News and Events
Twenty-eight members of the Benedictine family in Australia came together in Sydney recently for a three-week study program on the Rule of St Benedict, conducted by German monastic scholar, Sister Manuela Scheiba OSB.
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) members converged on Parliament House in Canberra recently for an advocacy operation that saw them meet 79 members of parliament, senators and advisors to raise key issues on behalf of trafficked women.
Benedictine nuns and sisters from every continent have been meeting in Rome over the past week for the seventh Symposium of the International Communion of Benedictine Women. Among them were three Australians.
The Lourdes Hill College community in Brisbane celebrated the blessing and official opening of new facilities last Friday September 12, including a state-of-the-art middle school building, chapel and sports centre.
Did you miss Sister Clare Condon’s recent “RightsTalk” address at the Australian Human Rights Commission? A podcast and transcript are now available online.
Dame Meg Taylor, a former student of St Scholastica’s College, Glebe, in Sydney, has been appointed Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum and is the first woman to be selected for this leadership role.
Due to the collaborative efforts of many, the Good Samaritan Centre at Abaokoro, in Kiribati, will soon be sourcing its power from a new solar energy system. This is an exciting development, but it hasn’t been without its challenges.
Sanctioned violence: what does it do to our society and relationships? That’s the title of an address Sister Clare Condon, Congregational Leader of the Good Samaritan Sisters, will deliver in Sydney next month.
They may be small in number, but the community of Good Samaritan Sisters on Negros Island, the Philippines, continues to make a difference to the lives of many. Recently, this six-member group of women opened a new outreach centre in Bacolod.
Sister Geraldine Kearney is a passionate campaigner for the rights of Pacific nations vulnerable to climate change. But a recent visit to Canberra to lobby Australian politicians has made her “more determined to be part of their ongoing struggle”.
Musings of a Leader
Walter Kasper, in his book “Mercy”, gives us a clue about what we Christians need to cultivate in our lives, in the Church and in civil society, if anything is to change for the better, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.
Listening with the ear of the heart can be a scary experience because it can call me to radical change, to a transformation of my limited human perspective, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.
May we older Australians find new ways to listen more intently to the aspirations of our younger generations, says Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.
They might have lived in the fifth and nineteenth centuries, but the values that Benedict and Polding bequeathed to us are very relevant for twenty-first century Australian life, says Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.
Upholding the basic human rights of asylum seekers and refugees calls for concerted action from all Australians who believe in a just and compassionate society says, Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.
Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon, says her congregation’s recent assembly highlighted for her the power of a single voice and the importance of networking together.
Who has a claim on our courage, compassion and commitment today in Australia, asks Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.
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.
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.
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.
Grief is a constant companion when a loved one has dementia. And so, too, is grace, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.
I hope we may learn to see the amazing potential of people who come by boat to our country, says Mercy Sister, Elizabeth Young.
When our actions deplete or lead to the destruction of species, surely we need to pause, says Good Samaritan Sister, Catherine McCahill.
Good Samaritan Sisters, Sarah Puls and Bernadette Corboy, reflect on what religious life means to them. In doing so, they consider some of the questions for women today who might be thinking about religious life as a ‘Good Sam’.
I’m an ordinary sort of person and that’s how I find God; disguised in the ordinary of my life. That’s my vocation too – helping others to recognise God in their ordinary, writes Judith Lynch.
Permissible victims are defined as those whose life and dignity is violated with very little notice, outrage or public protest, writes Good Samaritan Sister, Patty Fawkner.
In this SPECIAL FEATURE, which includes a photo gallery, Debra Vermeer explores how Good Samaritan Colleges in Australia are providing educational environments that nurture indigenous students and empower them to realise their goals.
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.
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 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.
In Australia during the last 50 years, we have been invited on at least three occasions to respond to “moments of magnanimity”, says Garry Everett. As a nation, we will soon be offered a fourth moment.
Retired Bishop Pat Power hopes that the Catholic Church will be a more human Church, a humbler Church and a Church which is more intent on reflecting the person and the teaching of Jesus.
Our work for change needs to attend to structures of grace as much as structures of sin, writes Sandie Cornish.
With her “memory keeper” as guide, Good Samaritan Sister, Marie Casamento, takes us on a journey to Auschwitz, to Gaza, to Hiroshima, to My Lai, on the high seas, and to the sunflower fields of Torez.
St Benedict affirms for me the great value of one who humbly strives to live out the guiding values of the community and is a witness rather than an expert, writes Alice Priest.
One of the significant and pressing pastoral theological issues currently dividing opinion among the hierarchy and among the laity of the Church, is the issue of divorced and remarried Catholics, and their access to eucharist, writes Garry Everett.
When asked to name signs of hope in our Church and world, Good Samaritan Sister, Mary McDonald, saw very few in the Church, besides the “Francis factor”. So she began anew to seek them out.
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.
Is there a way through the present impasse on asylum seekers that is both humane and practicable, asks John Menadue AO.
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.
Kiri English-Hawke has packed a lot into 20 years of life. The talented former Stella Maris College student has already published her first novel; she speaks four languages and is an international class rower.
Good Samaritan Sister, Jeanie Heininger is enormously thankful that God called her to dedicate her life to people with disability and their families, and gave her the grace to step out into the unknown.
Debra Vermeer recently caught up with the Good Sam Rural Outreach Team, a “faith-filled” and “committed” band of women who are supporting small, isolated communities in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt Region.
Former Lourdes Hill College student, Janella Purcell feels like “the luckiest girl in the world” that her life as a naturopath, healer, author and media personality allows her not only to do what she loves, but be able to help others.
Good Samaritan Sister, Elizabeth Delaney, sees her ministry as being a ‘Martha’ ministry, one of service, and one that has the potential to see justice served and broken lives restored.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good Samaritan Sister, Dolores Carroll, believes the key to a long, fulfilling life is study, travel and learning a new language.
Faith in the Ordinary
From the Early Church Fathers and the ancient writers of the East, to modern concepts of spirituality and psychological thought, “mindfulness” has become a way of staying in the present moment, says Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento.
Good Samaritan schools are built on a solid foundation of Benedictine values, witnessed by the practical energy and action of the Good Samaritan Sisters, writes Mark Askew.
After struggling with various aspects of Marian theology over the years, along with a number of dubious claims around apparitions and healings, I found myself to be a somewhat reluctant starter for the visit to Meryemana, writes Monica Dutton.
As we commemorate Easter and ANZAC Day, Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey, shares a poem about one of her father’s ‘lighter’ war stories.
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.
“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.
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.
Good Samaritan Sister, Joan Sexton reflects on the legacy of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, who died in August this year.
We might have a wonderfully rich religious culture, but by and large, we have lost the key to it, writes Judith Lynch.
How can we pass on our Catholic spiritual heritage to young people and nurture their faith and spiritual life, asks Virginia Ryan.
Being Just Neighbours
When we take the time to get to know a Muslim person and engage with them face-to-face, the stereotypes and preconceived ideas begin to break down, writes Ashleigh Green.
The recent media reports surrounding the circumstances of infant Gammy are heart-rending. So it’s good to know that there are communities like L’Arche, which embrace and value people with disabilities, writes Moira Byrne Garton.
Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey, asks: What does ‘asylum’ mean, if not something of friendship? What is friendship, if not sanctuary for the soul?
Thirty years from now, an Australian prime minister will rise in the parliament and offer an apology to refugees and asylum seekers and their families for the damage that is being done to them today, says Phil Glendenning.
Australia’s Catholic Bishops have made an urgent plea for a respect for the rights of asylum seekers, not only in Government circles but in the Australian community more broadly.
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.
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.
What is the proper role of people of faith in Australia in fighting climate change, asks Thea Ormerod.
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.
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.
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.