News and Events
While the future for many asylum seekers in Australia seems disturbingly bleak, a number of Good Samaritan Sisters and Oblates are doing what they can in their own neighbourhoods, offering support, friendship and hope.
Three women from different backgrounds and life situations formalised their commitment as Good Samaritan Oblates on Sunday, November 15, giving public expression to their desire to continue more deeply on the shared path of living Good Samaritan Benedictine spirituality.
Sister Clare Condon was one of 50-plus religious leaders who met with Federal parliamentarians last week, calling on them to restore Australia’s standing as a compassionate nation by winding back policies negatively impacting on people escaping violence, persecution and death.
Climate change is not some far-away concept for the peoples of the Pacific; it’s impacting on their lives now and they need our support now. That was the resounding message at a recent seminar in Sydney which focussed on the serious situation facing many Pacific Island nations.
September 14 marked the end of an era for the Sisters of the Good Samaritan when they farewelled their historic Rosebank property in Five Dock, Sydney, after 147 years of continuous presence.
Mater Dei School for children with special needs in Camden, NSW, is the latest in a growing number of Good Samaritan Education schools to embrace solar power so as to reduce their electricity costs and their carbon footprint.
The Governing Council of Good Samaritan Education, the ecclesial community established in 2011 to oversee the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten incorporated Good Samaritan Colleges, has announced the appointment of a new Executive Director.
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.
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.
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.
Musings of a Leader
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s have more conversational forums where we hear the personal stories of ordinary, courageous Australians, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Tess Corkish explores why she thinks Jesus would be an environmental activist and how her activism is the embodiment of her faith.
Before we begin the ringing of new bells for prayer, we must listen to hear if they are already being rung, writes Alice Priest.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Are you okay? I remember the first time a colleague asked me that question, about five years ago on RU OK day. I replied with a breezy, “Yes thanks, I’m fine” – but it was a lie, writes Moira Byrne Garton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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”.
Faith in the Ordinary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being Just Neighbours
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.
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.
“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 …
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.
“Dare I imagine the muscle of empathy flexing to build a new way forward,” ponders Sydney poet and writer Colleen Keating.
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.
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.