Edition 16: October 2004 Holy Spirit Province

Index to Province Stories:

It's all happening! (Province Leader's report)

ER Network Retreat last weekend "highly successful"

Solidarity strong at Melbourne Indigenous Ministries' Conference

Notice of new publication: History of Mount Saint Mary's

Province Leader:

It's all happening!

Here is Brother Kevin Ryan's latest report from the Brothers' Newsletter...

Br Kevin Ryan

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 Province.

  • 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.

Edmund 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.

Fifth National Indigenous Conference for Edmund Rice Ministries

Solidarity strong at Melbourne Indigenous Ministries' Conference

Magistrate 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.

Wurundjeri 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.

Participants at the Fifth National Indigenous Conference.
There were representatives from all States of Australia and the Northern Territory.

Rod Ellyard

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 ellyard.rod@westcourt.wa.edu.au.]

And guess what? If you managed to get this far you've reached the last page of this newsletter. Best wishes 'til next time. Brian Coyne.


Edmund Rice Family News is edited and produced by Brian Coyne for the Holy Spirit Province of the Christian Brothers
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