News and Events



Sisters gather to focus on future life and mission

Around 140 Sisters of the Good Samaritan from various parts of Australia, Kiribati, the Philippines, Japan and Timor Leste will converge on Sydney from April 22-24 for a special assembly to focus on their future life and mission as a religious congregation.


A pilgrimage: every step along the way has meaning

For 12 days in April, 20 people from Good Samaritan Education journeyed together on a pilgrimage to Italy and England which immersed them in the history and spirituality of the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition.


Celebrating generations of women inspiring women

Former Lourdes Hill College pupil, Faye McLeod aka ‘Candy Devine’, inspired an audience of more than 300 women and girls (and a few men) during an International Women’s Day breakfast in Brisbane recently.


“National lament” for asylum seekers during Lent

Catholic Religious Australian is inviting all people of goodwill to participate in a “National Lament” for people seeking asylum in Australia.


Hughenden farewells Good Sams

After 113 years, the Good Samaritan Sisters’ community life and ministry in the north Queensland community of Hughenden has come to a close.


Making a difference for other young women

The epithet ‘local hero’ doesn’t sit comfortably with 22 year-old Jessica Barlow. But that’s how this graduate of Mater Christi College, Belgrave, has been described by her local community.


Award recognises work to end human trafficking

Among the 683 Australians recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours list is Good Samaritan Sister, Pauline Coll, of Brisbane.


Asylum seekers have “great impact” on sister

The outback mining town of Leonora in WA has been a temporary home for asylum seekers in recent years. According to Good Samaritan Sister, Annette Dever, this whole experience has been positive and enriching for herself and the broader community.


Pilgrimage part of a much bigger journey

For Good Samaritan Sister, Mary Scanlon, a recent pilgrimage to Europe following in the footsteps of three “modern-day saints”, gave her time and space to reflect on an unexpected and dramatic change in her own life.


Leader of Good Sams wins 2013 Human Rights Medal

Sister Clare Condon, Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, has won the 2013 Human Rights Medal.

Musings of a Leader


What are the pressing social needs of our time?

Who has a claim on our courage, compassion and commitment today in Australia, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


Inspiring change – for women and children

What sort of change do we long for here in our country and more broadly in our world, particularly for women and children, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


It’s time to recognise

Recognition is a profound and powerful concept. Every human being needs to be known, to be recognised, to be acknowledged as belonging, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


The sacredness of every child

This Christmas, instead of spending on trivia that we don’t really need, why not spend a little out of our excess to support one of the many agencies who support children, suggests Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


A rich and fulfilling life

Religious life is alive and well in the women and men who serve others with listening ears and a generosity of spirit, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


Peacemaking starts with us

Our world is in a sad and destructive state. Nation upon nation is in fear of one another. Can true peace ever reign, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


Seeking to bring beauty into being

As individuals we need to constantly offer an alternative to ugliness, darkness, hatred and violence, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


Child protection a priority

I am utterly committed to the ongoing development of best practice in the protection of children and the prevention of abuse of children at every level within all Church structures, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


The wisdom of St Benedict for leaders

Is the achievement of leadership in any sphere about warfare and a battle? Is this the only way people can become leaders in our society, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.


Ugly populism has won the day

People who seek asylum are not ‘illegals’. They are human beings, just like you and me, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.



Celebrating the Paschal Triduum: ‘rehearsal’ for paschal living

Dare we let this year’s Paschal Triduum take us out of our comfort zone and send us on a risky journey to the peripheries, as Pope Francis would have it, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Margaret Smith.


I believe in one wholely Catholic Church

In 2014 it’s not easy being Catholic. Perhaps the way forward is not to disavow our catholicity, but to truly claim it, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner.


What’s spiritual direction all about?

What is spiritual direction and how does it help people? Debra Vermeer explores what it means with a few people who’ve experienced it first-hand.


My year of leaning

To be human is to lean on, to allow ourselves to be leaned upon, and to lean towards the other, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner.


You’re not alone, I’m with you

In my life, angels have taught me the importance of just being with people, without expectation or judgement, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Sarah Puls.


What Thérèse and Joe have taught me about love

You can’t love a generic humanity while being indifferent to the family or community member who rubs up against you, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner.


It’s like Church-sans-frontier

Volunteering quietly opens the door to another house, both in my neighbourhood and in my heart, that I might otherwise pass by, writes Alice Priest.


Lessons in leadership

Rudd or Abbott? Post September 7 we will continue to discuss leaders and leadership because we are a species fascinated by leadership, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner.


Universal and enduring power of story

Our need to engage with story is universal and enduring, and in essence, it is the medium that changes, rather than the message, writes Monica Dutton.


Refugees: the people behind the label

The issue of refugees is a divisive one in Australia. Debate is fierce. Opinions are loud. Policies change quickly. Pretty soon you can feel adrift in a sea of soundbites. And what of the refugees themselves?



Religion, politics and the ‘consistent ethic of life’

We should question supposed Christian organisations concerned only with bioethical or so-called moral issues related to life, death and sexuality, without reference to equality, inclusion and a decent and meaningful existence throughout life, writes Moira Byrne Garton.


A better way on asylum seekers

Is there a way through the present impasse on asylum seekers that is both humane and practicable, asks John Menadue AO.


Gathering from the grassroots

The consultation process for the 2014 Synod on the Family deserves our close attention because it may become a model for future synods, says Garry Everett.


Surprised by joy

Retired Bishop Pat Power says Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium”, is the most enriching and life-giving papal document he’s read since Vatican II.


Remembering our family saints

In November the Church reminds us that each person’s life story doesn’t just begin at conception and end at death, but starts before they are born and goes on into eternity, writes Judith Lynch.


A light in the Vatican window

Pope Francis alone can’t succeed; he wants the whole Church, all of us, to change in the ways he exhibits, says Garry Everett.


Dying of wounds from a war she never saw

The woman in the pink dress gazed with loving concentration at her baby, urging her, willing her to live, to take another breath, writes Donna Mulhearn.


The value of atheists

Atheism shows us the log in our own eye, writes Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser.


On perception, tastes and priorities

We all judge those around us, but don’t judge until you know the whole truth, writes Taylor Mills.


Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate

I’m so grateful that there are places out there for women like me, who find themselves in a situation you’d never have believed you’d be in, writes Tamara.



How a kindergarten teacher inspired a student

Helen Chiha has never forgotten her kindergarten teacher, Good Samaritan Sister Colleen Leonard. Not only that, she says Colleen inspired her to become an early primary school teacher herself and to branch out into children’s book writing.


Living life to the full

Former Santa Maria College student, Joan Corfee, finds herself standing at the interface of Church and world – looking in at the Church through the eyes of the marginalised and out to the world with a Catholic spirit.


Seeing the need and not passing by

At 94 and 86 years old respectively, Good Samaritan Sisters, Mary Constable and Marie McMahon say they begin each day not knowing who will arrive at their front door or what the day will bring, and that’s exactly how they like it.


Politics a way of giving action to faith

Newly elected Senator for NSW, Deborah O’Neill, says politics is a way of giving action to her faith, and of making a difference to her local community and to the lives of individuals who lack a voice.


Adventure continues at 100

Good Samaritan Sister, Dolores Carroll, believes the key to a long, fulfilling life is study, travel and learning a new language.


How a chance meeting opened up a new ministry

While the Good Samaritan Sisters in Pakenham, Victoria say they’re helping their African friends with many aspects of life in Australia, they’re also learning a great deal from them.


Fran’s artistic and spiritual legacy

It was only when Good Samaritan Sister, Fran Nolan died that others discovered a treasure trove of her private mandala work, writes Debra Vermeer.


City dweller makes home in QLD outback

For Good Samaritan Sister Carmel Pattinson, a self-confessed extrovert who’s lived in the city for 40 years, coming to terms with the isolation of a ministry in western Queensland can be challenging, but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.


The importance of believing in others

“I’ve always worked with the marginalised,” says Cate Sydes. “I’ve always been drawn to kids and young people in need.”


Finding beauty and grace in prisons

Good Samaritan Sister, Mary O’Shannassy has worked in prison chaplaincy for 19 years. “The men tell me I’ve got life without parole,” she laughs.

Faith in the Ordinary


My father picked wildflowers in Palestine

As we commemorate Easter and ANZAC Day, Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey, shares a poem about one of her father’s ‘lighter’ war stories.


My spiky visitor

We all have some echidna-like characteristics. When we sense that our vulnerability is in danger, something akin to fear rushes to the surface and we respond by raising a spike or two, writes Judith Lynch.


What does it mean to be “hugged by God”?

“Last year I understood in a deep way what it is to be ‘hugged’ by God. I was diagnosed with serious illness. It happened very suddenly and I had no experience to help me cope,” writes Margaret Walsh.


An Emmanuel moment

God is breaking through, inviting you and me to open our ears, eyes and hearts to bring about God’s reign, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey.


A tribute to Seamus Heaney

Good Samaritan Sister, Joan Sexton reflects on the legacy of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, who died in August this year.


When the ordinary becomes extraordinary

We might have a wonderfully rich religious culture, but by and large, we have lost the key to it, writes Judith Lynch.


How do we pass on our faith to young people?

How can we pass on our Catholic spiritual heritage to young people and nurture their faith and spiritual life, asks Virginia Ryan.


The spirituality of welcoming

Perhaps we human beings trip ourselves up when we try to get ahead of God and judge who are worthy of welcome or not, writes Pam Grey SGS.


On learning to give and receive

The experience of being taken out of our comfort zones enables us to know what it is like to be in the shoes of another, writes Edwina Butler.


Finding God in the depths of silence

Real interior silence, not just the absence of noise, is a foundational spiritual discipline. So why are we so resistant to enter into it, asks Richard Rohr OFM.

Being Just Neighbours


Why we felt compelled to act

If you thought your government was perpetrating evil, how far would you be willing to go to stop them, ask Donna Mulhearn and Justin Whelan.


A family experience of the Good Samaritan

The story of the compassion and support received by my family from the Good Samaritan Sisters during a very difficult time has been passed down through the generations, and has never been forgotten, writes Monica Dutton.


Our role disentangling society from fossil fuels

What is the proper role of people of faith in Australia in fighting climate change, asks Thea Ormerod.


One generation of educated girls is a revolution

I realised anew that day the power of education, not just in the life of one individual girl, but to break entire cycles of poverty, writes Melinda Tankard Reist.


It’s 40 years since White Australia ended

The last vestiges of the White Australia policy were removed on September 17, 1973. Have we as a nation evolved much since then, asks Moira Byrne Garton.


Holding on to hope

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but I’m tired and I’m frustrated, and I’m struggling to find hope for a way forward regarding Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Sarah Puls.


War and peace within and beyond

Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner, reflects on a book that “expounds a profound teaching on peace-making that is as applicable to interpersonal tussles as it is to any global hostility”.


Restoring hope, dignity and independence

Every Australian family is exposed to the possibility of their life being touched by disability, writes Tony Fitzgerald.


Changing our national conversation

Have you found the meanness, fearfulness and negativity of our national political discourse soul-destroying, asks Sandie Cornish.


Difference: No barrier to harmony

Outside a lepers’ colony in Navi Mumbai, India, is a small chapel. The diversity that exists amongst its visitors is what makes the chapel such a special place, writes Ashleigh Green.

What's on


Find out what's happening in the Good Samaritan community and beyond. Keep track of events in our Good Samaritan and Church calendars, as well as activities in the broader community of relevance to our faith life.