News and Events

News

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International Benedictine scholar inspires her audience

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.

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Religious lobby politicians about human trafficking

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.

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Benedictine women religious gather in Rome

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.

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Dawn of a new era for Lourdes Hill College

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.

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How does sanctioned violence affect you?

Did you miss Sister Clare Condon’s recent “RightsTalk” address at the Australian Human Rights Commission? A podcast and transcript are now available online.

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Schol’s graduate to head Pacific Islands Forum

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.

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Persistence, setbacks and a community pulling together

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.

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Good Sam leader to speak on violence at “RightsTalk”

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.

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Good Sams open outreach centre in Bacolod

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.

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Young Pacific leaders call on Australia for support

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

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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.

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Listening with the ear of the heart

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.

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Let’s listen more intently to young people

May we older Australians find new ways to listen more intently to the aspirations of our younger generations, says Good Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon.

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The legacies of Benedict and Polding

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.

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Will you help restore hope?

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.

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On making commitments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Feature

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Betty has dementia

Grief is a constant companion when a loved one has dementia. And so, too, is grace, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.

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What asylum seekers and refugees have taught me

I hope we may learn to see the amazing potential of people who come by boat to our country, says Mercy Sister, Elizabeth Young.

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Now is our time to return something to the earth

When our actions deplete or lead to the destruction of species, surely we need to pause, says Good Samaritan Sister, Catherine McCahill.

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Why would a woman…?

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’.

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My God-dream

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.

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Permissable victims

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.

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Walking the talk: empowering indigenous students

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Opinion

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Moments of magnanimity

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.

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Being a Catholic today

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.

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Attending to structures of sin and of grace

Our work for change needs to attend to structures of grace as much as structures of sin, writes Sandie Cornish.

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The memory keeper’s lament

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.

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The school chaplaincy debate, Benedict and me

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.

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Where angels fear to tread

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.

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Signs of hope in our Church and world?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Profile

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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.

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Supporting isloated communities in WA’s wheatbelt

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.

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Doing what she loves and helping others

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.

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A ‘Martha’ ministry

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Faith in the Ordinary

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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.

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Struggling with the “genuine vs fake” religious debate

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Being Just Neighbours

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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.

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Enough of institutionalised cruelty say Oz Bishops

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.