Edition 14: July 2004 Holy Spirit Province, Australia

Greetings all and welcome to this third edition
of Edmund Rice News for 2004.

ERFN09 June 2003
ERFN10 Sep 2003
ERFN11 Dec 2003
ERNN12 Feb 2004
ERNN13 May 2004

The INDEX TO THIS ISSUE follows the overview

TMiracleImage_sm.jpgHE News carried in the earlier part of this edition last week has certainly generated a lot of generally very positive press for the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Network around Australia. (You'll find links to some of that further down this page.)

The Christian Brothers might be looking to new challenges at the "front line" of the places of material and educational poverty in the world. It could be argued though that our own backyard is the new "front line" of emotional and spiritual poverty.

The Brothers are not actually turning their backs on those challenges as some newspaper reports implied. They are seeking a collaborative partnership with those of us who have been the beneficiaries of the largesse of Edmund Rice's vision in countries like Australia over the last century and a half to continue that work.

As lay men and women who are attracted to the vision and charism of Edmund Rice we have new challenges just as the Christian Brothers do. It is to help find and light the pathways that will make the Way offered by Christ accessible and intelligible to those struggling in our own affluent, educationally and socially privileged communities under the burdens, distractions and often depression of their affluence, education, social privilege and technologies.

The harsh reality we face in countries like Australia today is that by the time they get to adulthood 85% of people who were baptised as Catholics cannot see the relevance of Christ and religion in their lives as it has been presented by the institutional Church in the recent past. While many of the causes of the present crisis in religion (but not necessarily a crisis in spirituality) facing our nation are beyond our control, there are many aspects that are within our control. Our challenge within the Edmund Rice Network is to take control of the factors that are within our control. The very emotional and spiritual well-being of the upcoming generations who will lead this nation may well depend on our success in finding the fresh ways that fulfil our responsibility to "bring the Good News to ALL nations (people)".

Now for the continuing challenge we face...

This follow-up part of edition 14 of Edmund Rice Network News provides further news of what is happening in the life of the Brothers themselves. As importantly though, we hope it might also inspire thought and reflection on how we might address the continuing challenges we face in our little patch of responsibility in this great big and exciting, if challenging world we live in.

Quick Guide to this issue:

Br Philip Pinto's letter: This is the letter from the Congregational Leaders to Province and Region Leaders in Oceania, which ended up attracting so much interest in the wider secular media. [full story]
Some of the Press Coverage: For an overview of some of the press coverage this story generated click HERE.

Br Kevin Ryan's letter: This letter from the Province Leader outlines the brief that has been provided to Br's Rod Ellyard and Steve McGlaughlin for their trip to the Philippines. [full story ]

Also making news: Even before Br Philip Pinto's letter began attracting media interest, our own Br Gerry Faulkner had attracted much positive interest from an interview published in the new e-journal, Online Catholics. In this edition of Edmund Rice Network News we publish the full unedited interview that Br Gerry gave. Check it out HERE.

Letter from Tanzania: Br Tony Shanahan has sent us another fascinating report on his experiences in Arusha, Tanzania as he grapples with a different culture, the enormous poverty of those whom the Brothers are seeking to serve in East Africa and the challenges of not knowing the local language. [full story ]

An insight into the mind of young people in Australia today: Next month we're going on a hunt for the authentic voices of what young people in Edmund Rice schools are searching for spiritually today. As a forerunner to that Brian Clery sent us this essay from a Year 12 student at Aquinas last year. [full story ]

Send Terry an email
right now
to say you'll be there!


What your efforts are achieving in East Timor: Rod Ellyard reports on his recent trip to the Bakhita Centre in East Timor and the support being provided by the East Timor Leeuwin Care Group. More help is required and after you read this story tou will be keen to help in some way. [full story ]

Faith – an antidote to fear: Dr Andrew Kania has written an interesting reflection in the Aquinas newsletter on the relationship between fear and faith. It is worth checking out. [full story ]

Letter from PNG: Br Graeme Leach was seriously hurt recently in Papua New Guinea when robbers broke into the Brothers' Community. He has written a letter to thank all those who contacted him sending their best wishes. He explains some of the background to the incident.. [full story ]

News from Around the Province:

Changing faces at Westcourt!

Quiet achievers from Christian Brothers' schools
(Roger Francey from Rostrevor)

Searching the heavens – astronomy at Trinity

Improving the education of boys (CBC Adelaide)

Indigenous Ministry displays

Spreading their wings at Tardun

Latest from the CLT (Rome) website: The Congregational Leadership Team website is constantly updated and provides a wealth of information on what is happening internationally. The front page carries a convenient summary of what has been updated on the site. One of the most recent updates is a background report on International Trafficking in People and a letter the Congregational Leader sent to the World Health Organisation encouraging the availability of Generic Medicines in the Third World. The site can be found at: http://edmundclt.org

Daily Prayer on the EdmundRice.Org (national) website: Are you aware that the national website (http://www.edmundrice.org) has a daily prayer and reflection page. It's a page you can bookmark and use it to either start your day or visit at some set time for a few minutes of quiet reflection. You can find it at: http://www.edmundrice.org/content/prayers/prayer_a.html

A new/old international spirituality program – Tüir: This is a replacement for the Trasna program. As we were going to press we received advance news that the new international programme based on the charisms of Edmund Rice and Nano Nagle will take place in Drumalis Retreat Centre, in Larne, Northern Ireland, from July 3rd to July 25th inc. The programme is called Tüir, the Irish word for 'search' or 'pursuit.' The brochures and application forms will be available later.

Don't forget the Edmund Rice Camps Annual Charity Ball in Adelaide at the end of this month.

Next Month's Edition: We would like to feature the views of young people from Edmund Rice Schools and working in Edmund Rice Ministries on the "hot issues" of our time. We will be writing to contacts in each school and ministry over the next week seeking your assistance in identifying articulate young people who might enable us to gain some insight into the broader aspirations of young people today.

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