Edition 18: February 2005 Holy Spirit Province, Australia

Greetings all and welcome to this first edition
of Edmund Rice Network News for 2005.

ERFN09 June 2003
ERFN10 Sep 2003
ERFN11 Dec 2003
ERNN12 Feb 2004
ERNN13 May 2004
ERNN14 Jul 2004
ERNN15 Sep 2004
ERNN16 Oct 2004
ERNN17 Dec 2004

The INDEX TO THIS ISSUE follows the overview

ACK IN THE DAYS LONG AGO when Christian Brothers wore long black cassocks around the school yard, our nickname for them was "the beaks". The origin of the descriptor probably has something to with the fact that they looked like penguins on parade, particularly when they were strutting back and forth inline across the Quadrangle chanting the Rosary together. Aaaah — you can almost smell the nostalgia in the air. The expression was used by the lookouts when boarders were inhaling nicotine and doing other frowned upon things and the whisper would go out: "psst ... watch out ... the beaks are coming!"

This newsletter brings some good news because it looks as though they are "on the move" again. It's not with any sense of the dread we had as boarders all those years ago though. There's optimism in the ranks with a rise in vocations around the world and confidence in new vocations and spiritual discernment initiatives in the Western world, including here in Holy Spirit Province. Walk into any of the Edmund Rice schools around the Province today and one picks up a feeling of confidence amongst the staff and students. At a recent sundowner held at Trinity College where the Brothers thanked leaders in the more than two dozen Edmund Rice Ministries operating in the province, there was an air of optimism in the air. We've been in some "sea-change" territory for a few years possibly even from as far back as the 1996 Chapter of the Congregation. Province Leader, Br Kevin Ryan, speaks about some of these changes in his address of thanks to the Ministries, the full text of which is published in this newsletter. We've taken the theme for this edition, Open for Business, from one of the lines in his address.

As this newsletter demonstrates perhaps more clearly than any other single newsletter I've had to put together in the years I've been observing the goings on in the Edmund Rice Network and trying to make sense of it journalistically, there is a new "spirit" in the air. There's a sense of confidence as old responsibilities are surrendered, as in the hand-over of management responsibility for schools. But there is a telling sense of optimism and confidence in the new initiatives that are opening up — like the enthusiasm I've detected in conversations I've recently had with two brothers who are heading off overseas. Laurie Negus has recently departed for Africa and Andrew McBeath is heading off to Papua New Guinea. They're both heading back into the front line work of what Christian Brothers have always done.

But I also find infectious enthusiasm listening to Bernard White and the new endeavour he and John Webb are involved in with vocations and spiritual discernment. I found a sense of enthusiasm also in the people I interviewed down at the newly independent Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice in Fremantle. There is a sense of achievement and quiet pride in the work of Ministries like Fame, Peter Thrupp's workshop for disadvantaged kids, in what's been going on for Refugees through the Edmund Rice Centre at Mirrabooka, not to mention the enormous sense of achievement that Ollie Pickett and his volunteers bring to all of us with any association whatsoever with the works of Edmund Rice in this corner of the world. And there is even a sense of awe that despite all the Brothers have been through in the last few decades, this work today extends literally from Africa to Papua, and from the remote Kimberley to Adelaide and Perth. There are few corporate enterprises that can boast of a spread and influence like that — and Holy Spirit Province is but a microcosm of the whole.

Brian Coyne

Quick Guide to this issue:

From the Province Leader — a big "thank you" from the Brothers: On Friday evening, 11th February, the Brothers hosted a Sundowner at Trinity College to thank representatives of all the Edmund Rice Ministries in Western Australia. A similar function will be held in Adelaide in a few weeks time. Follow the link to the text of Province Leader, Br Kevin Ryan's address of thanks. [full story]

Editorial — Some things to mull over: The challenges we face as followers of Edmund Rice in a country like Australia today... [full story]

Open for Business I — Discernment and Vocations: Vocations are on the rise internationally. Here in Holy Spirit Province read all about the exciting initiative in the whole area of spiritual discernment for both vocations and voluntary commitments that Bernard White is coordinating in Perth and John Webb is coordinating in Adelaide. [full story]

Open for Business II — Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice: The newly independent Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice in Fremantle is to be officially re-launched in April. Things are already happening though and the first big event planned is a Social Justice Congress which will be held on 7-8 April. [full story]

Trinity & Rostrevor's great gift to Kubendran: The Trinity and Rostrevor College Communities have combined their resoruces to raise enough money to bring a young man from Chennai to Adelaide’s Australian Craniofacial Unit to have follow up surgery for his severely disfigured face. [full story]

Living the Edmund Rice vision: The Adelaide Advertiser recently carried a story in its "local heroes special series" focusing on the volunteer and charity work work of Justin Chung, one of the teachers at Rostrevor. It is always difficult getting the balance right as to how much we need to "do our works of charity in secret" and how much we expose as genuine witness to the world that inspire others. This article seems to do it well... [full story]

Reflection – What do trees have to do with peace? A heartfelt plea from the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Wangari Maathai... [full story]

International News and Inter-Province News:

Subscribe to a weekly bulletin to keep up with
the latest Edmund Rice news!

Don't forget to ask for Edmund's intercession

India Brothers suggest Tsunami lessons in all schools

Truth matters for all but especially those in leadership positions!

News from Around the Province:

Meet Kylie Agale — the new Province Indigenous Consultant

CBC Adelaide Principal, Pat Cronin, has been on sabbatical

Student Leaders' Conference — CBC Adelaide School Captain reports

A racehorse challenge for the students at Tardun

Rostrevor Open Day — Sunday, 6th March

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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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