News and Events



New community ministries for Good Sams

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.


Bacolod visit “a good reality check”

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.


Good Sam appointed to national ecumenical role

Good Samaritan Sister Elizabeth Delaney has been appointed General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), an ecumenical organisation that brings together a number of Australia’s Christian churches in dialogue and practical cooperation.


Good Sams feature in new book

“Perfect Charity – Women Religious Living the Spirit of Vatican II” is a new book that documents the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the lives of 14 Australian nuns, two of whom are Good Samaritan Sisters.


National recognition for Good Sam Oblate

Good Samaritan Oblate Margaret Pirotta has received a national award for her work with Tree of Hope, a Sydney-based program that provides emotional and practical outreach support to people living with HIV, their families and supporters.


Report highlights crucial role of prison ministry

Ex-prisoners and families of people in prison have given an overwhelmingly positive appraisal of the crucial role that Catholic Prison Ministry Victoria plays in their lives, according to a new report.


Highly acclaimed Good Sam principals retiring

Two highly acclaimed principals of Good Samaritan Education schools, Loretto Richardson, of St Scholastica’s College, Glebe and Vicki Comerford of Stella Maris College, Manly will retire at the end of this year.


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.


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.


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.

Musings of a Leader


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


For the best

“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.


The art of belonging

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.


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.


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.


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.


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’.


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.


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.



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.


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”.


Am I feeling guilt or regret?

Often when we talk about “feeling guilty” the feeling we are describing is not guilt but regret, writes Good Samaritan Sister Bernardina Sontrop.


Rosie Batty cannot do this work alone

It is up to our whole community to work toward the elimination of violence against women and children, writes Christine Dew.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


“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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Faith in the Ordinary


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.


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.


The coming of God

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Being Just Neighbours


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.