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Third I-Kiribati woman makes lifelong commitment

On April 29, Sister Tibwau Matia made her perpetual profession as a Sister of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict, becoming the third I-Kiribati woman to do so.

Master’s student receives Helen Lombard Award

Dearbhla Curtin-Tully, a Master of Teaching student at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle in Western Australia, has received this year’s Helen Lombard Award for her outstanding service to the university and the wider community.

Jewish scholar of New Testament to visit Sydney

Professor Amy-Jill Levine, an internationally renowned Jewish scholar of the New Testament, will visit Sydney next month to lead a one-day public seminar on the parables and women in scripture.

New chapter for Mount St Benedict Centre

When Good Samaritan Sisters Elizabeth Brennan and Christine Manning look back on their time at the Mount St Benedict Centre in Pennant Hills, it is with deep gratitude for the people they met and the partnerships they forged over the years.

Celebrating 25 years’ service in multicultural health

Serving the community is a significant part of the life of religious sisters, but it’s not often you meet a sister who works as a public servant for government. Recently, Good Samaritan Sister Catherine Norman retired after 25 years of public service with the Hunter New England Area Health Service.

Good Samaritan Sisters launch young writers’ award

To celebrate the 160th anniversary of their life and mission as the first Catholic congregation of religious women founded in Australia, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have launched “The Good Oil” 2017 Young Writers’ Award.

Are you buying slavery-free products?

As more and more Australians hopefully choose to buy slavery-free Easter eggs this year, both shoppers and the Federal Government are being urged to broaden their focus and shine a light on the supply chain of many of the goods that we buy every day.

Celebrating significant milestones

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan and Rosebank College, Five Dock in Sydney are both celebrating significant milestones in 2017. It’s 160 years since the congregation was founded and 150 years since Rosebank College began.

Japanese sisters visit Australia for jubilee celebrations

On a recent visit to Australia to celebrate her golden jubilee as a Sister of the Good Samaritan, Sister Yoshi Suzukawa, from Japan, said she clearly remembered the first time she ever saw a Catholic religious sister.

Australia Day honours for Sister Mary

Good Samaritan Sister Mary O’Shannassy of Melbourne was among the 958 people recognised in this year’s Australia Day honours list. Mary was awarded an Order of the Australia Medal (OAM) for her “service to the community through church and social welfare bodies”.

Musings of a Leader

Let’s be more supportive of our Kiribati neighbours

May small nations like Kiribati be supported to hold onto their precious traditional values as they find their way in a complex twenty-first century world, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Integrity and its opposite – hypocrisy

Integrity and hypocrisy play out in all aspects of societal life; in politics, business, religion and even sport, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Hearts full of thankfulness and joy

If we are to be prophetic for our time, which is the fundamental calling of religious life in the Church, then changes beyond our contrivance are before us daily, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Christmas calls us to be peacemakers, reconcilers

If but one broken relationship could be mended, our Christmas, our God-with-us, might just be real for one other person, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

When does freedom of speech cross the line?

What speech should be free, and what speech has no place in a civilised democratic society, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

A vibrant cross-cultural endeavour

I am grateful for the decision of my sisters to venture to Japan in 1948 however “imprudent, untimely and injudicious” it was from a rational point of view, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Love your enemies – within and beyond

Inner enemies such as jealousy, envy, revenge, obsessive guilt, pride, embittered anger can cripple my capacity to reach out to others in a spirit of reconciliation and pardon, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Let’s move beyond a narrow view of vocation

Vocation must be recognised and fostered within every person. There can be no special status for anyone, writes Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

“So much sadness and tragedy in the world”

Who amongst our world leaders has the capacity and the skill to engage in a long-term healing process for a wounded world, especially in the Middle East, asks Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Moving beyond “what’s in it for me?”

Two weeks out from a Federal election, may we all weigh up what is most important and precious to us as a people and as residents of this earth, says Good Samaritan Sister Clare Condon.

Feature

Q&A with Garigarra Mundine

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision, “The Good Oil” spoke to Garigarra Mundine about how those historic events impacted her family, her community, the nation and her own life as a young Indigenous woman.

Fundamentalism: a threatening global reality

In this special feature, internationally respected anthropologist and theologian Father Gerry Arbuckle analyses the global reality of fundamentalism. He says: “The disturbing fact is that every individual and culture is capable of fundamentalist attitudes and actions”.

The pattern of all life

For 13 million years, since the Big Bang until now, death has been part of life. We know that, and as Christians we believe that death is the prelude to new life. We call it the Paschal Mystery. But what do these words, Paschal Mystery, mean, asks Good Samaritan Sister …

None of us knows

Accompanying someone into death is an experience that many of us have shared. Some people do it daily as part of their work or ministry. I know the journey personally. A little over a year ago I lost my wife to brain cancer, writes Garry Everett.

“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie”

“I think we in the West have often sanitised, romanticised and tamed Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus through our nativity sets and carols,” writes Good Samaritan Sister Marella Rebgetz.

TGO readers nominate their good reads for summer

It’s that time of year when “The Good Oil” invites some of its readers to nominate a book they particularly enjoyed and would recommend to others for the summer holidays. The main criterion was that the book stimulated their mind or nourished their spirit.

Untying the wind chimes

“The Word was made flesh and lived among us… and the world did not know him.” Be gentle with their unknowing, writes Judith Lynch. Your life and your words can untie the God-chimes and bring the Word of God to new life this Christmas.

Roadside reflections

The roadside is an interesting place, writes Alice Priest. It’s an in-between place, a liminal space – for hostage-takers, healings and heroes to emerge.

Keep working on love

This year’s Social Justice Statement from Australia’s Catholic Bishops focuses on the value and dignity of older people. In her address at the launch of the Statement, Good Samaritan Sister Patty Fawkner asked: “what do the elderly of our world teach me for the journey of life?”

We become what we pray

For Benedictines, daily, communal liturgical prayer is central to their commitment. They pray together because that is their work, writes Good Samaritan Sister Catherine McCahill.

Opinion

Why I don’t need wilderness

Although I tried to lift myself to the divine, my long walk in the wilderness was largely not the clarifying and spiritual experience of Thoreau and Walden, writes Moira Byrne Garton.

Appreciating the gift of those who walk with us

Monica Dutton reviews the newly-released book “The Attachment: Letters from a most unlikely friendship” – between a writer and an 80-year-old Catholic priest, both of whom have written for “The Good Oil”.

Surrendering our sense of seasonality

We should be reluctant to let economic arguments trump the profound human ones for leaving penalty rates where they are, writes Evan Ellis.

Feel the pain, heal the damage

This year the pain of the passion story may contain a deeper significance than ever before, says Tony Doherty. And with it a new sense of adult responsibility we all bear to remake this harsh and gentle world.

Be bold and brave

When I was a child, to be told you had been “bold” meant you had done something wrong – usually that you had spoken out of turn or broken some other social convention. I don’t know if boys were ever called bold, writes Good Samaritan Sister Meg Kahler.

Being a woman on the fringe of the Church

I admit it: despite a life of deep involvement with the Catholic Church, I now feel on the fringe. I haven’t moved much – or have I? asks Andrea Dean.

To be called by name is to be known

How we name another, how we speak of them, St Benedict reminds us, is more a reflection of our own heart and our desire to build up or break down the bonds of community, writes Good Samaritan Sister Catherine Slattery.

The question we each need to ask

“Are you an ecclesial person?” It’s a loaded question because it is a radical question. It will take us to places we may not wish to go, to answers we may not like, says Garry Everett.

Remembering the young who died at Santa Cruz

The 25th anniversary of East Timor’s Santa Cruz massacre will be especially poignant for those families who still long for a body to bury, some physical link to a child, a brother, a sister who didn’t come home that day in 1991, writes Josephite Sister Susan Connelly.

Caring for the one in five among us

In our wealthy and stable society, the most dispossessed and vulnerable today are the mentally ill, writes Margaret-Mary Flynn. The ones most needing mercy and care may be sitting in inner despair beside us at Mass, or standing alone at a family barbecue.

Profile

Leading people to ‘aha’ moments in faith

Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne is “a wonderful place to learn and grow”, says Good Samaritan Sister Glenda Bourke, who has been teaching there for the last 22 years. “We really have a practical commitment to being a community of scholarship, prayer and pastoral care.”

“Lucky to have been influenced by strong women”

Former Mount St Benedict College student, Julie Knutsen, now an academic, educator, researcher and artist, is hoping to introduce a program to Australia which improves children’s literacy through art.

Going inward in order to go outward

Marie Milne says her life as a Good Samaritan Oblate underpins all areas of her life. “For me, it’s about going inward in order to go outward,” she says.

“It has been absolutely privileged work”

Looking back, Sister Catherine Slattery recalls that her vocation and her work, both as a teacher and in promoting the Good Samaritan Benedictine charism in schools, is a long way from her original career plans.

A safe haven for women and children: 20 years on

“It’s so aptly named The Good Samaritan Inn,” says Mary O’Donohue, “because it is reaching out to people in their most vulnerable moments, and caring for them and making sure they’re well cared for when you send them lovingly on their way again.”

“Dancing with the playful consciousness of God”

Walking down Brunswick Street in inner city Melbourne with self-described “feminist-activist nun” Sister Mary John Mananzan is a unique lesson in the power of culture to shape, to transform, and also to conceal.

Change “keeps you alive”

At 93, Sister Mary Gregory has witnessed enormous change in the world. She’s also experienced significant change in her own life. But unlike many of us, Mary hasn’t resisted change, even when it’s brought suffering and loss. She has been open to change. She’s also been an agent of change.

Good Samaritan for life

Two little girls from Sudan have reminded Sister Mary Randle why, after 50 years, she is still a Sister of the Good Samaritan, writes Peter Bugden.

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.

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.

Faith in the Ordinary

Leave the empty tomb behind

A poem for Easter week from Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

Pilgrimage in everyday life

Pilgrimage can be undertaken anywhere, any day, says Donna Mulhearn. It encompasses overseas travel and trekking long distances, but it can also mean heading to the nearest bushwalk, public Labyrinth, and – she suggests – it can be done without leaving your lounge-room chair.

Some ‘fuel’ for your Lenten journey

“The Good Oil” has unearthed six podcasts for you to ponder – or to paraphrase St Benedict – to listen to with the ear of your heart. We hope you find in these podcasts some spiritual nourishment and challenge – some ‘fuel’ – for your Lenten journey.

Gardeners of hope

Christmas beckons us to be the gardeners of hope, says Sydney poet Colleen Keating.

Seeds on the slipstream of life

In the slipstream of life, in the eyes of innocence, hope awaits us all on our wandering paths through life, writes Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento.

Pilgrimage: opening ourselves to a new energy

The greatest awakening of my World Youth Day pilgrimage took place when I got back home, writes Ashleigh Green.

A still point in my changing world

“At the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam I met Rembrandt’s mother, and brought her home packaged in a cardboard tube – my souvenir of two days in Holland. Decades later she sits in solitary splendour on my bedroom wall,” writes Judith Lynch.

What does stability look like in communities?

We can create relationships of stability and hope in fragmenting and fractious times by recognising “the call of the moment and responding to it”, says Good Samaritan Sister Pam Grey.

One vote is all we have

With the Federal election looming in Australia, Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento offers us all – but particularly politicians, candidates and voters – a prayerful poem to ponder.

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.

Being Just Neighbours

How are things in Glocca Morra?

Home is our sanctuary, our safe haven, our Glocca Morra, writes Roisin Kelly. But what about those fleeing war-torn countries like Syria? Where is their home?

Small kindnesses from many

Neighbour Day began in 2003 through the efforts of one man who was disturbed by the fact that the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home in Melbourne two years after her death. Alison Brook explains why she’s a big fan of Neighbour Day.

Stepping out of my comfort zone

Before setting out, I was uncertain about the journey ahead of me, but I have returned home and to school with a renewed sense of self and an understanding of how I can help, and learn from, others, writes Melbourne student Khiem (Kevin) Tran.

A policy that diminishes us all

Anyone who describes asylum-seekers – regardless of how they got here – as “illegals” is guilty of perpetuating a big lie, writes Hugh Mackay.

To be a pebble in the shoe of people with power

Labour exploitation in Australia is a massive problem and becoming worse. And it’s not like our parliamentarians are unaware of the facts, writes Good Samaritan Sister Sarah Puls.

Compassionate consumption

As Catholics, we have a great history that includes meat-free Fridays, vegetarian contemplative orders and powerful social justice statements, writes Mercy Sister Elizabeth Young. Isn’t it time to reassess our eating habits and stand for compassionate consumption?

Laudato Si’ continues to inspire

It’s a year since Pope Francis’ ground-breaking encyclical “Laudato Si” was released. Catholic Earthcare Australia’s Tess Corkish outlines the impact of the Pope’s eco-manifesto, particularly here in Australia.

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.”

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.

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.

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.