7:30 pm19:30

Adelaide Marist Association Advent Prayer

The Advent altar

Local members of the Marist Association came together on the evening of the 28th of November for our final gathering for 2018.

Proceedings began with the Advent Prayer, held in the Somerton Park community chapel. This was led by Brother Graham Neist who generously made himself available for the occasion. Graham drew upon the writings of Richard Rohr (from the Franciscan tradition) and James Findlay (Cistercian tradition) to offer some deep and thought provoking insights to aspects of Advent.

After the prayer, we all gathered together in the Brothers’ dining room for drinks and finger food. Our thanks to the Adelaide Marist Association committee for organising the evening, to Graham for taking the time to be with us, and for the Somerton community for hosting the occasion. 

Those present for the gathering:

Brothers Greg McCrystal, Ambrose Reilly, Pat McInerney, Jordan Redden, Michael Green, and Joe Hughes; Jim Jolley and his wife Catherine, Paul Teisseire, Chris Burke and Tamara Smith.

There were a number of apologies, which included: James Gill, Steve Byrne, Maddy Forde and Mary Hyland, and there were others who were unable to be present due to other commitments at the time.

Br Greg Hugh

L-R: Mr Paul Teisseire, Br Michael Green, Mrs Chris Burke, Mrs Tamara Smith, and Br Ambrose Reilly

L-R: Brs Jordan Redden, Graham Neist, Pat McInerney and Joe Hughes

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12:00 pm12:00

Regional Gathering Canberra

The theme of our Regional Gathering on Tuesday evening was ‘Growing the Marist Family’ and it could not have been more apt, as the venue was filled to overflowing with Canberra Marists. Our local Marist family is a beautiful mix of current parents and teachers, parishioners, university students and past teachers, students and parents. Matthew Pearce (Local Coordinator Forbes) also skyped into our meeting for our first genuine ‘regional’ gathering and we formally welcomed our newest Marist Association members: Leesa Callaughan, Melanie Kerr and Patrick Corr. The keynote address was delivered by Tony Clarke who shared the message of the 22nd General Chapter; calling Marists to become beacons of hope, with tender mercy, who creatively respond to the emerging needs and build bridges to those young people on the margins of life. This was a powerful challenge to consider how we boldly live out this message in our daily lives. Jennifer Croker spoke of her experience at the National Marist Assembly and the recommendations flowing out from the three days of conversations with 180+ Marists. Thank you to Michael Evison for leading us in prayer and to Leanne Harrison for the delicious nibbles. The family spirit is alive and well in Canberra.

Nathan Ahearne

Local Coordinator

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11:00 am11:00

Melbourne Marists Gathering

Dear Marist Friends,

Wow! What a fantastic night we had on Wednesday. A big crowd, generous catering, an inspiring guest speaker and news of many good things going on in the lives and work of our local members.

Our hosts for the evening, Brs Greg, Frank and Dennis did a wonderful job with organising, catering, MC-ing and general event management. A big thanks to them for looking after us so well.

Our Guest Speaker, Myka

Br Doug, Angela and Dan introduced Myka, student graduate from the Bagong Barrio project that Br Doug founded 30 years ago. Myka told us about her upbringing in the Barrio and shared photos of her home and schooling. She spoke of volunteering with the education project and of all the support she has received. Some of us were nearly in tears! The best news is that she now works as an auditor for KPMG and was selected to attend a 2 month work placement in Brisbane recently. We wish her well, and remind everyone that you, too, can support this amazing, life-changing project and lift other children out of poverty here:

New Members

Angela presented our two new members with their certificates and pins: Catriona FitzGerald and Jackson Perry. A warm welcome to both of you.

Melbourne Marists Updates:

Br Barry Lamb has published his new book, "Illustrated History of Notre Dame de l'Hermitage". You can read (but not download) Br Barry's book on the Champagnat website, or else when you next stay at the Hermitage in France!

Peter & Robyn White, have just returned from a stay in Ireland where they volunteered at the Mercy International Centre, Dublin, the original house built by Catherine McAuley, founder of the Mercy Sisters. Peter and Robyn cleaned, served, hosted Bishops, answered phones, greeted guests and worked in the office and garden. Whew! We welcome them back.

Br Harry reported that he is currently working on a housing project to help the homeless. If you want more details or to help with this in any way, please contact Harry.

Br Frank informed us that we can now purchase Wild Timor Coffee on their website, and support Australian Marist Solidarity at the same time - great news for Marist coffee lovers! Go to the website HERE and look for the AMS logos.

Br Greg led us in prayer using the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Social Justice Statement for 2018. If you haven't seen it yet, it is well worth a read and a look at the video. There is also a brochure suggesting 10 practical steps any of us could take to address the issue of homelessness, in our own individual capacity, or in a group.

Sacred Words meets again on Saturday 22nd September at 2pm, Exodus Community house 273 Liberty Pde Heidelberg West. Contact me for further information All welcome.

Photos from the gathering can be seen HERE.

Well, I think that just about wraps it up. See you at the Marist Association National Assembly or at the Exodus Community Mass on Sunday 21st October. Also, see below an invitation to 'save the date' for this year's Australian Marist Solidarity Christmas Gathering.

Thanks and Best Wishes,


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to 4 Oct.

National Assembly - Creating Conversations

Creating Conversations!

National Assembly of the Marist Association

The most striking thing at the beginning of the National Assembly as over 180 Marists made their way to the gathering space was the stark diversity! University students, Brothers, retirees, teachers, social workers, mothers of young children, youth ministers, school principals, staff from the Marist Centres…the list goes on. All players. Game-changers if you like, in their own way, in their own place.

There was unity in our difference, and difference in the way we were different! The facilitators invited us from the outset to not let this be a distraction or a barrier, but to become curious about the other person’s experience and viewpoint. To come at the difference with a view to understand where the other person was coming from…what they had to offer…to see the gift in their life.

The result was 1000’s of conversations between the 200 people, across the 48 hours we spent together. Some protracted and reflective, others momentary and passing. But 1000’s of them. The spirit at work – prompting, challenging, rejoicing, encouraging – everyone trustingly reaching into their life to share their story and articulate something of their passion for Marist life and mission.

Woven between and around the conversations was silence, prayer, food & drink, pondering, plenaries and ceremony. There were some written words too – What’s working? What’s not? 6-word stories. Dreams for the future. Recommendations. A group ‘pop-up’ poem to end on a creative note.

One person claimed the roving mic: “We are how we treat each other…nothing more”. That is, it is all about the quality of our relationships: empowering each other; encouraging each other; nurturing each other.

For what? For mission…to give life! To activate in each other the primal call of God to be our best, and to bring out the best in others. From there, ‘right’ relationships flourish, and therefore ‘right’ mission, ‘right’ solidarity, ‘right’ education…and so on. The gospel brought alive now, today.

That was the gift of the assembly, to remind us that conversations and dialogue, done authentically and respectfully, are the foundation to renewal and growth as a spiritual family. It is not so much about answers, but about living with the right questions. As Richard Rohr puts it, “we do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking”.

Or, in the words of Rainer Maria Rilke:

Love the questions themselves. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer”.

Thanks to all who took the risk to be present in Adelaide for the National Assembly. Let’s continue the conversations and see what newness they bring about in our heads, hearts and hands!

Joe McCarthy, participant.

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12:30 pm12:30

2018 Marcellin College Gathering

Dear Marist friends,

Thank you to those of you who attended our recent Gathering – as always it was a celebration of all things Marist.

Mary's Work, Mary's Way
A big thank you, too, to our hosts, the Marists at Marcellin College for their great hospitality and for leading our discussions. Being so close to the Feast of the Assumption, they chose to work through the unit Mary’s Work, Mary’s Way – a doorway into God’s mission. Being Marists, we all had lots to say and the conversations were lively and interesting!

New Members
We welcomed Jacqueline Lewis and Phil Tankey as our newest members to the Marist Association and our Local Melbourne Marists Group. It is good to have you both on board! Jackson Perry, who could not attend, will receive his pin and certificate at our next Gathering.

Br Michael Herry - reflections on Cambodia
Br Michael Herry's presentation and reflections on his recent trip to Cambodia was a definite highlight of the meeting. Best of all was the beautiful video of Michael and the staff and students of Lavalla School in Cambodia singing the Bon Jovi song: It’s my life … I just want to live while I'm alive… I did it my way’. 

Br Michael, looking at your face as the video was screening, it is obvious that your heart is already in Cambodia – go and do great things with your music!

Sacred Words Study Group - update
Our Gathering ended with a brief update of our Missions. Our special thanks were extended to Tracey for launching our Sacred Words Scripture Study Group. Here is some more information from Tracey herself…

Hi everyone,

I am so pleased to say that our launch with Fr Brendan Byrne SJ was a fantastic success! He is so admired and respected, and we were so fortunate that he was available to speak to us (a big thanks to Joe for arranging this!). 

Our first study session as a group will commence on Saturday 8th September at 2pm in the Shed, in Liberty Parade Heidelberg West. You are warmly invited to attend, or to come along to any of the sessions. We intend to meet fortnightly, probably on Saturday afternoons (but absolutely NOT during any AFL finals games!).



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to 4 Aug.

Care for the Soul Retreats

Two recent Care for the Soul retreats have been held at Mittagong and an abridged version in Newman College Perth. Fifteen participants joined us for our Mittagong retreat while 30 Marists joined us for the Twilight retreat in Perth. The feedback offered by our participants emphasises the great value in stepping back from the busy nature of ministry and daily life.

It is reassuring to see that the acceptance of such retreats is proving to be so valuable to so many Marists. I include a few of their comments for your interest.

From the Newman College Retreat:

  • I have neglected my inner garden for too long. By giving time to silence I make room for my soul to grow.
  • The message received by me is most timely - cast into the deep with trust.
  • The insight into the value of silence and how to tap into this constantly ignored companion has greatly assisted me.

From the Mittagong Retreat:

  • A really worthwhile experience to enjoy the stillness and further the spiritual nourishment and journey of the soul.
  • The retreat was perfectly timed and relevant to anyone. The sessions gave us just the right amount of thought provoking content without overloading us. A perfect location for Spiritual Retreats.
  • An amazing retreat that has come at the right time for me in my life’s journey.

Our two Retreat Villas are now available with our first guest having moved in for a private retreat last Thursday. These comfortable facilities can be self-catered or catered. They are specifically reserved for people wishing to do a private retreat.
All retreat details can be found on our web site 

Br Bill Sullivan

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12:00 pm12:00

Champagnat Day Celebrations in Innisfail

The feast of St Marcellin Champagnat was celebrated by the Marist Association on June 6th in Innisfail, North Queensland. A Parish Mass at 8am was attended by parishioners of Mother of Good Counsel Parish who have long standing Marist connections. Jim Arnell, brother of Ralph was lector and the gifts were brought up by Margaret Todd (mother of Kerry) and June Tierney (many Marists remember her hospitality). There were also a group of ex students as well as parents of current students.

It is 80 years since the Brothers first came to Innisfail in 1938 and the Mass was also in remembrance of their 45 year service to the community up until 1983.

The Marist tradition lives on at Good Counsel College where later in the morning a school assembly and liturgy celebrated the feast day of the founder under the leadership of Principal Dora Luxton and Assistant to the Principal, Deacon Mike Lindsay.

Members of the association also attended a regional Mass at St Augustine’s in Cairns on Friday 8th June for the Moment of Renewal.

Peter Dryden
Local Coordinator

click on the photos to see the larger version

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9:00 am09:00

Brother Noel Hickey fms – 75 years a Marist Brother in 2018

Noel was born in 1925 at Fimiston on the Lake View Lease in the goldfields of WA, now disappeared into the Super Pit. The family moved to Perth soon after his birth and finally settled in McKenzie St, Wembley, in 1929.

The seeds of Noel’s Marist vocation were nurtured during his 5 years as a boarder at St Ildephonsus’ College, New Norcia where he had received the Lord Abbot Scholarship. He excelled as a student and sportsman. His under 16 880-yard WA record was set at the inaugural State Schoolboys’ Athletic Carnival of 1940 and lasted for some years.
In January 1942, Noel took a 5 day train trip from Perth to Sydney. He received the Marist Brother’s religious habit 75 years ago at Mittagong in NSW. Australia was at war and Noel had already signed the papers for conscription. In July 1944 at Parramatta Marist, he began his long and distinguished teaching career, mainly teaching senior students, and including time as a school principal. 

Noel gained most of his qualifications the hard way while in full time ministry. His B.A from the University of Western Australia included the Lady Hackett-Moulden prize of 3 guineas for Latin I.

Then in 1983 he began a very fruitful period of his life for the next 18 years in PNG and the Solomon Islands as a teacher and later as the District Secretary and Bursar. Finally, in 2002 Noel returned home to Churchlands, but not to retire.   

Noel’s interests are very eclectic. He faithfully completes the crossword in The Australian each day and he works on the Jumble Word in The West Australian each morning, not being content until he has discovered a large number of words including the often-obscure nine-letter word.

Until a little over a year ago, he could still be found riding his bicycle over large distances around the local area, but now, in acknowledgement of his 93 years, Noel has graduated to using a gopher. He is still working each Tuesday with the students in the Newman College Education Support. For 10 years he spent 2 hours each week visiting patients in the Head Trauma Unit at Shenton Park. He is a faithful supporter of religious and cultural events at Newman College and has a keen interest in classical music. 

Noel is a very faithful recorder of events for our archives, which are an excellent record for future historians. He has also used his computer skills to record the lives of family members.
His first task each morning is to check the obituaries in The West Australian for the names of relations, friends and ex-students of New Norcia.   

He has a great love for his family members and friends that is reciprocated. Now in his 94th year, Noel is moving a little more slowly with the aid of a walking stick or a walker for longer distances, and athletics records of his teenage years are a distant memory. Br Sean Sammon, the former superior general of the Marist Brothers, wrote of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers: “Suffering tempered him, setbacks strengthened him, determination drove him, and grace helped him move beyond his circumstances. He was an apostle to youth and an example of a very practical Christianity.” I believe we can also apply these words to Brother Noel Columban Hickey – 75 years a Marist Brother. 

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1:30 pm13:30

Feast of St Marcellin Champagnat 2018 Celebrations in Melbourne

On the Feast Day of St Marcellin Champagnat fifty Marists gathered as a spiritual family to celebrate Mass in the Champagnat Chapel of Marcellin College Bulleen.  Our wonderful celebrant Father Kevin Hennessy CP helped to make this a truly joyous occasion. Our sincere thanks go to him.
Our thanks also to our wonderful musicians Fiona Dyball, Br Michael Herry and Daniel Nguyen for providing the exquisite music and singing. This added such depth to the beauty of the Mass. Special thanks to Br Michael who leaves for Cambodia next week – he has always been so generous with his time and gifts to all of us. Br. Michael, know that you will be truly missed.
Joe McCarthy then reflected on what it means to ’Be Marist’. He spoke about how each of us have been profoundly affected by Marist community, Marist spirituality and Marist mission. His reflection was followed by the Moment of Renewal. Br John McMahon, though a simple ritual, led us in renewing our commitment to the joys and challenges of being Marists of the Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat.
We moved from the Chapel to the Atrium for our Gathering. Our hosts for the evening were the Templestowe Brothers’ Community. They provided a magnificent supper for us to celebrate our Feast Day and we thank them sincerely for their great generosity and hospitality.
Gail Coates
Local Coordinator

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3:30 pm15:30

“Canberra Marists – The Elephant in the Room

The bridge of faith between what you know and what you hope for

Marist Association members recently gathered in Canberra to reflect on the dance between hopelessness and hopefulness, a key theme from Scottie Reeve’s book titled ’21 Elephants’. Reeve suggests that faith can feel like an audacious hope, particularly when we experience the stresses of the elephants that walk across our bridge of faith. We can simultaneous experience the lows of Good Friday and highs of Easter Sunday. Participants were invited to consider the bridge of faith between where they have been and where they are going, between what they know and what they hope for. Anne Lamott says, “the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” Click here to listen to a podcast about the book ’21 Elephants’.

Nathan Ahearne
Local Coordinator

Reflecting on our 21 elephants

A reflection about the movie ‘Gurrumul’ by Paul Damien Williams

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1:30 pm13:30

Macarthur Regional Gathering

The first of May was a wonderful opportunity for the Campbelltown, Rosemeadow and Varroville local groups in the Macarthur Region to gather together at Varroville to discuss our collective joys, challenges and future directions within the Marist Association. There was a strong commitment to 'taking on the flame' and bringing it to the Association. After the Opening Prayer, presented by Michael Evison, we explored our relationship with God and where we are currently with our faith. It was wonderful to share the experience with like-minded people.

Igor Pletikosa
Local Coordinator

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2:30 pm14:30

Book Launch – A History of the Marist Brothers in China

Augustine Ignatius Doronila, Spes Stanley Ku, Joe McCarthy and Br John McMahon

Spes Stanley Ku, Marist ex-student of St Francis Xavier's College, Hong Kong, businessman and author held his audience spellbound on Friday 27th April, 2018 at the Marist Centre Melbourne as he recounted the stories of the Marist Brothers and their work in China across the twentieth century. Spes' new publication 'Dawn of the Word in Silence' describes the humble and dedicated work of the Brothers in establishing and consolidating many Marist schools across the country through both peaceful and politically unstable times. 

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1:30 pm13:30

Local Melbourne Marist Gathering - 18th April 2018

A big thank you to those of you who were able to join us last week for our April Gathering at Heidelberg West.

To our hosts Brothers Doug and Barry – thank you. The two of you always manage to personalise any event that you organise!  Our thanks are also extended to Bev Stammers and her wonderful helpers, Monika and Catrina, for the delicious supper that they provided.

Our opening prayer was fittingly centred on service, as this was the focus of the evening. As Marists, we have spent some time discerning how we can be of service to those in our immediate community. Br Doug spoke briefly about what was already happening in our area and the needs and shortfalls that hopefully we will be able to address. After a short survey of interests, gifts and skills, which was initiated, conducted and tabulated by Br Barry - we identified five main interest areas:

  • Supporting children at risk
  • Working for the rights and welfare of refugees
  • Helping and supporting ministries and parishes in our local area
  • Finding ways to nurture and deepen our own and collective spirituality through study, prayer and meditation
  • Fund-raising and personal involvement, to support both the Santa Teresa community and the annual Holiday Programme.

After some discussion time in small groups, the leaders of these groups shared something of their discussions with us.  We now look forward to reading their reports and hearing about their progress in moving things forward.

Below is a reflection by Br Doug:


Each month the Melbourne Marists have a gathering. This month it was held where three Brothers have a ministry living and working with the marginalised. It was a fitting place to look at how we as individuals and as a group could be Marists in a ministry to the marginalised. The first thing to find out was did we really want to do this. It became clear we did. People were introduced to this concept at our March gathering so our aim was to continue planning our future ministries in this regard.

Our prayer was centred on the Gospel passage about “you did this to the least of my brethren you did it to me”. Our refection was on three scenes – The Good Samaritan – The Wedding Feast of Cana and the Washing of the Feet. The Wedding Feast reminded me that Mary was the first disciple we looked up to. She had made a request to Jesus because there was a need. Mary is central to our Marial way of life. The Good Samaritan scene inspires us to act and the Washing of the feet made me think of the example given to us by Pope Francis.

We then had time to reflect on how we could use our talents in this area. It was important to know each one’s individual interest so that their interest and our combined efforts would be in line with each other. We also went back and looked at the support our Lay Marists had given to our efforts prior to the Association being formed. It was very much centred around the work of the Marist Brothers of the Schools. However, we are now in a new era, and the “Tent” has been expanded and we as an Association (Brothers and Lay) are challenged as Marists to expand the “tent” and live our Marial life as one – We now have our daily prayer app on the Net - our Marian Lecture coming up - and our Pilgrimages etc.

The crux of this gathering was to begin a plan on what we could develop in Melbourne here, working with other groups if need be, to carry out Champagnat’s dream and his exhortation to us in working with the poor. I reflected recently on two quotes from our Marist Calendar:

  • From Monday of Holy Week: Loving the poor as he did, Our Founder wanted to send us more especially to them, without excluding others. His first followers by their austere life-style, lived very much on the level of the people they were serving (C.33)
  • From Tuesday of Holy Week: Concern for the poor impels us to search out the root causes of their wretchedness, and to free ourselves from prejudice or indifference towards them. It makes us become more responsible in the use of our resources. (C.34)

We finished the night with a short prayer and five areas that we could start planning on and developing. We know this will mean a lot of listening, reflection and acting as we continue to live our lives as Marists.


Tracey and Br Doug

Thanks for the prayer, the hospitality and above all your desire to be Marists on Mission!

Remember to register for the Marian Lecture, 31st May, here in Melbourne at ACU. Click here to register


God Bless,
Best Wishes

Local Coordinator

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9:30 am09:30

Greetings from Alice Springs Gathering

We had our first gathering of the year in Alice Springs in April, and it all went really well. We had about a dozen of us there. We started with a prayer, reflecting on Easter and the call to service. We then shared our collective plans for the year, and then gathered around the table for a beautiful meal, prepared by Br Tony Caddy. 

Br James Hodge
Local Coordinator

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9:30 am09:30

Canberra Marist Life Gathering


The first Canberra Marist Life Gathering for 2018 was held last Thursday afternoon and we welcomed Michael Evison from the Marist Association Pastoral Team. Michael guided us through a gentle reflection on what it means to live audaciously as Marists. There was time for discussion, a bite to eat and catching up with friends. We considered the external and internal expressions of being an audacious person and were challenged to consider how we can be more bold and countercultural in our ministries and relationships.  

Nathan Ahearne

Local Coordinator

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9:30 am09:30

Marist Association Perth Local Gathering

Brothers, Marist Association members and MYM members sharing a meal

Our recent Gathering was very well attended. Some members of Marist Youth Ministry joined us as part of our priority to connect with Marist Youth and to support and facilitate initiatives being undertaken by them.

We listened to the reflections of two members, Rebecca Bramanto and Shaunna Kilcullen, of their experience of accompanying the Immersion to the Philippines. Both related their profound and emotional encounter with the young people from Newman College as well as those they met in the Philippines.

Marist Priest, Fr Stephen Truscott, shared with us the Charism of the Marist Fathers and the connection with Fr Jean-Claude Colin and Marcellin Champagnat at the signing of the Fourviere Pledge. Marist Fathers spirituality is based on the vision of Jean-Claude Colin. Central to this vision is “unknown and partially hidden in this world”, which is exemplary for the way Mary lived the Gospel in a humble, modest and simple way. Marist Fathers are called to imitate Mary in this way of life and ministry.

Daniel Litjens spoke about current and upcoming events for MYM in Perth, which included working at the College’s Homework Club; assisting students with out of hours study and homework; Shopfront - Cooking for the Homeless; plans for Spirituality in the Pub; and their plans for working with unaccompanied minors in Partnership with Mercy Care.

Fr Stephen celebrated Mass with us before we adjourned to the Brother’s Residence for a BBQ and refreshments. It was lovely to have more of our MYM members join us for this socialising once they had finished at the Homework Club.

Dianne Grinbergs

Local Coordinator

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10:30 am10:30

Emerald Gathering

On the 24th of February, a group of 13 members of the Association, staff from the school and parishioners met at Marist College Emerald for a “Care for the Soul” retreat day with Br Robert O’Connor. It was a very gentle experience for all involved and there was a general appreciation of having time to sit and contemplate, as well as of the fellowship which was enjoyed during the meal breaks. Those who were able to, regathered in the evening to share a meal together.

The following is some of the feedback received from the participants:

“I enjoyed the retreat on Saturday as Brother Robert gave many interesting alternative views on the life and faith of Mary and also on how we can find our own way to pray and be silent. The time out sessions were valuable as we do not take the time to be silent very often. Overall a thought provoking yet relaxing day.”

“It was good to have some time to oneself.  I thought it was a good day, Bro was easy to listen to and to follow.”

“I enjoyed the day enormously. It was well paced and there was a balance of quiet reflective time, input from Robert and scripture. The friendly social time was also integral to an enjoyable day (as was the food!)
The realistic presentation of Mary and Jesus in their humanity was especially valuable. Treating so much of scripture as metaphor to help discover Jesus in our own life, truly incarnated and manifesting himself today was affirming.
I really appreciated the recommendations Robert made regarding further stimulating reading. I have already ordered two books on Book Depository to follow up the day.”

“I found the day a wonderful experience. It encouraged self-reflection and an invitation into mysticism with a solid explanation and outline of our deep mystic tradition.
There was a generous time for personal reflection and appropriate input for each of the sessions.
Overall it was a wonderful day and I am excited about future days like this.”

From all at Emerald, we would like to express our appreciation to Br Robert for so generously offering his time and wisdom to us.

Morag Hyslop
Local Coordinator

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6:30 pm18:30

Melbourne Local Gathering

Thank you for last night …

Bon Voyage and God Bless you Br Tony

After our first Local Melbourne Gathering for 2018, I found myself humming snatches of David Haas’ “We come to share our story. We come to break the bread…’. In many ways this sums up the feeling of our time together last night – an evening of prayer, fellowship, hospitality and stories.

We heard reflections from two wonderful young Marists, Josh Colaci and Rhodi Saykao, about their recent experiences on the Santa Teresa Holiday Programme in January this year. They certainly inspired us, as the MA Melbourne, to do more fundraising to keep this very worthwhile programme going.

Br Barry Lamb’s proposal challenged us to reach out to those most in need around us. He asked us to think about the fact that ‘those of us not directly involved in schools might have some sort of joint Association apostolic activity, or each have a particular/personal Association apostolic activity.’ The animated discussion in groups, following his presentation, produced lots of positive and helpful feedback. We will soon begin to move on some of the suggestions! I will forward a summary of the feedback shortly.

Tracey Doublet then ‘opened up’ the wonders of our new Marist Association branding and social media sites for us and Joe McCarthy exhorted all present to register for the National Assembly 2-4 October. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

A special highlight of the evening was our opportunity to join in prayer and a simple ritual of blessing for Br Tony Clark, who travels to South Africa next week. He is a member of the LaValla 200 Project which offers an exciting new model of Marist life and mission, serving young people on the margins.

Thank you to all who helped to make this such an enjoyable Gathering – see you all at 11:00am on Good Friday, 30th March, at the Exodus Community, Way of the Cross.


Gail Coates,
Local Coordinator

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10:00 am10:00

Sydney City Marists Gathering

The Sydney City Marists regrouped on Sunday 18 February for the first of their 2018 gatherings. It was great to see everyone after the break, to welcome home some of our overseas travellers and to welcome some new members. Our focus was to spend some time on prayer and reflection using the Diocese of Wollongong's excellent Lenten resource and to also spend some time planning our time together for the year ahead.

Anyone in the Sydney area who is looking to gather around the same table with like-minded Marists is most welcome to join us. We meet at 11.30am at the Harold Park Hotel, Wigram Road, Glebe on the third Sunday of every month or feel free to contact Carole Wark on for more information.

People in the photo are Back Row left to right: Michael Callinan, Rodrigo Gris, Liza Adams, Michael Hall, Mark Tuffy, David Hall, Liam Duncan, Anthony Clarke, Michael Evison.  Front Row, left to right: Arge Hernandez, Jo Lumsden, Noy Noy Sisneros, Carole Wark, Peter Carroll, Chris Langridge.

Carole Wark,
Local Coordinator

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1:30 pm13:30

Marist Centre Brisbane Local Group Gathering

There are three Marist Association Groups in Brisbane. Seen recently at the Marist Centre Brisbane (MCB) Local Association gathering:

Janelle Doohan, Liz Falconer and Catherine Thompson

Michael Sinclair, Lyn Eaton, Allen Sherry and Hien Le;

Neville Solomon, Paul Kane and Ken Riley

Michael Sinclair, a canon-lawyer, gave an informative presentation on some aspects of canon law with reference to Associations of People.

As usual a relaxing time over a meal was also enjoyed.


Br Paul Kane
Local Coordinator

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11:00 am11:00

Regional Gathering of the Melbourne Marists

Fiona , Br. Dennis, and Cassie receiving their certificates

On a rather warm Sunday afternoon we gathered at Brunswick for our final event of the year. A big thank you to all who were able to join us and celebrate what we have accomplished in 2017. 

Both the prayer and the Marist Association Snapshot of 2017 (compiled by the Marist Association Council as way of providing annual feedback to all members) focussed on some of the inroads we have made into the Priorities (We Marists …Our Hopes and Priorities 2016-2018) this past year. It is good to stop and reflect on what has been achieved and be encouraged and inspired to do more. 

Our thanks to Br Doug Walsh and Angela Tsotsos who spoke about their recent visit to the Philippines and the Marist involvement in the Bagong Barrio: Marist Connections project. While we were moved by the plight of the people there, we were also heartened by just what has been achieved and motivated to do more. Br Doug has promised to provide further details on what we can do to help to make a difference. 

It was good to have one of our young Marists, Jack Stammers, speak to us about the Santa Teresa Holiday Programme which is up and running again next year from 8 – 17 January. They are looking for volunteers and support for this worthwhile programme. If you can help, please contact Jack:

We also welcomed three new members to the Marist Association: Cassie Wilmot, Br Dennis Cooper and Fiona Dyball. A warm Marist Family welcome is extended to each of you.

As always, our time together provided another opportunity to build community by sharing in conversations and getting to know each other better. Our gathering was followed by the annual Melbourne Australian Marist Solidarity Christmas event and so the hospitality continued…

Thank you once again for all that you have done to grow and strengthen our local Melbourne Marists. A big thank you to all who attended – these gatherings, where we pray and discern together, help to enrich us all.

Advent wishes and Christmas blessings to you, your communities and families.

God bless always

Best wishes

Gail Coates

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9:30 am09:30

Perth Regional Gathering November 2017

Br John Horgan presents Shaunna Kilcullen with her membership certificate

We gathered at Subiaco Parish on 8 November, commencing with a Communion Service in the Tribune Chapel at St Joseph’s Subiaco, which is adjacent to the property that housed the first Marist College in Perth from 1954 – 1976.

We were very pleased that Jo Hutcheson from Bunbury was able to join us.

We continued in the Upper Room with presentations of certificates to our newest members. We are very proud of our 28 Members of our Local Marist Association, with six pending memberships and a total of 67 who have attended one or more of our gatherings.

Here we viewed a snapshot of our West Australian events, photos and initiatives undertaken in this, our Bicentenary year, which we began on 2 January at the same venue in Subiaco Parish. We came together regularly for our Lenten Prayer Program; gathered at the Brothers’ Residence for formation and for community building, with a BBQ; launched the Bi-Centenary icons as part of the pilgrimage visiting every Marist Ministry and Community around Australia; joined with our local Parish at Floreat for a Family Mass celebrating Mother’s Day; welcomed (local) Brother Harry Prout as he shared his experience of working with the community at West Heidelberg; listened to Dom Mark Patrick Hederman as he delivered the 2017 Marian Lecture Series, Underground Cathedrals; engaged with Sr Margaret Scharf OP, as she shared MARY FOR OUR TIMES: MOTHER, MODEL, MYSTIC, which led beautifully into our formation module - Mary’s Work- Mary’s Way.

Br John Horgan presents Melissa Gangemi with her membership certificate.

Seventeen of us escaped to the Monastic town of New Norcia, where the Marist Brothers began their work in WA in 1913 – 1965. We were led in Retreat by Br Tony Shears across 3 days which tied in beautifully with our formation Module, Deepening our Relationship with God – Prayer, Our Daily Bread. Throughout this year, we also completed our Formation Modules in Growing the Spiritual Family – Marists for the World.

We have grown relationships with St Joseph’s, Northam by visiting them to speak to their staff about the Marist Association and working with them in other aspects of Marist life.

Following this snapshot of our undertakings for 2017, we viewed the presentations from the Marist Association Council of the achievements of 2017 and of the hopes and aspirations for the future. This was a great opportunity to identify with what is happening within the Marist Association in other parts of the country.

In looking forward to future priorities and to growing our Perth Marist Association, our new Youth Chaplain at Newman College, Roger O’Neill, gave us an overview of his plans, hopes and dreams for his work with our youth. Four members of Marist Youth Ministry, Molly, Stefan, Emily and Michael, also joined us and spoke of their work and their plans for the future in the areas of Faith, Ministry and Social. It was a delight to have representatives of our youth join us for this gathering, giving us great hope and confidence for continuing of the charism of St Marcellin into its third century.

Br John Horgan presents Kate Warchomij with her membership certificate.

John Finneran shared aspirations for building partnerships with Parishes in our area, commencing with a bi monthly Mass at Subiaco Parish for Marist Association Members and Marist Youth Ministry Members to come together in prayer, worship and sharing a meal. We are keen to build a commitment with our local Marist Youth Ministry, collaborating with them through Community Outreach and Association Service, and supporting them in their Faith and Ministry, in particular with their participation in the Mercy Care Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors Program in South Africa.

John also advised of possible scenarios for Marist Association Retreats with Br Bill Sullivan when he is at Newman College next year. We will look at options of evenings, one day and two to three day retreats to meet the individual needs and availability of our members.

We plan to increase the number of our gatherings next year and to create more opportunities to come together as Marist Association to build community. 

Our members were informed of the latest details of the Association’s National Assembly in Adelaide in October and were encouraged to consider attending. We will be asking for expressions of interest and looking at the possibility of subsidizing travel costs for some members.

We look forward to our next local gathering in March 2018 followed by a BBQ at the Brother’s Residence.

Di Grinbergs

Local Coordinator

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12:00 pm12:00

Canberra Regional Gathering

The Canberra Regional Gathering took place on Thursday 2 November and our central theme was creating ‘a sense of belonging in our Marist community’.

We commenced the evening with a visual meditation, selecting a Marist Minute (a fortnightly reflection within our local community) and discussing our insights. Participants heard from Chris Morrissey and Carmel Luck who shared their experience of belonging as Marists, in their capacity as teachers and having left the school community.

This brought forth rich conversation around inclusivity, openness and how members of the Marist Association can find ways to meaningfully contribute. Our members were challenged to consider the development of the Marist Association both locally and nationally, as well as the role of the priorities in their lives looking ahead to 2018.

The evening concluded with a beautiful family meal and it was wonderful to see younger faces welcomed to the table.

Nathan Ahearne

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12:00 pm12:00

Sydney Regional Gathering

On Thursday, 26th October, the Association Regional Gathering was held in two Sydney locations simultaneously, with the intention of giving all members the option of attending the location most convenient to them. Sydney 1 gathered at Marcellin College Randwick, while Sydney 2 gathered at Trinity Catholic College Auburn.

Both gatherings were well attended where we watched the presentation “A Snapshot of 2017.” This lead to animated discussion about the wonderful things already being done and accomplished, but more importantly, we discussed where we want to do more, with the underlying conclusion that we must continue to serve the marginalised.  

Thank you to all who attended both Gatherings and we look forward to great things happening next year!

Mary Ivancic

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3:30 pm15:30

Local Melbourne Gathering: Alive with Gospel Fire!

On Wednesday, 6th September, we gathered in the newly opened Atrium at Marcellin College Bulleen. What a magnificent space, so rich in history and Marist symbolism.

Br Michael Herry led us in song and prayer. His enthusiasm and passion soon had us all joining in the singing!

The focus of our Gathering was the unpacking of the Module on Christian Discipleship taken from our Growing the Spiritual Family booklet. Joe McCarthy led this reflection. He adopted a contemplative approach which enabled us to reflect on our own understanding of discipleship.

We welcomed three new members to the Marist Association: Grace Johnstone, Maureen Caldow and Sarah Cattapan. A warm welcome is extended to all of them - it is always good to ‘grow’ our Marist Family.

A big thank you to all who attended – these gatherings, where we pray and discern together, help to enrich us all.

God Bless.

Gail Coates
Local Coordinator

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3:30 pm15:30

Local Marist Association Gathering - Mt Carmel Catholic College Varroville NSW

Igor inviting people to reflect and discuss our role in the future of the Marist charism.

On Tuesday, 5th September, 2017, we held a local gathering for existing members and staff interested in the Association. Igor Pletikosa did a wonderful job facilitating this gathering. We explored the issues based on a module from “Growing the Spiritual Family” on Our Gift To the Church. Open and honest discussion was had, with some inspiring sharing from those who attended. We delved into the current secularised world we are living in today and discussed the challenges faced, and what we can possibly do to address these. Afterwards, we had a Thai banquet at a nearby restaurant. Plenty of food and laughs were shared and what came out of this gathering was the sense that “we are not alone in our vocation”. We very much look forward to our next gathering.

For those hesitant about trying this, it is worth the small amount of effort. Keep it simple.

The gathering at Mt Carmel Catholic College.

Damian Sligar
Local Coordinator, Varroville

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to 27 Aug.

Marist Association Regional Retreat Perth

On Friday evening Marist Association members from Perth and from Bunbury gathered at New Norcia, the place of the first Marists in Western Australia from 1913 – 1964, for their Retreat facilitated by Br Tony Shears fms, Lord Teach Us to Pray – an exploration of our deepening relationship with God, Jesus, the Spirit and Mary.

Our 16 participants were led through a variety of different ways of Praying, Reflections and Personal Quiet Time by Br Tony, who was able to cater to the different needs of each participant by offering a plethora of ideas and resources.

We joined the Benedictine Monks, three of whom are ex- students of Marist Schools from different states, for Mass and Vespers in the Monastery Oratory. We also joined the New Norcia Community for Sunday Mass in the Abbey Church which was originally built in 1861 and has been added to over the years to accommodate the large congregation consisting of the Monks, locals and a number of retreat and school camp groups, tourists and pilgrims who have completed the Camino Walk from St Joseph’s at Subiaco in the Footsteps of Dom Salvado and Dom Serra.

The historic and spiritual atmosphere of New Norcia, along with it’s rich tradition of Marist Education made it an ideal location for out first Marist Association Retreat. We not only had the opportunity to take time to deepen our relationship and prayer life with God, Jesus, Spirit and Mary but also the occasion to build community among ourselves as Marist Association.

We are very grateful to Br Tony for travelling from NSW to lead us in such a spiritual experience and for sharing his expertise in assisting us so meaningfully in our own Spiritual Development.

Dianne Grinbergs

Local Coordinator, Perth

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3:00 pm15:00

Marist Association Local Gathering August 2017, Perth.

To celebrate our Patronal Feast Day, we gathered on Wednesday 16 August. We enjoyed our guest speaker, Sr Margaret Scharf OP, who shared MARY FOR OUR TIMES: MOTHER, MODEL, MYSTIC. which we found animated, engaging, enlightening and very much in line with our Marist Spirituality on Mary.

We presented new members, Br Noel Hickey and Tricia Starkey with their membership and badges and we completed our Formation Program Module Mary’s Work, Mary’s Way: A Doorway into God’s Mission.

We continued to build community over heart - warming soup and beverages, with lively discussions and conversations.

Dianne Grinbergs

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