Edition 6 : June 2002

Greetings all and welcome to this winter edition of Edmund Rice News for the Bicentennial Year.

QUICK INDEX TO OTHER ISSUES AVAILABLE ONLINE:
ERFN05 March 2002 (html)
ERFN07 Oct 2002 (html)
ERFN08 Mar 2003 (html)
ERFN09 June 2003 (html)

 
 
 

SPECIAL INVITATION -- Eucharist and Lunch with the Province Chapter (See details here)

Quick Guide to this issue:
Overview: A man who understood crisis and challenge 
Editorial: Family to Network

Bicentennial Masses - Perth & Adelaide
Kevin Ryan's Reflections on Rome
Pat Carey honoured
Richard Mavros reports on lot's of things
ERC Ball Invitation
PRT Report
ERF Link
Trinity puts effort into Campus Ministry
News from Edmund Rice Centre, Mirrabooka
Wheelchairs without Olly Pickett?
Nuptials for Heidi
Edmund Rice in East Timor
How to Enrol for Dadirri
Bicentennial Calendar
Reflection: Edmund Rice

From July 10-17, 20 Brothers from our Province will gather at the Redemptorist Retreat House, North Perth, for our Province Chapter. This event occurs every 6 years, and is a major opportunity for reviewing our situation and planning for the next six years. Among other things, the Chapter will look at applying the directions from the Congregation Chapter in March to our Province. It will also have a major input into the appointment process for our next Province Leadership Team (due to be announced in August). You are invited to join the Chapter Participants in celebrating Eucharist on Sunday July 14, 11.30 a.m., at the Redemptorist Retreat Centre (enter off Camelia St.), North Perth and to join them afterwards for a buffet lunch. This Eucharist and lunch is a chance to express support for the Brothers involved in the Chapter by praying, celebrating and relaxing with them.
RSVP (Essential) Tel Noelene 9365 2800 by Tues, 9th July 2002
OME COMMENTATORS are now saying the Church is in the grip of a crisis that is as great as the one she faced at the time of the Reformation. Some of the same commentators are also saying that we are moving through a time of unprecedented re-evaluation that seems to be being stirred by the Holy Spirit. With the developments in science and technology, not to mention the advances being made in medicine and psychology into our self understanding of "being", we live in an exciting time of unprecedented change and growth. Is it also a time of spiritual renewal?

Our time is also one of enormous challenge. The celebrations this year of the 200th Anniversary of the opening of the first school by Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice have time and again drawn us to a renewed appreciation that Edmund was a man who understood challenge and how to respond to it.

Challenge is a two-edged sword. It can cut a community to its quick. Or, viewed in the right light, it opens up opportunities for new growth, enterprise and insight.

As Christians we can identify with this as the lesson at the "heart" of the paradoxical insight of Christ that we have to die in order to live -- our resurrection is borne out of our responses to our workaday travails.

This issue of Edmund Rice Family News reflects on what has been flowing out of the General Chapter held in Rome in March. It also reflects on our on going work throughout the Holy Spirit Province and seeks your on-going support and input into the Province Chapter in a few week's time that will help shape the future work of Edmund Rice in our corner of the world.


  Edition 5: Mar 2002


Family to Network - an unfolding story...

Province Leader, Br Tony Shanahan, reflects on what has come out of the General Chapter for the broader Edmund Rice Network.

THE 2002 CONGREGATION CHAPTER OF THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS broke new ground by inviting eleven lay representatives of the Edmund Rice Network around the world to participate for the first ten days. In this way, the Chapter started boldly in its approach to the reality of the Edmund Rice Family. At the other end of the Chapter, its final document, "The Heart of Being Brother", may strike some as being a bit bland and general in what it says about the Edmund Rice Family. (The text from the ERF of this part of the Chapter Statement is reproduced in a separate box below).

Br Tony Shanahan cfc

From an ERF point of view, what has come out of the Chapter? Where has it left us?

As with many things, the process here is as important as the final product. Seen in this way, the Chapter's gesture in inviting eleven lay people to take part in the Chapter may be its most important contribution to the development of the ERF. The interaction and sharing with those eleven people was an invaluable form of consciousness raising and education for all of us about what ERF means.

Some of my learnings from those ten days were:

  • How important it is to encounter the Edmund Rice story enfleshed in other people. For many lay members of the ERN, meeting and getting to know Christian Brothers has been critical.
  • The Edmund Rice Family/Network is about mutuality and growing together. Meeting Brothers may be a critical step in encountering Edmund Rice for lay people - for Brothers, encountering dedicated ERF people maybe equally important.
  • In this regard, I experienced at several points of the Chapter some of the invited ERF people challenging and inviting us Brothers to go the extra distance to be completely faithful to our calling as followers of Edmund Rice.
  • The familiar words Edmund Rice Family/Network mean, in practice, very different things in different parts of the world. It is very difficult to generalise about the Edmund Rice Family across the Congregation.
  • The Chapter experience reinforced my hunch that the Edmund Rice Family reality needs to offer at least three key elements or types of experience ­ Ministry, or the living out of Edmund's mission to others; Community, involvement in a network of like minded people; and a Spirituality that supports and sustains both ministry and community.


These are what struck me - others who were at the Chapter would probably add other insights or learnings of their own.

The experience of the first ten days was rich and powerful. Personally, I was somewhat disappointed with the generality of the Chapter statement. However, this may have been unavoidable. We had the difficulty of trying to formulate a statement about Edmund Rice Family with only part of the family represented, i.e. the Brothers, since the final document was put together at the end of the Chapter, several weeks after the invited ERF representatives had left.

The Unfolding Story
The Edmund Rice Network

(from the final statement of the General Chapter)

What have we discovered?
The development of the many expressions of the Edmund Rice charism fills us with joy and brings new life and energy to the Congregation.

What are our Heart Decisions?
To support and resource formation programmes enabling all expressions of the Edmund Rice network to explore the heart of the charism.
To develop more effective channels of communication among the various sectors of the Edmund Rice network.
To encourage further expressions of and deeper commitment to the Edmund Rice Charism.
I think there are a number of reasons for the Chapter statement not being more specific or "gutsy", at least from my point of view. One is the diversity of ERF around the world, which, as I have noted above, makes it hard to generalise. A second difficulty is contained in the title of this section ­ "The Unfolding story". Because it is an unfolding story, because the Edmund Rice Family is still growing and taking shape, the situation is often messy and confusing, with lots of loose ends. This is not conducive to neat statements.

Nonetheless, I think the Chapter statement does offer us some important guidelines in moving ahead:

  • There is no doubt that the Christian Brothers are positive and hopeful about this reality we call Edmund Rice Family. There is no doubt that the ERF/ERN is strongly affirmed by the Chapter.
  • The "heart decisions" listed as part of the Chapter statement point to fundamental areas that will need our attention: Formation opportunities and Communication. I think it is significant that the last decision refers not only to "further expressions" of the charism, but to "deeper commitment". I don't think we've had too much difficulty with encouraging and welcoming new expressions over recent years. But what does it mean to develop forms of deeper commitment within the Edmund Rice Family? I see this as one of the major challenges.

One of the major legacies of the Chapter may scarcely be noticed ­ the change in terminology from "Family" to "Network". This might turn out to be a bit of a time bomb. I think this is more than simply finding a better word than "Family", though that was part of the move to a new term.

The idea of a "network" is more accurate in regard to the actual reality of ERF on the ground. It is not as coherent and close-knit as a family ­ it is something more sprawling and loose in its connections, as suggested by the word network. One of the questions that this raises is where within this network does the "Edmund Rice Family" fit, that group of people who have actively identified with Edmund Rice Family over the last six years, and who by virtue of this involvement are in fact much more "family" than just a network?

There is no shortage of questions, as we probably knew already, especially in the wake of Peter Nicholson's Report last year, in which a number of the key questions around ERF/ERN are canvassed. In the next few months there will be two processes that will help move some of these things forward. Each of the Australian Provinces will complete their Province Chapters, in which they try to apply to their own Province circumstances what came out of the Congregation Chapter. Our own Province Chapter will be held in Perth from July 10 to 17.

An Australia New Zealand ERF Committee is being formed. This structure was decided on at the ERF National Gathering in Melbourne last year. This will provide some form of structure to coordinate, stimulate and reflect on what is happening across Australia and New Zealand.

The statement of the Congregation Chapter was general. That might be seen as a limitation or failing. It can also be seen as an opportunity ­ it leaves open for us here in Australia, and in this Province particularly, the opportunity and invitation to keep on shaping the ERN/ERF reality in a way that responds to the hopes and aspirations of our people, and according to our own circumstances.

Finally, I invite you to support the work of our Province Chapter from July 10 to 17 with your prayer.


The Special Edmund Rice pageants and Masses in Adelaide and Perth...

NEARLY 5,000 STUDENTS FROM SCHOOLS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA connected with the Christian Brothers gathered on Friday, 10th May, at the Perth Entertainment Centre for a magnificent liturgy to honour the Bicentenary of Blessed Edmund Rice and Christian Brothers' Schools.

The Mass was preceded by a moving pageant or tableux which captured the social and political climate in Ireland that led Edmund Rice to embark on his far-sighted undertaking of lifting the poor and disenfranchised up through education.

Fr Paddy Meagher SJ was the principal celebrant. For those who do not know Fr Paddy, he is one of Australia's most brilliant teachers and preachers. Today his home base is as a lecturer in theology in Delhi, India but he regularly returns home to lecture at our Catholic universities and to those working in the Catholic Education and Health Care professions. Fr Paddy was assisted by six other priests who also were former students of the brothers or are chaplains at their schools. Fr Paddy preached the homily. It was one of those masterly strokes of genius that perhaps few are capable of -- and particularly so when trying to retain the attention of 5,000 hormone charged young people some of whom were seated up in the darkness perhaps fifty or sixty metres away from the lectern.

Fr Paddy introduced his homily with a focus on three symbols. Firstly he held up a beautiful porcelain pot which he smashed with a hammer and pointed to the broken shards on the floor beneath him to make the point that we are all broken. He then held up a veiled portrait of the face of Christ to make the point of the unbrokeness of Christ. He then lifted a largish bowl of earth from the altar and "scattered it on the ground in handfuls" while making the point that we are called, like Edmund Rice, to be generous with the gifts that have been given to us.

The atmosphere in the Entertainment Centre was hushed particularly in that the gestures were conveyed in close-up detail on two jumbo television screens.

 For more photos and an extended report click here

Shaun Clarke, Religious Education Coordinator at CBC Adelaide, reports on the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Philip Wilson at St Francis Xavier Cathedral on 22nd May.

OUR MASS commenced with a drama presentation, recounting the life of Edmund Rice: "the past". This was powerfully depicted by a lone Irish Piper which reminded us of Edmund's Irish heritage, followed by a large high cross, modelled on the cross found in the ruins of Clonmacnois, Ireland. The cross was a reminder of Edmund's commitment to faith "To live Jesus in our Lives Forever". His life was then depicted in a series of images projected upon screens held by the senior drama students. The images used were photographs recently taken by the Bicentennial Pilgrimage Group in Ireland.

The mass also reflected the vision of "living the present". We were reminded as an Edmund Rice Family we can live Jesus among us through the Eucharist, which we celebrate together. This indeed was the case of Edmund Rice, who took the words and promise of Jesus literally and gave up everything including his security, his wealth, his freedom, to serve and inspire penniless children, untutored and robbed of any worthwhile ambition. Our final drama presentation in the mass challenged us all "to seek the future". That as members of the Edmund Rice Family we too can carry this vision, to live for God and to show all the world a living sacrifice to others around the world. This was symbolised by six year seven students who brought forward a candle representing inspired words of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice.


Kevin Ryan's reflection on the General Chapter

The General Chapter of the Christian Brothers held in Rome in March was attended by delegates from all the international provinces. The work of the General Chapter is to elect a new leadership team and to reflect on and provide some direction to the ethos and mission of the Congregation at the international level. For the first tens days of this General Chapter, members of the wider Edmund Rice Family also joined the brothers to provide input to the work and mission of the wider family. Br Kevin Ryan, Deputy Leader of Holy Spirit Province, has provided this personal reflection on this important event...

IN REFLECTING ON the Chapter experience nearly three months after the event, some aspects still continue to be clear in my mind and heart.

The new Congregational Leadership Team elected in Rome. From left: Mark McDonnell, Michael Godfrey, Philip Pinto (Leader, India), Jack Mostyn, Dominic Sassi
In the first ten days of the Chapter, the Edmund Rice Family delegates gave the gathering an immense amount of energy which stayed within the Chapter for the subsequent three weeks. I think they also helped to highlight several issues for me and other Brother delegates.

The first of these is that their journey into the Edmund Rice Charism was through relationships. This became clear in the telling of their stories. For the eleven who were there, the beginning of their journey was through a contact with a Brother. However, as Richard Mavros pointed out to delegates, this raised the challenge for Edmund Rice Network people that if/when there are times and places in which there are no Brothers, will there be Edmund Rice people to establish the relationships and share the charism for the next generation?

The second issue is that through the sharing of the ERF delegates and Brothers, and lectures of Sr Sandra Schneiders, the call to celibate Brotherhood was once again affirmed. The presence of people "other than Brothers" seemed to call this affirmation out of us. There seemed to be a validation of our call.

The third experience of the chapter that remains with me is the "honesty of the sharing". This includes all the delegates, elected and invited (including Presentation Brothers and ERF) honestly talking about what their life experiences had been like as well as their dreams for the future. This made the outcomes of the Chapter very real, for me at least. The alternative would have been theoretical statements about Religious Life.

The fourth strong experience for me is related to the call to celibate Brotherhood noted above, and to the focus of the Chapter on the heart of being Brother. While in no way setting aside the vigorous call of the Brothers' Constitutions for "Mission", (to provide service, to work alongside people, to evangelise, to educate youth), and the "call to the margins" of the 1996 Chapter, this Chapter called me to reflect on the heart of my call to be "Brother". This call is to be in a focussed, contemplative relationship with God, and to be in relationship with my Brothers and with all I come in contact.


Br Pat Carey receives his Distinguised Service Medal from UNDA Chancellor, Terry O'Connor

Pat Carey explores a new ministry

SHORTLY BEFORE LEAVING PERTH to take up a new three year appointment at Providence College in Rhode Island, USA, the Board of Governors of the University of Notre Dame awarded Br Pat Carey the UNDA Distinguished Service Medal. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Peter Tannock, described Br Pat as a "major founding influence on the University".

The Province Leader of the Christian Brothers, Tony Shanahan, provided this further comment in the Brothers' newsletter on Br Pat's new appointment in the US:

Pat was contacted some months ago by a search committee from the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT) at Providence College in Rhode Island to see if he'd be interested in taking on the position of Director. Providence College is the only Dominican University in the United States. Following interviews before Easter, he was appointed to the position, to begin in mid-June.

Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers is one of ten similar programs conducted by Catholic Universities in the USA. It is a two-year program leading to a Masters Degree in Education, and prepares recent graduates to teach in Catholic schools, particularly those in low resourced rural and inner-city Catholic schools in the New England area. The students in the program take professional studies in education at the College, live in small Christian communities in the neighbourhoods where they're teaching, and follow a program of spiritual development.

Pat's knowledge of and enthusiasm for this type of work with Catholic teachers is well known.


News from all around Holy Spirit Province...

Wheelchairs without Olly Pickett?

BR OLLY PICKETT'S wheelchairs seem to be becoming so famous that they are now beginning to appear in the media without reference to Olly. This surely must be a sign of further success not to mention that more than 860 of them have now been manufactured and exported to distant corners of the world. Just think of the lives of so many victims of land mines and people with disabilities in the third world whose lives have been transformed by the efforts of Br Olly and all the supporters who have made this initiative so successful.

On June 18th the wheelchairs appeared in The West Australian as a prop for Sian White to promote the Young People Who Care Awards. These awards which recognise outstanding contributions in caring within WA, are organised by Silver Chain and Carers WA.

The photo of Olly
in The West
on 27 May

On 27th May Br Olly himself featured in The West Australian as a nominee of the WA Citizen of the Year Awards. The paper reported "[Br Olly's] passion for the project, his organisational skills and his unquestionable gift of the gab make it easy to understand why sponsors find it hard to say no."

In April/May Br Olly travelled to Chennai in India with Bob Sheridan and Br Rob Callen to set up a wheelchair manufacturing facility at M.I.T.H.R.A. This brings to a total of three the number of manufacturing facilities he has established overseas. The others are in Cambodia and Kenya.

"Beyond Dreams in Stone" Book Launch -- 9th July...




THE LAUNCH of Br Kevin Paull's book, "Beyond Dreams in Stone" happens in the Aquinas Dining Room on Tuesday, 9th July from 5.00 - 6.30 pm. (See the review in the last edition of ERFN. WA people see the enclosed flyer.) The book has been many years in the making. It tells the story of the Christian Brothers in Western Australia from 1894-2000.

Nuptials for Heidi...





SA Eddie Rice Camp Executive Officer Heidi sent us this pic to share the happy moment of her recent wedding to Nick Hancock.

Province Resource Team staff programs...

THIS YEAR some 70 New Staff (SA and WA) took part in the regular two-day Induction Programs in Adelaide and Perth. The PRT is consistently encouraged by the quality and commitment of new Staff joining the Edmund Rice Schools network.

The PRT also conducts two-day workshops in Adelaide and Perth for more experienced Staff and 'Longer-Serving Staff'. In Adelaide we are assisted by Kathy McEvoy from the Archbishop's Pastoral Team.

On 29th April a very successful one-day Retreat for the whole Rostrevor Staff was held at the Monastery. St Paul's College also had a one-day Staff Retreat this year on 24th Jan.

SA New Staff Induction Group May 2002

Back L-R: Pamela Holmes (CBC), Sonia Bailey (RC), Michael Urdanoff (CBC), Sophie Cull (CBC).
Middle: Justin Chung (RC), Danielle Abraham (St P), Maro Geidel (St P), Jenny Laughton (CBC), Amelia Crescitelli (St P), Marnie Greenrod (St P), Terry Casey (PRT), Hamish Redden (CBC).
Front: Rachel Hehir (FAME), Mark Ashmore (RC), Gerry Faulkner (PRT), Emily Wilsdon (StP), Carmel Wauchope (RC), Margaret Rowe (StP), Maria Doherty (St P), Paul Coughlin (RC).
Absent: Allison Klein (CBC), Barry Bryan (RC) Jane Sanderson (St P)

SA Longer Serving Staff Workshop March

Back L-R: David Beinke (CBC), Helen Pegg (RC), Kathy McEvoy (PRT), Heather Callery (CBC), Michael Swinkals (RC).

Front: Tim Donovan (StP), Jan Burns (St P), Damian Antenucci (St P), Lynette Douglas (St P).

Photo WA Longer Serving Staff Workshop May

L-R: Bill Cuthbert (CBC), Lissa Coleman (TC), Andrew Eaton (Aq), Gerry Faulkner (PRT), Paul Jacobs (Aq), Rose Lenzo (CBC).

Edmund Rice Family Link reaches out...

EVERY MONTH a group of Emund Rice Family people meet at Waterford (WA) to share a meal, review what is happening at the province level and nationally. They encourage communication between groups, assist in planning events such as Province Days and act as a contact point for dialogue about matters concerning the wider Edmund Rice Family.

One recent observation was that there are a number of groups around Perth who seldom have an opportunity to exchange ideas about what they do and what inspires them in their ministry. As one way of promoting a better network and dialogue between the groups, members of the ERF Link are asking for invitations to attend gatherings of the Edmund Rice groups, to let them know what is happening nationally and locally in other groups, to encourage and learn more about the many initiatives that are already happening and to promote contact between them.

There are Reflection groups at Leederville, Westcourt, Manning and Girrawheen; ministry groups such as the Edmund Rice Centre, Eddy's Carpentry Shop, Olly's Workshop. There may be others that are not widely known.

Should you wish to hear more about any of these groups, you may wish to contact someone at these locations. You may also wish to get in touch with Terry Casey who is convenor of the ERF Link group which welcomes new members any time. The phone number is 9365 2815.

Banners make for colourful display in Sydney street...

Br Michael Dredge has written something to reflect on about the picture of the Edmund Rice banners flying in George Street Sydney in February. We've lifted this from the national bicentenary website but you may wish to pay a visit there yourself to keep up with what is happening elsewhere around Australia. The national, international website addresses are given at the end of this article.

SEE George Street, in February 2002: the bustling, modern street outside Town Hall, colourfully decorated with a multitude of banners, all proclaiming the message "200 Years of Edmund Rice Education". Thousands of Sydneysiders, workers, shoppers, school students, touristsall would have asked themselves: "Who was this man?" "What was his education system?"

IMAGINE George Street, in 1843: a rough track, the main link for three small schools in Kent Street, Macquarie Street and Broadway, in a colonial outpost, conducted by three newly-arrived Irish Christian Brothers. Edmund Rice, the founder of the new order, was still alive in Ireland, an old man. He had lived to see his Brothers arrive on the other side of the world, bringing with them to the growing colony the cherished traditions of Catholic education from Ireland.

REMEMBER New Street, Waterford, Ireland in 1802: Edmund Rice, the prosperous Waterford businessman and philanthropist, widower and father, begins the educational enterprise in a converted stable, near the waterfront. Meanwhile, he was putting his considerable wealth into building a new school, with attendant bakery and tailor's shop, on the hill overlooking his port city.

The work begun in a stable in Ireland in 1802 - the untold number of good works, the thousands who have been educated, the outreach still continuing - is commemorated in 2002. May the great work continue!

International website: www.edmundrice2002.com
National Committee website: www.edmundrice.org
Province website: www.westcourt.wa.edu.au/

You can help this East Timor initiative...

THE EDMUND RICE CENTRE at the University of Notre Dame has been working with Leeuwin Care, a small and completely East Timorese run NGO, since April 2000. By the very close and direct contact they have allowed us to have with the people of East Timor, Leeuwin Care has become instrumental in our immersion program. In an attempt to further our relationship with our partners in East Timor and the communities that have hosted us, we are supporting and seeking assistance for the following project undertaken by Leeuwin Care.

The people of Eraulu and Church of Letefoho, a village in the mountains two hours south of Dili, have given four hectares of land to build a youth training centre ­ The Bakhita Youth Centre. This Centre will be established as a showcase for appropriate and substantial technologies and will include facilities for training East Timorese in agricultural and tourism-related activities. It will also provide recreational and sporting facilities, computer facilities, and accommodation for youth groups visiting from country areas of East Timor.

On the 18th of June, nearly a month after their independence, two University staff members and 15 students will be travelling to East Timor to teach English and assist in medical clinics in three different remote village communities for one month. One of the three groups travelling will stay in Eraulu, the future home of the Bakhita Centre. The architect has already drawn up the plans; the funding is just needed to begin construction.

If you are interested in contributing in any way please feel free to contact Clare O'Connor at the Edmund Rice Centre MWF at 9239 5540 or coconnor@nd.edu.au. Or send cheques made out to the "Christian Brothers Foundation Overseas Aid Fund" to: The Bakhita Centre Project, Edmund Rice Centre, University of Notre Dame, PO Box 1225, Fremantle WA 6959.

Dan Courtney update:

Br Dan Courtney was seriously injured in a motorcyle accident in East Timor. Br Bill Tynan reports that Dan is still in hospital but slowly recovering some movement in his limbs. "On Monday I was there with Denis and his family. Dan was holding a ball. I asked him to throw it to me, and he bent his arm back and did so ­ and I dropped it. This we repeated a few times, and my fielding did not improve. Later, a joke was shared about Br Rogers, who died recently. He had taught both Dan and Denis. Dan grinned widely when the story about 'Jolly' Rogers was told."

Tell the rest of the Edmund Rice Community what’s happening in your sector. Send your stories to Pat Kelly or Brian Coyne. If you have photos, logos or graphics all the better.

Richard Mavros reports on lots of things...

"What you do with your 'heart' affects the whole universe..."

ONCE AGAIN my work has seen me travel miles from home. This time I went to Rome. I was there with a group from our Province consisting of Br Tony Shanahan, Br Kevin Ryan, Br Gerry Faulkner and Donella Brown for the General Chapter. For the first time ever the Brothers asked that a small group representing the broader Edmund Rice Family attend for the first 11 days of their conference to better represent all who are engaged in works, ministry and community under the banner of Edmund Rice. To include non-Brothers in part of this event is a huge step ­ but one that for most, seems logical given the ever increasing collaboration between Brothers and others.

The Delegates and Facilitators in Rome
It became painfully obvious to me from Day One that I had names, faces, smiles and thoughts of my allies and co-workers swirling through my head as I sat in. I wished I was able to share all this with the people that I have worked alongside. I thought I'd heard the Edmund Rice story before ­ but we had a guest speaker come to the Chapter who painted the most tangible portrait of Edmund Rice I've heard to date. This was in the first few days, a great place to start from ­ the room was a buzz with questions and reflections on what it really meant to be connected to that story, of that man in those times ­ somehow projected into these times.

As many of you would know, Perth hosted twelve ERC groups from around the world in February for the first International ERC Conference. Did anybody else know about ERC Paraguay? ERC has been running for 6 years in Paraguay. A great Br Eddie from Ireland now lives and works there with the group of volunteers that runs it. On the last day of the Chapter I had the opportunity to present to the group an International ERC Banner made for the event in Perth. I spread it out for all to see and talked briefly about it's origins.

While obviously the Chapter covered countless topics, broader than ERC, I must say that in its purest form ERC does stack up well against the overall call of the Edmund Rice Network. There are some big questions that we have to ask about the goings on behind what we do but as a concept I am more convinced than ever that ERC offers an extraordinary gift to any community.

In the last few days there was much talk around the Edmund Rice Family ­ or as is becoming increasingly favoured, the Edmund Rice Network. Australia's own Peter Nicholson took the floor. When he spoke people were really listening and understanding. Rather than get caught up in words, the real sense was clear on the ground around the world people are taking up the challenge.

There definitely emerged some themes for the week. Clearly the sense that to really work with and for someone you need to be in relationship with that person and that such relationships are transforming of both parties. It also became increasingly clear that in order to be able to serve other more vulnerable members of your community you had to be in 'right relationship' with yourself.

After the Chapter I had the opportunity to attend a weekend in Dublin, in April. At one stage this event attracted a crowd of 2,000. It was titled "Share the Vision". It was a combination of conference and celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of Edmund opening his first school. It is worth noting that the title is both an 'invitation' ­ to gather and 'share the vision'. But it is also a naming of a challenge and a task, to go out and 'share the vision'.

One of the particular things about the Edmund Rice Network is its tradition that the 'search for Self and God' is wrapped up in issues of social justice and work with the marginalised in our society. Unfortunately for most people their lives lack experiences that prompt and challenge them to actually consider making small changes to the way they live. So the question remains, who or what is going to prompt and assist people to embark on this journey?

On the last night the 11 of us sat in a circle of 12 chairs in front of the whole group and said a few words each. The empty chair was there because one of the delegates could not attend at the last moment. The empty chair will always stick with me as a vivid reminder that the 11 in the circle represented the thousands spread throughout the world who could so easily have been in that chair.

At times these moments were not just warm fuzzy feelings but a real challenge to the group. Most importantly the real challenge was to each of us in the room as individuals to really look inside our heart, our minds and the way we live and ask some pretty tough questions.

Such occasions are uncomfortable, even emotional ... they lie at the core of what we do, for only when I make sure that my words are true to me ... and then that I am true to my words, can I ever really contribute. What you do with your "heart" affects the whole universe!
ONCE AGAIN my work has seen me travel miles from home. This time I went to Rome. I was there with a group from our Province consisting of Br Tony Shanahan, Br Kevin Ryan, Br Gerry Faulkner and Donella Brown for the General Chapter.

For the first time ever the Brothers asked that a small group representing the broader Edmund Rice Family attend for the first 11 days of their conference to better represent all who are engaged in works, ministry and community under the banner of Edmund Rice.

To include non-Brothers in part of this event is a huge step ­ but one that for most, seems logical given the ever increasing collaboration between Brothers and others.

It became painfully obvious to me from Day One that I had names, faces, smiles and thoughts of my allies and co-workers swirling through my head as I sat in. I wished I was able to share all this with the people that I have worked alongside.

I thought I'd heard the Edmund Rice story before ­ but we had a guest speaker come to the Chapter who painted the most tangible portrait of Edmund Rice I've heard to date. This was in the first few days, a great place to start from ­ the room was a buzz with questions and reflections on what it really meant to be connected to that story, of that man in those times ­ somehow projected into these times.

As many of you would know, Perth hosted twelve ERC groups from around the world in February for the first International ERC Conference. Did anybody else know about ERC Paraguay? ERC has been running for 6 years in Paraguay. A great Br Eddie from Ireland now lives and works there with the group of volunteers that runs it. On the last day of the Chapter I had the opportunity to present to the group an International ERC Banner made for the event in Perth. I spread it out for all to see and talked briefly about it's origins.

While obviously the Chapter covered countless topics, broader than ERC, I must say that in its purest form ERC does stack up well against the overall call of the Edmund Rice Network. There are some big questions that we have to ask about the goings on behind what we do but as a concept I am more convinced than ever that ERC offers an extraordinary gift to any community.

"Mav"
In the last few days there was much talk around the Edmund Rice Family ­ or as is becoming increasingly favoured, the Edmund Rice Network. Australia's own Peter Nicholson took the floor. When he spoke people were really listening and understanding. Rather than get caught up in words, the real sense was clear on the ground around the world people are taking up the challenge.

There definitely emerged some themes for the week. Clearly the sense that to really work with and for someone you need to be in relationship with that person and that such relationships are transforming of both parties. It also became increasingly clear that in order to be able to serve other more vulnerable members of your community you had to be in 'right relationship' with yourself.

After the Chapter I had the opportunity to attend a weekend in Dublin, in April. At one stage this event attracted a crowd of 2,000. It was titled "Share the Vision". It was a combination of conference and celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of Edmund opening his first school. It is worth noting that the title is both an 'invitation' ­ to gather and 'share the vision'. But it is also a naming of a challenge and a task, to go out and 'share the vision'.

One of the particular things about the Edmund Rice Network is its tradition that the 'search for Self and God' is wrapped up in issues of social justice and work with the marginalised in our society. Unfortunately for most people their lives lack experiences that prompt and challenge them to actually consider making small changes to the way they live. So the question remains, who or what is going to prompt and assist people to embark on this journey?

On the last night the 11 of us sat in a circle of 12 chairs in front of the whole group and said a few words each. The empty chair was there because one of the delegates could not attend at the last moment. The empty chair will always stick with me as a vivid reminder that the 11 in the circle represented the thousands spread throughout the world who could so easily have been in that chair.

At times these moments were not just warm fuzzy feelings but a real challenge to the group. Most importantly the real challenge was to each of us in the room as individuals to really look inside our heart, our minds and the way we live and ask some pretty tough questions.

Such occasions are uncomfortable, even emotional ... they lie at the core of what we do, for only when I make sure that my words are true to me ... and then that I am true to my words, can I ever really contribute. What you do with your "heart" affects the whole universe!


News from the Edmund Rice Centre, Mirrabooka...

Br Steve Bowman has provided us with this update

Refugee Adult Classes...

OUR CLASSES continue to be popular and well attended despite the fact that those adults on the "Temporary Protection Visa" now have access to the English Programmes provided by the State Government. A new initiate this year has been the provision of a "Women's Coffee Morning" which is held at the Centre each Saturday morning from 10am - 12noon. This activity offers an opportunity for women from diverse backgrounds to meet and share in an informal atmosphere. New members are welcome.

Refugee Youth Leisure Program...

Coordinator Br. Jim van der Zalm

THE YOUTH LEISURE PROGRAMME operates on Wednesdays from 4pm ­ 6pm and on Saturday mornings from 9.15am ­ 12.30pm. The program caters for youth from 10-16 years of age from Refugee and Aboriginal backgrounds.

On Saturday, June 1st, we had 31 participants and 7 volunteers for our train trip to Fremantle. It was a record number for a Saturday morning activity. On Saturday, June15, we are going to Eddy's Carpentry Shop to learn some carpentry skills.

The highlight of the year will be the Youth Leisure Programme camp. It will run from Friday evening, June 28th to Sunday, June 30th at Tuppin House at Moore River. Everyone is looking forward to it. Anyone wishing to help out as a volunteer or make a donation towards the cost of the camp could contact the Centre on Ph 9440 0625.

Donated Household Goods

LAST YEAR WE ASSISTED 147 REFUGEE FAMILIES with second hand household goods. So far this year about 49 families have been assisted. We are always keen to accept donations of any household goods (big and small) with the exception of clothing. Please phone the Centre on 9440 0625 if you can assist.
 

Tell the rest of the Edmund Rice Community what’s happening in your sector. Send your stories to Pat Kelly or Brian Coyne. If you have photos, logos or graphics all the better.

Trinity makes big commitment to Campus Ministry

Rob Callen cfc
TRINITY COLLEGE Campus Minister, Br Rob Callen reports considerable progress this year in the establishment of an integrated "Head­Heart­Hand" approach to spirituality in the community. Marya Stewart has been appointed as Director of Christian Service and she and Rob have new offices in a converted classroom at the very heart of the College. Marya is embarking on a plan to introduce Christian Service programs at each year level across the College. At Year 8 level, which she is working on at the moment, the students are expected to take on service in the home. This expands each year with students involved in activities in the wider community. The College has been running a program at Year 11 level for some considerable time but Marya explained to ERFN that over the next few years it will become an integral part of the education of each student at secondary level.

The workbook each student has to complete gives the following overview of what is expected through Christian Service:

"The service you provide must be done freely out of your own choice without expectation of reward, money or gifts. It should be a service that you are capable of doing by yourself in a safe environment. It should address the needs of people in your family, local neighbourhood, parish or school. Ideally, it should contribute to building better relationships between people. It will help you discover gifts and talents in yourself and give you insight into qualities which others possess. It will challenge you to go beyond what is already expected of you and to make an extra effort to care for someone."

Br Rob's exciting initiative this year is the introduction of a four-day Kairos Retreat for Year 12 students. To get the program underway the College is bringing a team of young students who have just completed Year 12 at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose, California -- a Jesuit High School -- to conduct our first retreat. Two teachers and six students will arrive from California in mid July.
Trinity students at the tomb of Mother Teresa in Calcutta
While there are similar retreats operating in other Christian Brothers schools this will be the first Kairos Retreat held in the Holy Spirit Province. The retreat is largely presented by previous students who have done the retreat and hence the need to bring students from America to begin the program here. The feedback coming from students who have been involved in the Kairos and similar retreats is that these are among the most meaningful spiritual experiences the students have during their secondary education.

Br Rob also reports that the Pilgrimage to India program is continuing every second year and is more popular than ever. In the alternate year the College is establishing a pilgrimage to the Kimberley where students will have a cultural exchange with the Aboriginal people.


To add your name to the email list:

This year the hard-copy edition of Edmund Rice News will be published three times but the email edition will be published each month. The hard copy edition is for archival purposes and for community reception areas and for those who do not have access to email. It will contain a summary of what is published in the email edition. Costs are largely what dictate this editorial change. It costs us literally cents in distribution costs to send out an email edition to as many people as we like. Each hard copy edition costs in the order of $1 per copy for distribution.

We do need to build up our email database. To make sure you receive the email edition in colour send your email address to briancoyne@viastuas.net.au. Let us know if you would like to receive the full email in html format – i.e. with all photographs and graphics – or a text message directing you to a website where it can be viewed through a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Bicentenary moves towards its climax

The Bicentenary celebrations are steadily moving towards the climax which will be held in Perth on 12 October (please note date change) and in Adelaide on 19 October.

The other important celebration dates remaining this year are:

July 10-17

Holy Spirit Province Chapter

July 22

All Schools Staff Conferences in Adelaide and Perth

Aug 23-26

AHERSA Conference ­ Aquinas


DADIRRI 2002-3 is a personal formation program offered jointly by the four Australian provinces. It offers an opportunity to deepen and explore how Edmund's vision for a more just, peaceful and loving world can continue to be realised in and through you.

Applications for the new program close on 19th July 2002. The successful applicants will join a group of 25-30 people in the 15-month personal journey. The following are the general criteria that you need to meet to be selected. You should be:

  • a minimum of 25 years old
  • willing to work for peace and justice for all god's creation
  • open to deepening your spirituality through exploring your own story in relation to the stories of Jesus and Edmund
  • invited to respond practically to the call of the gospel by reaching out to those on the margins of society
  • interested in examining the universe and Australian story from new perspectives, and be keen to reflect alone and within a community context
  • willing to place yourself in unfamiliar situations - to stretch your thoughts and actions beyond comfortable boundaries
  • be familiar with and supportive of the spirit of the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Family but you do not necessarily have to be Catholic.
  • willing to engage in a wide-ranging program, including reading, the study and praying of scripture and theological reflection
  • willing to commit to being present for all components of the fifteen month program, including three 5-day residential workshops (held in school holiday periods), and in a position to contribute $700-$1000 toward the cost of the program.

Members of the Edmund Rice Family in the Holy Spirit Province who are interested in participating should contact Br Gerry Faulkner in WA on 9365 2815 or Br Des O'Grady in SA on 8384 5871.


The painting of Edmund Rice
with his daughter, Mary,
is from
an exhibition on the
national Edmund Rice web site
by Tasmanian painter, Br Hugh
Sharpe of Hobart
[Pastel
on Canvas (27x66) cms. 1996.
Photography.
Hugh Sharpe, cfc]
http://www.edmundrice.org/
content/gallery_e.html
.

EDMUND RICE REFLECTION...

"Be constant in prayer and whatever will happen will turn to our good. Place all your cares in the hands of Divine Providence."

This reflection is taken from Chapter 8 on Prayer in God is in the Ordinary by Teresa Pirola.


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