News and Events
The Good Samaritan Sisters’ foundation in Bacolod City, the Philippines is proof that from little things, big things can grow.
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.
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.
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.
Religious life will survive into the future as people continue to search for ways to seek God and help their neighbour, but what it will look like is uncertain, said Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon, at a Sydney forum to mark the Year of Consecrated Life.
Over many years Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Malone has presented lectures, written articles and given retreats on the Rule of Saint Benedict and its relevance for contemporary living. Recently she published a selection of articles from that substantial body of work.
The Good Samaritan Sisters’ Brisbane-based supported housing program for vulnerable women and their children has recently reopened, entering a new phase in its development.
When the Good Samaritan Foundation’s Scholarship Program was launched in late 2013, one student was awarded a scholarship. A year later, interest in and support of the program has meant that seven more students have received scholarships from the Foundation.
Six Good Samaritan Sisters have responded to a call to be part of one of two new Good Samaritan intentional communities – one with a focus on prayer, the other with a focus on asylum seekers and refugees.
When Brisbane couple Maureen and Paul Toohey decided to spend two weeks of their holidays, including Christmas, with the Good Samaritan Sisters in the Philippines, they were amazed by the generous response of family, friends and colleagues.
Musings of a Leader
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being radical doesn’t have to be connected with evil and violence; it can be very positive, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.
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.
Before we begin the ringing of new bells for prayer, we must listen to hear if they are already being rung, writes Alice Priest.
Tess Corkish explores why she thinks Jesus would be an environmental activist and how her activism is the embodiment of her faith.
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.
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.
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.
The ‘selfie’ may provide yet another lens through which to view our approach to the Lenten season, writes Monica Dutton.
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.
“The Good Oil” is delighted to publish a short story written by Isabella Brown, a Year 12 student from St Scholastica’s College, Glebe. Isabella’s poignant piece earned her first place in the 2014 Lionel Bowen Young Writers’ Award.
We need communities to sustain us, but if those communities are to survive and prosper, we must engage with them and nurture them, writes Hugh Mackay.
Grief is a constant companion when a loved one has dementia. And so, too, is grace, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.
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”.
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’.
“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.”
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.
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”.
Often when we talk about “feeling guilty” the feeling we are describing is not guilt but regret, writes Good Samaritan Sister Bernardina Sontrop.
It is up to our whole community to work toward the elimination of violence against women and children, writes Christine Dew.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Faith in the Ordinary
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.
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.
Prayer takes place in the space on the threshold between the outer and the inner, says Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento.
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.
These days where would we look for the coming of God, asks Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.
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.
Being Just Neighbours
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.