News and Events

News

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Outstanding service to school community honoured

Good Samaritan Sister Monica Armstrong has been honoured by the Diocese of Parramatta for her “outstanding contribution and service” to the community of St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in Springwood, NSW.

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Indigenous immersion a sought-after experience

It’s five years since Lourdes Hill College in Brisbane first offered students an immersion experience in the Aboriginal community of Santa Teresa in the Northern Territory, and in that time, student interest in the program has grown significantly.

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Good Sams living the present with passion

A new short film which captures the contemporary life and mission of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan was launched recently as part of celebrations for the Feast of St Benedict on July 11.

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Good Samaritan Housing welcomes new residents

Moving into a unit provided by Good Samaritan Housing in Brisbane has been the circuit breaker that Alison and her baby were looking for, creating a secure space in their lives in which to learn valuable life skills and prepare for a future full of hope.

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Young disability advocate wins Good Sam prize

Erin Looby, a passionate advocate for people living with disability, has received the 2015 Sisters of the Good Samaritan Prize for Commitment to Social Justice.

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Kiribati women professed as Good Sams

Two Kiribati women, Tuata Terawete and Juniko Toaua, were professed as Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict during a ceremony earlier this month which was described as moving, joyful, inspiring and prayerful.

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Goods Sams celebrate 25 years in the Philippines

The Good Samaritan Sisters’ foundation in Bacolod City, the Philippines is proof that from little things, big things can grow.

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Sister Rita fondly farewells Timor

After 15 years living and ministering in Timor Leste, Good Samaritan Sister Rita Hayes returned to Australia last week. Once she’s had “a good break”, Rita, 76, plans to begin a new ministry supporting asylum seekers and refugees in western Sydney.

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New directors get on board

The annual induction day for newly-appointed directors of Good Samaritan Colleges was held in Sydney last week, and for the first time, it included new directors of two other entities associated with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.

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St Pat’s celebrating 175 years of education

St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown in NSW, the oldest Catholic independent school in Australia, which also has a long and strong connection with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, is this year celebrating its 175th anniversary.

Musings of a Leader

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An opportunity to explore new ways?

If Sunday is no longer the day of rest and religious observance, why not explore new ways for living the Christian call to full and active participation in the Church’s liturgical life, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Powerful personal stories of courage

Let’s have more conversational forums where we hear the personal stories of ordinary, courageous Australians, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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One people united in our humanity?

A number of events in June compel us to justly manage the artificial divisions between nations and race or this planet may have a very limited future, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Respecting difference and overcoming division

Difference can bring about healing and grace rather than division, even when such difference can be the source of many questions, anxiety and hurt, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Unearthing the underlying causes of drug abuse

Why do an estimated 1.3 million Australians use the drug ice? And why does Australia have one of the highest rates of drug abuse in the world, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Can I forgive 70 x 7?

Perhaps one of the most important tasks during Lent is to attend to my heart and to free it from past resentments, hatreds or revenge and to seek a freedom from anything that limits or inhibits a liberated spirit, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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How do you think about, and relate to, God?

For the Christian believer, prayer is much more than the convenient or the desperate calling out to some supreme being for help in tragic times, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Joy arises from deep within

Pope Francis, in announcing the Year of Consecrated Life, is calling on religious women and men to “wake up the world” with a spirit of hope and peace, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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A radical commitment to goodness

Being radical doesn’t have to be connected with evil and violence; it can be very positive, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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On creativity, destruction and mercy

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.

Feature

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“My dreadful experience of war”: a Japanese perspective

For Japanese Good Samaritan Sister Theresia Hiranabe, the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II is a timely opportunity to share her “dreadful experience of war” and how it led her to the Good Samaritan Sisters.

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Mary Magdalene: friend, icon, model

We have yet to balance spirituality and sexuality in the Church especially in regard to women. Women’s leadership and spiritual influence will be compromised until we do, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.

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Port Pirie celebrates Good Sams’ 125-year contribution

Catholic education in the South Australian city of Port Pirie “owes its existence” to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, according to Brenda Keenan, Director of Catholic Education in the Port Pirie Diocese.

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What would Jesus do?

Tess Corkish explores why she thinks Jesus would be an environmental activist and how her activism is the embodiment of her faith.

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For whom the Angelus bell tolls

Before we begin the ringing of new bells for prayer, we must listen to hear if they are already being rung, writes Alice Priest.

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Traditioning: women passing on the story

As the years have rolled on I have asked myself whether traditioning is the matter that we teach, or is it more passing on who we are, writes Judith Lynch.

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Memories are strange things

As Mother’s Day approaches, Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento dedicates a reflection to all mothers who have lost a child through death, illness or separation, and for all children who have lost a mother.

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Leading by flipping the omelette

Pope Francis’ leadership differs markedly from that of his predecessors. He models two clear principles that our political leaders and, in fact all of us who lead in some capacity, would do well to emulate, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.

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Could the ‘selfie’ help us during Lent?

The ‘selfie’ may provide yet another lens through which to view our approach to the Lenten season, writes Monica Dutton.

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Summer books for the mind and spirit

In this our last edition for 2014, “The Good Oil” invited some of our readers to nominate a book they particularly enjoyed and would recommend to others for the summer holidays. Check out their list of books for the mind and spirit.

Opinion

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To be changed forever

The transformative effect of immersion trips has been well documented. Quite simply – people are changed by the experience. Immersion is an encounter of the heart, the mind and the spirit, writes Monica Dutton.

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How do you make yourself heard?

Does it even matter if we have a perfect policy formulation in response to Australia’s refugee crisis if we cannot convince people of our point of view, asks Evan Ellis.

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Does religion cause violence?

I suspect we don’t think about the question of religious violence enough in Australia, and when we do, I worry that our gaze is fixed on other people and other religions rather than ourselves, writes Natalie Lindner L’Huillier.

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Wrestling with my angels in the Holy Land

Nonviolence calls me to always be reflective about my own relationships with others to ensure that I, too, am not a tool of oppression, fear or hatred. To love one’s enemies is truly Christ’s hardest teaching, writes Jessica Morrison.

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Can marriage change – again?

The idea of “marriage equality” is an idea of our time and we must engage with it seriously. We do not do this by merely re-stating past positions. We engage in a two-fold way, writes Garry Everett.

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Why do the bagpipes stir our soul?

As we commemorate ANZAC Day, Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey shares one of her poems. The daughter of a World War II veteran, Pam says “it is a day with very mixed and alternating emotions for returned service people”.

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Forgotten warriors

An article published in “The Good Oil” last year inspired Colleen Keating of Sydney to write a poem which encourages us to remember and recognise all our ’warriors’.

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A personal story of child sexual abuse in the Church

“It hasn’t been easy since I spoke to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse,” writes Gayle. “There have been tears, nightmares, and profound grief. However there has also been a lightness of spirit.”

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I don’t want any slaves working for me

I have the power to show, through the choices I make, that everybody matters – that I don’t want any slaves working for me, says Good Samaritan Sister Sarah Puls.

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Moving beyond ignorance through shared stories

Are you one of the six in ten Australians who have never really encountered Aboriginal Australia? Moira Byrne Garton reviews SBS TV’s recent participant documentary “First Contact”, and admits she watched it with “some trepidation”.

Profile

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Sister Clement’s long and rich life

When Sister Clement Baseden, who turns 88 this month, is asked how she looks back on her long and rich life, she leans forward in her chair, gives a big grin that lights up her face, and says, “Well it hasn’t been boring!”

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A remarkable passion for God

Monica Brown is well known in Australia and internationally as a Christian composer, teacher, facilitator and community animator. Through Emmaus Productions, now 30 years old, Monica and her collaborators continue their quest to offer creative approaches to spirituality.

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A passion for people

When Sister Judy Margetts left Brisbane to join the Good Samaritan Sisters, she never dreamed her vocation would take her from the classroom, to 17 years in Kiribati, pastoral outreach in rural Queensland and now the Indigenous community of Palm Island.

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Living a life of service to others

Good Samaritan Sister Felicity Hardy’s work in the Philippines has manifested her dream to be of service to others. The experience has also enriched her life in many ways, writes Asther Bascuna-Creo.

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Following her passions and making a positive impact

As Catherine Cresswell explored the works and ministries of the Good Samaritan Sisters before applying for the position of Executive Director with the Good Samaritan Foundation, she began to feel at home.

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A thirst for life and for justice

Good Samaritan Oblate Pauline Roach is a woman with a thirst for life and for justice, and she says it all started with the photo of an African girl on the wall of her Year 4 classroom.

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“One wild and precious life”

Kiribati woman Claire Anterea may not be a Good Samaritan Sister anymore, but she’s “still a Good Samaritan in some way or another, no matter what”.

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There’s much to admire about Mary

She’s been described as “an extraordinary figure of the Catholic Church in Australia”. On so many levels there’s much to admire about Good Samaritan Sister Mary McDonald.

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The world is her oyster

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.

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An abiding commitment to disability care

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.

Faith in the Ordinary

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The miracle of love

A recent experience reminded me of the words of the Swiss philosopher and theologian Max Picard: “There is something holy in almost every silence”, writes Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

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There’s no place like home

The homes I knew growing up were indeed humble by the standards of today’s glossy magazines, but they were truly homely places, and I remember with gratitude the shelter they gave me, and the lessons they taught me, writes Margaret-Mary Flynn.

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A doting God

One of the gifts we can give children today is the kind of love that opens the way for them to know, without a doubt, that God, like their parents and grandparents, also dotes on them, writes Judith Lynch.

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A reasonable question?

If the physical universe is governed by forces, then it might seem reasonable to ask if the non-physical – the spiritual reality – is also governed by forces, writes Garry Everett.

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Busyness: a modern-day affliction?

It seems there are different sides to being busy that can make it both a good thing that can drive achievement, and a bad thing that can have negative effects on one’s own well-being, writes Asther Bascuna-Creo.

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Lenten prayer: threshold invitations

Prayer takes place in the space on the threshold between the outer and the inner, says Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento.

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The contradictions of Advent

For more years than I like to recall, the liturgical seasons of Advent, Lent and Easter have exerted a kind of push-pull in me, something like theology versus society, or Church versus ‘the world’, writes Judith Lynch.

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The coming of God

These days where would we look for the coming of God, asks Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

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Mindful mindfullness

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.

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A pilgrim reflects

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.

Being Just Neighbours

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Common threads: Francis’ encyclical and Benedict’s rule

The concerns and values expressed in Pope Francis’ new encyclical “Laudato Si” are also central to the rule of St Benedict, says Good Samaritan Sister Mary McDonald.

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Empathy

“Dare I imagine the muscle of empathy flexing to build a new way forward,” ponders Sydney poet and writer Colleen Keating.

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“I never thought this could happen to me”

When I meet someone affected by the lottery of life, how do I look after them? And what is the most caring way to respond to the question, “why did this happen to me?” asks Moira Byrne-Garton.

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Where do you, or will you, push?

Good Samaritan Sister Mary McDonald echoes the advice of Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister: “To change a policy or practice, join a group that is committed to the same issue. Then, with everyone else, push”.

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About children

In our time how can we place children front and centre of our concern? How can we make them visible, particularly if government and society seem no longer drawn to special kindness towards them, asks Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

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An invitation from creation

Good Samaritan Sister Liz Wiemers reflects on the new cosmology through a series of photographs she captured during a recent sabbatical in Ireland and Germany.

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Anti-Muslim sentiment on our own soil

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.

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Having places where you are welcomed and belong

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.

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On friendship

Good Samaritan Sister, Pam Grey, asks: What does ‘asylum’ mean, if not something of friendship? What is friendship, if not sanctuary for the soul?

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Nothing to fear from refugees and asylum seekers

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.

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.