sisters in Australia gathered at Hunter Hill on the June long weekend to reflect and to celebrate. On Saturday morning Mrs Margery Jackman led us in a reflection on Option for the Poor. In the afternoon Sr Ruth gave us guidance on how to assist someone who has had a fall to ensure the safety of the helper and the one who has fallen then Sr Kate updated us on some financial matters.
It was with great joy that we gathered in the chapel at Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich on Sunday to celebrate our Jubilarians: Sr Catherine Lacey – Golden Jubilee, Srs Clare Francis and Marie Patricia Toomey, Platinum Jubilee.
Marist Father Paul Mahoney celebrated the Eucharist during which our Jubilarians renewed their vows. This was followed by afternoon tea in Marian House.
“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
Urged on by the commitment of the Marist Sisters’ General Chapter 2015
“to networking with other groups working for justice in order to counteract the violence being inflicted on people and the environment,”
Marist Sisters in Australia are working towards divesting
from fossil fuels.
Dependence on fossil fuels is contributing to adverse climate change which affects everyone but especially the poor and vulnerable. In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls on us to reduce carbon emissions and develop sources of renewable energy. Divesting of fossil fuels is one way that we can be stewards of God’s gift of creation so that life in all its forms can be sustained now and into the future.
Once again we come towards the end of another year. We celebrate that beautiful Season of Christmas – the birth of our saviour. Sometimes it is hard to get past the commercialism of Christmas with all the rush and bustle. However, if we can stop and reflect on what great love God has for us we can use this time to give God thanks for all the blessings of the past year and look forward to what is to come. Read more in the Marist Sisters Australia December Newsletter…
“This year our minds cannot help but dwell on the millions of people fleeing persecution and conflict and who like Mary and Joseph find that ‘there is no room at the inn’. Christianity is rooted in history. Bethlehem is past history. Yet, the story goes on. It is not Mary and Joseph looking for a room at the inn now, but the millions of people, ordinary men/women/children, who are asking for a place of safety and an opportunity to live normal lives.” (Extracts from a letter from Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters to all the sisters.)
In response to the refugee crisis the Marist Sisters in Australia have made one of their houses available for refugee accommodation. In the photo Sr Kate, Bursar of Australia, can be seen handing over the keys of the property to the refugee support organisation that will oversee the placement of refugees in the property.
On Saturday 12th December, Marist Sisters in Australia came together to celebrate a new beginning – the Design for Life for the Unit of Australia. The afternoon’s prayerful reflection began with the viewing of a video in which Sr Grace Ellul, Congregtional Leader, addressed all Marist Sisters reminding us that “we are called to live as Marist women embracing life in our tiny little corner of the universe…It is Mary’s work we have pledged ourselves to do and we trust our Good Mother to be with us as we journey forward in her Name.” During the final stages of the prayer Sr Cath Lacey, Unit Leader of Australia, presented each Sister with a copy of the Design for Life and also a copy of the General Statutes of our Congregation. Following the prayer there was a delicious afternoon tea and time for much talking and rejoicing.
Click on an image below to see an enlarged version.
On Pentecost Sunday 2014 Marist Sisters in Australia came together to celebrate the Jubilees of Srs Gabriel Forster (70 years) and Sr Patricia Bartley (60 years). Frs Paul Mahony sm and Chris Sarkis were the main celebrants at the Mass of Pentecost during which Srs Gabriel and Patricia renewed their vows.
At the beginning of Mass a heart containing the names of all who had begun their Marist novitiate in Oceania was placed on the statue of Mary symbollic of the fact that as we are chosen by Mary she carries us in her heart. After Mass the celebration continued with afternoon tea during which there was a sharing on the lives of the jubilarians and the cutting of the jubilee cake. Between them Srs Gabriel and Patricia have ministered in five countries. More photos…