It's all happening!
Here is Brother Kevin Ryan's latest report from the
There is a cricket commentator who has been with Channel
9 for some years who is inclined to say (far too often for
my liking!) that "it is all happening"! It might,
however, be an appropriate phrase to use about the Christian
Brothers in Holy Spirit Province and Oceania at this time.
So what is happening? It might include:
- In July we celebrated the launch of a "Charter for
Catholic Education". This is one aspect of the process
of establishing the future governance of schools which are
currently governed by the Christian Brothers Holy Spirit
- In the latter half of this year we will conclude the
current stage of our Communities Review Process which has
done more than look at how many communities we need in this
Province but "how we live together as Christian Brothers
and how we minister to others through our community living.
- Through the Communities Review Process and also through
the thinking and reflection of Bernard White and John Webb
in relation to the promotion of the Christian Brother way
of life we are investigating the establishment of two "intentional
communities". (More of this at the Province Days in
a few weeks time)
- The Inter-Province Leadership Committee is looking to
work with John and Bernard and other Vocation Promoters
across Oceania to develop a more Oceania wide process for
promoting our life.
- As you will see in a SOFCO newsletter about to be released
significant steps are being taken with regard to developing
a new structure(s?) for the Congregation in Oceania.
- Discussions with you will continue over coming months
in relation to the possible opening of a Christian Brother
community and ministry in Asia.
- Future financial viability continues to be an important
aspect of Province life. The Province Leadership Team continues
to work on redressing the imbalance though less overtly
than it was twelve months ago.
- Finally, as some of you have already experienced, the
Congregation Leadership Team is inviting us into a conversation
about our Congregation Identity which will lead to the development
of a new Congregation Logo which speaks to all the cultures
within our Congregation.
All of these processes and actions are inter-related. They
are calling us to reflect more deeply on "who we are",
"what is our mission" and on a "freeing of
ourselves" so that we can re-found the Brothers way of
life in Oceania.
So it is "all happening". And it needs to be happening
with vigorous discernment, open and respectful conversation,
prayerful silences (individually and communally), and a lot
of spirit-filled imagination.
Rice Network "Living in Harmony" Retreat
Network Retreat last weekend "highly successful"
The Living in Harmony Retreat at Camp Kelly,
Dwellingup, last weekend was "highly successful"
reports Br Terry Casey.
OVER TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE participated in the multi-faith
"Bush Retreat" with just under half of them bringing
their experiences as refugees to the table. And apparently,
"the table" might be the best way to describe it
as Terry indicates that the sharing that went on in the preparation
of meals was one of the highlights of the weekend. With 14
members of the Network on hand to listen the stories of these
people, many of whom have been through extremely difficult
journeys through space and spirit to make a new life in a
new land, the feedback coming from all participants was that
we need to be doing more of this.
The weekend provided an opportunity for the newcomers to
get to know a little better how we "Australians"
think, and it provided the "Aussies" to gain some
understanding of the very different cultural and spiritual
outlooks that this diverse group of people have come from.
The newest arrival had only been in Australia for a few months
while the oldest resident has been here for 14 years.
Terry has promised to get us a report from some of the other
participants for the next web edition of Edmund Rice Network
News. Here are some photos from the weekend.
Indigenous Conference for Edmund Rice Ministries
Solidarity strong at Melbourne Indigenous Ministries' Conference
Sue Gordon of WA addressing the conference on Issues
in WA Indigenous Communities.
"KEEPING THE SPIRIT STRONG" was the title
of the fifth National Indigenous Conference for Edmund Rice
Ministries. It was held at Amberley in Melbourne from 18th
- 21st October, 2004.
Over fifty people attended, more than half of them were Indigenous
Australians. There is a wide variety of work being done to
advance the cause of Reconciliation and to improve the situation
of many young Indigenous People. Participants reflected on
Reconciliation in Edmund Rice Ministries, shared best practice
and listed to two key speakers.
elder Joy Murphy welcomes participants to Country.
WA Magistrate Sue Gordon shared insights from her report
into issues in Indigenous Communities in WA and the impact
of seven government departments have on their lives. Of the
197 recommendations, 195 have been accepted by the Gallop
Government and are being acted upon. Mr. Greg Philips who
works at Melbourne University, writing into the Medical Faculty
units on Indigenous Health, spoke of his personal story and
the impact of colonisation on Indigenous Peoples and the layers
of resultant problems. Many of today's health, alcohol and
drug problems and dysfunctionality in Indigenous Communities
may be seen in that light. Participants came away from the
conference significantly strengthened in spirit by the mutual
support they experienced and by the positive messages conveyed.
at the Fifth National Indigenous Conference.
There were representatives from all States of Australia
and the Northern Territory.
St Mary's Province
Notice of new publication: History of Mount Saint Mary's
"From Mount Royal to Mount Saint Mary
A History of the Christian Brothers at Mount St. Mary 1908-1992"
The above-titled publication is nearing completion. The book
of some 160 pages, which has been written by Br Dan Stewart,
will be in the hands of the printer at the beginning of November
and ready for distribution in early 2005. As the book is a
print order, it will not be on sale in bookshops, so the number
printed will depend on orders. The price will be about $25
per copy. As there will be no second printing, it is important
that I have orders by October 27. After orders are received,
invoices will be posted. It would help me if Provinces could
put in one order rather than each Community ordering separately.
[A limited order from HSP has been made to meet this deadline,
so any Brother, former Brother or friend of the Brothers who
would like a copy should contact Br. Rod Ellyard at Westcourt:
Phone to Laura on 9365 2800 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
And guess what? If you managed to get this far you've reached
the last page of this newsletter. Best wishes 'til next time.