News and Events

News

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Sister Annette’s outback ministry honoured

Good Samaritan Sister Annette Dever has been honoured with not one, but two Premier’s Australia Day Active Citizenship Awards, for her service to the remote Western Australian communities of Leonora, Leinster and Laverton.

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Jasmine’s “very big heart for the poor”

Thanks to the efforts of a Year 8 student from Mount St Benedict College in Sydney, the Good Samaritan Kinder School, which supports children from one of the poorest areas of the Philippines, now has a new computer – and it’s very likely that a few more may follow.

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Good Samaritan Education invited to host BENET 2019

Good Samaritan Education (GSE), the ecclesial community established in 2011 to oversee the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten incorporated Good Samaritan Colleges in Australia, has been invited to host the next international conference of the Benedictine Educators Network (BeNet) in Sydney in 2019.

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Tributes flow in for former Good Sam leader

The death last month of Sister Mary Ronayne, former Superior-General of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, elicited an outpouring of tributes from people far and wide who remembered Mary as an outstanding leader not only in her congregation, but also in the wider Australian Church and beyond.

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Boulevard environmental project off to strong start

“Clean-up Boulevard”, a community-based environmental project initiated by the Good Samaritan Sisters in the Philippines, was officially launched last month with a community clean-up day at Boulevard involving some 400 volunteers, 50 of whom were children from the area.

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Elaine Walley: first Aboriginal Good Samaritan Oblate

Elaine Walley, a Yamatji Elder from the Western Australian community of Three Springs near Geraldton, is the first Aboriginal woman to become a Good Samaritan Oblate.

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Centenary celebrations begin at Lourdes Hill

Brisbane’s Lourdes Hill College, a secondary school for girls now operated by Good Samaritan Education, began its year of centenary celebrations last month with a number of activities on February 11, culminating in a Eucharist at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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Partnership at heart of asylum seeker centre

Arrupe Place in Parramatta opened its doors just over a year ago and already this drop-in centre for asylum seekers, established by Jesuit Refugee Service in collaboration with seven other partners including the Good Samaritan Sisters, has been recognised for its innovative work.

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Celebrating 30 years in WA outback

It’s 30 years since the Good Samaritan Sisters first arrived in the Western Australian outback parish of Mt Magnet. To mark this milestone, past and present parishioners, sisters and members of the wider community gathered earlier this month in Mt Magnet for a weekend of celebrations.

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Good Sams reach century in Queensland

Brisbane celebrated the centenary of the arrival of the Good Samaritan Sisters to Brisbane last month. A large group of sisters attended the celebration at Sts Peter and Paul’s Church, Bulimba, on Sunday January 31.

Musings of a Leader

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Alternative policies urgently needed now

Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker policies are like an infected sore eating away at the fabric of society, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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How are we investing in the next generation?

What do we mean when we say the next generation should be better off than the previous one, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Reflecting on the symbols of resurrected life

There is no single dimension of the Resurrection that can provide us with a comprehensive understanding. But symbols assist us as we seek understanding, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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A time of conscious waiting

In what way are the 40 days of Lent also meant to be a time of conscious waiting for us, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Christmas calls forth a contemplative and meditative stance

Christmas, the birth of divinity into humanity, is a profound and most challenging reality that goes beyond narrow logic and empirical evidence; it requires long and prayerful stillness which only faith can reveal, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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To dehumanise another is to dehumanise oneself

How can this cruelty, hatred and violence be stopped? How can human dignity be restored across the globe? What can each of us do to build societies of respect, tolerance, understanding and peace, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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November: a time to “keep your eye on death every day”

Pauline chose not to have invasive treatment, but to live each day to the full and to deal with dying and death in a positive and proactive way as cancer ravaged her body, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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Compassion that is true and substantive

I believe we need to seriously depth our understanding of what a compassionate response to the Syrian crisis really means, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

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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.

Feature

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Is there a place for solitude in our world today?

“I say that I need and desire solitude, but do I really? I know that I resist solitude and when I have the opportunity, do I know what to do with it,” asks Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.

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One family’s story of war

Love Letters from a War “is my family’s story, the story of my people”, writes Margaret-Mary Flynn. “But it is a story shared with so many Australian families, so many little country towns.”

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“May those… in the shadows be seen by those in the sun”

Monica Dutton describes a 30-second encounter that, for her, held everything contained in the message of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.

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Letting go of attachments

The challenge of Lent is to go deeper into our own hearts despite the distractions, to go beyond the religious differences and the pettiness of the world around us, and seek union with God above all else, writes Joanna Thyer.

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A merciful Lent

Looking with mercy – in every aspect of life, has the potential to change me and all those I encounter, writes Good Samaritan Sister Meg Kahler.

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Summer films for the mind and spirit

In our last edition for 2015, “The Good Oil” invited some of our writers and readers to nominate a film they particularly enjoyed and would recommend to others for viewing over summer. Check out their list of good films for the mind and spirit.

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The Year of Consecrated Life: why this, why now?

As the Year of Consecrated Life comes to an end, Good Samaritan Sister Catherine McCahill reflects on its meaning for her, and for religious more generally.

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On suffering and God: a response to Stephen Fry

A “burgeoning interest” in cosmology provides Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner with a different ‘take’ on suffering and evil as well as new insights into the mystery of God and our place in the universe.

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Sabbath making

One in four of us will experience a mental illness at some stage in our lives. In the following poem, Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento reflects on “the turbulence that cuts the client off from making Sabbath and traps them in their agitated minds”.

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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.

Opinion

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De-identifying asylum seekers isn’t always about protection

“In Australia, conversation about people who seek asylum often feels disconnected from the people – the real flesh and blood people – whose lives are most affected. The reasons for this are complicated and contested,” writes Good Samaritan Sister Sarah Puls.

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Do protest marches help any more?

While some argue that protest marches “don’t… help any more”, Natalie Lindner L’Huillier is not convinced we can throw them away just yet.

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Much to admire about Amoris Laetitia

One of the great achievements of Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia”, is its emphasis on inculturation and appropriate devolution of decision-making, writes Garry Everett.

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On dignity and care: a response to Andrew Denton

Perhaps those who believe their dignity is contingent on independence could reflect on their own judgements of others who require assistance, writes Moira Byrne Garton.

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Meditation a catalyst for ecological conversion and action

In light of the ecological crisis the world faces, meditation is generally not rated high on the list of responses. But maybe it should be, writes Donna Mulhearn.

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Building up the Paris momentum for climate action

Last year’s much-anticipated UN Climate Change Conference in Paris did not deliver all that was needed. It did not even deliver all that was hoped for, but it did deliver more than most expected, says Jill Finnane.

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House, but not home: youth residential care

For Australian children in residential care, living in a building with a bed, a fridge and a television does not constitute a home. A home can be a slum or a tent if it is a place of genuine and unconditional love, writes Ashleigh Green.

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What do Pope Francis, Thomas Merton and Graham Greene have in common?

Like Pope Francis, Thomas Merton and Graham Greene were individuals whose sheer complexity equipped them to address the often contradictory world we live in, in order to find God in it, writes Joanna Thyer.

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The Synod and Alice’s New Adventures in Wonderland

The story which follows was inspired by a strange meeting of the absurdist wisdom of Lewis Carroll and my own wondering about three of the many articles about the Synod on the Family in Rome, Pope Francis’ recent visit to the US, and the persistent questions about women in the …

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What do Australian Catholics think of Church teaching on sex and family?

What we know of Australian Catholics and their attitudes to reform of Church teaching on sex and family reveals a complex picture, write David Kirchhoffer and Natalie Lindner L’Huillier.

Profile

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Restoring an endangered ecological community

Debra Vermeer recently visited the Good Samaritan Sisters’ Wivenhoe Conservation Project at Camden on Sydney’s southern outskirts, where she witnessed some of the “ground-breaking” work underway to restore the endangered Cumberland Woodland ecosystem.

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A professional role that’s deepened Marie’s spirituality

Marie Mohr says her role as Health and Well-being Coordinator for the Sisters of the Good Samaritan is one of the best jobs of her life; it enriches her professional life and nourishes her spirit.

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Former ‘Dr Who girl’ returns to Lourdes Hill College

As a self-proclaimed iconoclast and a constant questioner, Janet Fielding’s life has taken her from an ordinary Catholic childhood in Brisbane to a career in acting on stage and screen, advocacy for women and young people, and a lifelong passion for what she describes as “everyday feminism”.

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Passionate about education

Sister Ann-Maree Nicholls is something of a rare species. She laughs at the idea, but agrees. Ann-Maree is the only Sister of the Good Samaritan working as a school principal in Australia. She’s also one of only two religious principals in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.

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Grace thanks God for gift of courage

Sister Grace Marcelo thanks God for giving her the gift of courage to take the first steps towards her vocation as a Sister of the Good Samaritan – steps which have led her to a joyful ministry of caring for families in one of the poorest areas of her home …

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Thinking globally, acting locally at 15

Fifteen-year-old Mater Christi College student Caitlin MacDonald attributes her passion for environmental advocacy to a few significant influences: growing up on the land, support from her parents and being exposed to opportunities at school.

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Tending “God’s garden”

In the eight years that Sister Sue Hill has been tending the extensive gardens of the Good Samaritan Sisters’ properties at Pennant Hills and Glebe in Sydney, the trained horticulturalist says she has grown to love her ministry of caring for God’s creation.

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Providing hope and support for thousands of women

Former Stella Maris College student Krystal Barter says she had a typical, “idyllic” upbringing, except for one thing – many of the women in her family, including her Mum and her Nan, had been diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer.

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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.

Faith in the Ordinary

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The wonderful mystery of conversion of life

“Not conscious that you have been seeking suddenly you come upon it,” wrote the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas in his poem “Arrival”. Has this ever been your experience, asks Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

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Before the eyes of the world

“Before the eyes of the world, in the dead of night they came, seeking passage between their lands of desolation and the possibility of a better life.” Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento takes us on a journey from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection.

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Vague wanting

Our lives, yours and mine, are too precious to fritter away on lukewarm commitments and half-hearted vows, writes Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner.

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The power of language and literature

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, if I could grant a special mercy to the women of Australia, it would be this: to amend the English text of Scripture used in our Bibles and liturgy to be inclusive, writes Margaret-Mary Flynn.

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A world in need of mercy

Surely we can hope that by renewing our understanding and practice of mercy in this Year of Mercy, our often unmerciful world, our world of fatigued compassion will be transformed, writes Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Malone.

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Life as it happens

When, as is so inelegantly said, ‘life sucks’, it’s tempting to lose heart, to indulge in a spell of self-pity, to feel depressed, writes Judith Lynch.

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Are you a “maybe person”?

Have you considered how you might give someone the gift of hope? The gift will exact a price, which is like the treasure you store up in heaven, writes Garry Everett.

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How life can change in a minute or less

Who am I five years on from being diagnosed with a brain tumour, asks Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Keane. I am not the same. And yet, in essence, I am the same.

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A fundamental gesture of faith, hope and love

Baptism acknowledges our primal dignity as God’s good creation, and gives us our identity – heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven, writes Margaret-Mary Flynn.

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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.

Being Just Neighbours

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My friend Lee

“It was obviously a big step for Lee to make friends outside of her ethnic circle,” says Asther Bascuna-Creo. “There are some migrants who have been in Australia for many, many years but have not yet made acquaintances outside of their families.”

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Why I’ll be marching

On the weekend before world leaders gather in Paris for the UN climate summit, millions of people will gather in cities throughout the world and march together for global action on climate change. Good Samaritan Sister Veronica Quinn is one of those who’ll be marching.

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The cost of nuclear power

It’s hard to believe, but in the same week that Japan remembered the horrors of the 1945 nuclear bombings, and only four-and-a-half-years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Japanese Government restarted the country’s nuclear power program, writes Good Samaritan Sister Haruko Morikawa.

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Greatest fault in being human

“I stare at the TV numb to the soul; so much hurt and anger in this world we call a home. A little boy washed ashore, his life is at its end; and I have been shaken to the core.” Ellie Betteridge-Garvey’s song lyrics capture the sentiments of millions of …

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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.

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.