Edition 9: June 2003 Holy Spirit Province,
Greetings all and welcome to this winter edition of Edmund
Rice News for 2003.
cover photograph is a recent NASA composite photograph of
the world put together from Satellite images taken at night.
The photograph shows the distribution of population in the
world in the brightness of lights from cities and towns. The
photograph might cause us to reflect on our unity as a human
family and on the enormous work that still remains to be done
to lift all people to the standards of living we enjoy.
In the reading weve been doing for this edition of Edmund
Rice Family News it is evident that the people out in various
Edmund Rice Ministries have also been asking what the world
needs now? We have grouped these articles into five broad
What the world needs now is
sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood)
the world needs now is
and a sense of belonging
the world needs now is
the world needs now is
the world needs now is
and women like Edmund & Mary Rice
HAT A TIME OF EXCITEMENT
AND CHANGE WE ARE LIVING THROUGH! The very earth we walk on seems to be
alive to a deep mood of transition. Yet times of transition are also difficult
many grow fearful and worry that the sky is about to fall in, while
others are intent on scaling the highest peaks and venturing where humankind
has not been before.
This edition of Edmund Rice Family
News reflects the time of transition we are moving through. It took humankind
thousands of years to scale the worlds highest mountain. From there
to scaling the the distance to the moon it took about 18 years and some
34 years later, here we are embarking on an exploration of Mars albeit
with an unmanned probe.
We can marvel at these feats of
physical exploration but the principal work we in the Edmund Rice world-wide
community are about is a spiritual journey.
is it not a journey of self to fathom the depths of our own goodness,
the heights of our own fulfilment and ultimately a life that we can look
back upon with a sense of contentment and say I did try my best.
I did endeavour to use the talents I was endowed with wisely?
is it not a journey wherein, in the spirit of Edmund
Rice and Jesus Christ, we endeavour to reach out and assist others along
this same pathway?
There has been a lot of thinking
going on in the Edmund Rice community and amongst the Christian Brothers
in recent years on the question of where to now? As we were preparing
this edition of the newsletter it began to dawn on us hey, something
is happening here as we read the articles coming in. Some new themes
and directions are beginning to emerge as to how the vision of Edmund
Ignatius Rice translates into the 21st Century.
Perhaps the key to this is to be
found in the study undertaken by Peter Nicholson and a diverse collection
of colleagues listening to young adults. Are we picking up a new sense
of optimism and hope from young people? There is also an important address
from the new Province Leader, Br Kevin Ryan, which is exploring the changing
mission and vision of the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Family
to respond to the changing mood in the world and the changing expectations
of those whom we seek to serve.
We also have much news from around
the Province and further afield in the Edmund Rice Network which again
reflects a mood of optimism amidst change. This
is a pretty reflective and thought-provoking issue of Edmund Rice Family
News. Read the articles and let us know what you think.
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Brothers and Presentation Brothers
following is from the historic agreement signed between the Congregational
Leadership Teams of the Christian Brothers and the Presentation
Brothers in Rome on 25th April to forge closer cooperation.
THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL both our Congregations have been committed
to the journey of renewal. We have come to appreciate in a deeper
way our founding charism in Blessed Edmund Rice. We have endeavoured
to respond to the signs of the times. The collaboration between
our two Congregations has increased both in extent and depth.
This collaboration has been affirmed by the Presentation Brothers
General Chapter in 1999 and by the Christian Brothers Congregation
Chapter in 2002. It is for us an important sign of the times and
a direction for our future. Our Chapters have encouraged us to
continue this journey together into the heart of Edmunds
Congregation Leadership Teams we now feel called to make the following
declaration of intent:
While valuing and respecting our identities as distinct Congregations,
we desire to name and affirm the special collaboration that is
taking place between us. We propose to form an association between
our two Congregations. This association will provide a structure
to promote and facilitate even deeper collaboration. Association
is our chosen way of continuing our journey together into the
heart of Edmunds charism.
examples of associations between Congregations who originate from
a common founder exist within the tradition of the Church and
of Consecrated Life. We will continue to dialogue and discern
on the possible shape and form this association might take. We
believe the call to association, to a special and deepened form
of collaboration between our Congregations, is an invitation from
the Spirit at this time. It is both a grace and a challenge.
intention is that we will formally declare and symbolically ritualise
this association at two major inter-congregational events in 2004.
The two Congregation Leaders will be present at the conference
Brothers for A New Millennium in Wa, Ghana in August 2004. In
October 2004, the Congregation Leadership Teams will meet in Cork,
Ireland. In both cases, we will be inviting local Brothers to
join us for these important moments in the life of our Congregations.
We also encourage local communities to meet together in parts
of the world where our two Congregations are present.
is our hope that the Association of Congregations of Christian
Brothers and Presentation Brothers will be a prophetic movement.
May it help us deepen our appreciation of Edmunds charism
and may it assist us in being more fully a part of the coming
of the reign of God in our time.
25th April 2003.
DAVID wrote the lyrics What the World needs now is love, sweet
love... and Burt Bacharach put them to music when the baby
boomers were graduating from high school in the 1965. You can listen
to the tune again using this controller if you are a real tiger
down the track, a survey conducted by a few grey haired baby
boomers led by Peter Nicholson asking what the next generation
the Generation Xers need has found that love is still
high on the agenda. Brian Coyne reports...
200-year-old work of Edmund Ignatius Rice has long had its focus
on young people. In endeavouring to keep this focus at the core
of our work, the National Co-ordinating Group for Formation commissioned
a study last year into the formation needs of young people today.
The study was endorsed by the Inter-province Leadership Committee
of the Brothers and extensive surveying was coordinated by Peter
Nicholson from the Edmund Rice National Formation Team.
Report Beyond the Comfort Zone has now been published
and makes many recommendations which will no doubt be taken up by
those responsible for formation at the various levels within the
Edmund Rice Network. What is likely to be of more immediate interest
to readers of Edmund Rice Family News are some of the insights provided
by this listening to young people exercise.
of the size and importance of this investigation we are publishing
the full text of Peter's draft report as a separate supplement to
this edition of Edmund Rice Family News. It will be found here.
(You can click on the link or on the illustration to proceed directly
to the report.) In his foreword to the draft report Peter Nicholson
writes: It is hoped that this consultation and the discussions
emanating from it will play a part in assisting the young to find
liberating good news for their lives and their world.
to the future of our mission
important address by Br Kevin Ryan
following article is an edited version of a talk which Province
Leader, Br Kevin Ryan, gave at two recent gatherings of Brothers,
the first in Perth on 17 May and the second in Adelaide on 24 May.
The two gatherings focussed on the issue of new Brothers
INVITE YOU, for a few moments, to imagine or to remember what
it was like for Edmund Rice, Br Ambrose Treacy, or the other key
people involved in any of these founding experiences.
Edmund and the early Brothers as they conducted their first school
and as they began the Congregation.
Ambrose Treacy as he founded the Australian branch of the Christian
was it like for the Brothers who started CBC Perth or CBC Adelaide?
Or for those who began Collie or FAME or Edmund Rice Centre Mirrabooka?
is a time of refounding in the Christian Brothers in
the Oceania Area. It will require the Spirit and much energy. I
guess my deepest experience of founding would be being
involved with the starting of Clontarf Aboriginal College, and that
was nothing if not spirit filled and energetic. But it was also
chaotic, challenging and difficult at various times. It was disruptive
to my personal life. Ive been encouraged by what you as Brothers
have said this morning as I believe that we as a Province group
are coming to an understanding that if new Brothers joined us they
will live their call to be Brother in a new way and that may be
disruptive to us personally and corporately.
what we are doing here today in relation to the possibility of new
Brothers joining us in this part of the world is only one aspect
of the picture of refounding. I think one of the insights that came
earlier for us as a province, was the concept of letting go.
I clearly remember it being named at our 1995 Assembly. It may have
been in our earlier thinking as well.
we are doing in this six-year period (2002-2008) is deepening our
understanding of letting go and taking further action
on it. One of the key areas is the letting go
of our current Congregational structures our current Provinces
and Regions. This will be involving you as much as it involves me,
and as much as it involves the Congregational Leadership Team (CLT).
Eventually, if new lines have to be drawn on a map, the CLT will
have to do that, but they are clearly wanting new structures to
emerge in a bottom up way, rather than in a top
the work of the National Planning Committee on Schools Governance
(NPCSG) is about letting go. Now, I am aware that further
work needs to be done by us as a group on teasing out the practical
implications but our main game as Brothers is in our constitutions
and in the Chapter 2002 document the Heart of Being Brother.
I dont believe our main game is being trustees of schools.
is not to say that Brothers wont be involved in education
or the evangelisation of youth. Clearly, in the Heart
of Being Brother there is a whole lot about education and
about justice and a whole range of things to be done in our ministries.
It is, however, always in the context of the Heart and
lot of people ask Why are you and Dean McGlaughlin, Pat Kelly
and a whole range of other people putting so much time into the
work of the NPCSG? Thats a good question! Well, personally,
I believe its because we think the Edmund Rice charism is
worth fighting for in schools in Australia and New Zealand. And
I believe other people, and another structure, will be able to generate
new ways of keeping that charism alive.
it is also about refounding of the Congregation in Oceania. It is
a freeing of the Brothers so we can be in education
ministry in times and places where we think it is necessary, but
we will not be tied up by particular schools and works. Clearly,
at this time, this process is costing us a lot personnel wise and
finance wise. But it is continuing the letting go that
has already been a part of our Province life for a long time.
I think we need to look at our Province finances within the context
of re-foundation. The ministries of the Province as it now exists
need to be funded in new and different ways and with new priorities.
The matter of our finances is being dealt with in other presentations
to you as Brothers and to our ministry leaders and boards.
is the planning we are doing in the area of formation. Formation
is being planned within the broader Province strategic plan. It
is about formation for Brothers and their possible future life and
work Ill say more on that later. But our planning for
formation is also about the development of the skills and spirituality
of young people. And if we are going to do that it must be done
with vigour. What we do with young people, and what we do with others,
needs to deepen their understanding of the Gospel and the Edmund
Rice story in such a way that their work is better, their personal
and family lives have the chance to be of a better and deeper quality.
This formation, and the quality relationships we have with people,
the kinds of conversations we have with people, will hopefully provide
the environment in which people will be drawn to being Brother.
the work the Province Leadership Team does with you individually,
and with the Province as a whole, about priorities for ministry,
is about re-foundation of the Province. Our work at the Edmund Rice
Centre, Notre Dame, in Edmund Rice Camps, the immersion and service
experiences of the Edmund Rice Volunteer movement is all for the
betterment of the world, of others, and for the personal and spiritual
growth of young people. But lets not apologise and be embarrassed
by the fact that it is also cultivating the environment from which
future Brothers may emerge and maybe Christian Sisters
as well in the future!
you and the young we need to keep in touch with and continue
to build relationships with the young. This may require a new way
of looking at ministry. It may also require re-skilling. This is
not a call back to the 18-hour shifts in boarding schools! It is
not a call, for those who are no longer doing it, to return to teaching
in areas in which you do not feel comfortable. But we do need to
find places, frameworks for ministries, skills and attitudes that
allow us to continue our relationships with young people. And because
of the way young people talk, the way their body clocks operate,
their understanding of relationships locally and around the world,
use of text messaging, information technology in general etc, our
personal and communal prayer life may need to adapt to that while
at the same time we remain true to the essence of being Christian
sixth area of refounding, and staying in touch with the young,
relates to future discussions with you and among you, about the
number and style of communities we will have in this Province in
the future. Further discussion will take place on this later in
2003 and early in 2004.
am really attracted, I must say, to a phrase that caught my attention
in some reading that Mary, Peter and Rod circulated recently. And
its been used here today. The phrase is were not
looking for peers, we are looking for a new generation. We
are looking for a new generation of Brothers who will have at the
centre of their living as Brothers the Heart of Being Brother
and the guts (if I may use that term) of this
is the call to celibacy, the call to a relationship with Jesus that
has a distinctive and different quality.
we know the call to celibacy may come through a call to action,
to do something É a wheelchair project, justice and education
work in East Africa or East Timor, meeting a Brother in the Christian
Centre for Social Action, knowing a Brother in a Campus Ministry
or Service Learning Project or edgeworks education programme or
.?? But we need to remind ourselves, especially in the so
called first-world, that the ministry is to express our relationship
as Brother to Jesus and Brother to others and to the environment.
encourage you to continue to believe in your ability to relate to
young people, and that you have gifts to share especially
in listening, in mentoring and guiding. My impression in being with
young people is that they still cherish our presence if we
have no other gift we do know we have the gift of the charism of
Edmund. You may need to read and educate yourself more on the young,
to pray about this, to re-skill
but believe in yourselves!
talked earlier about being happy in our lives Ð being called to
being Brother, is a call to be happy! Mary described Priests and
Sisters who looked weighed down and unhappy. Perhaps today is confronting
some of us with the thought of
bugger me, Ive
got another twenty years of this, and I cant make a move!
Do I really want this É or whatever! Well, as we move
into re-foundation you are going to feel more uncomfortable. I encourage
you to face these issues in conversation with your community, in
counselling, in spiritual direction and prayer and in conversation
with the PLT.
conclusion, may I reflect on the short excerpt we watched from
the movie Bagger Vance. Now golfing is definitely not
my game! But did you hear the words of the mentor/coach telling
the golfer to let the hands do what they need to do.
What Im trying to encourage you to do is to get into that
zone which sports people talk about Ð which I have in
fact experienced in sport and in music. But for us, now, it may
be more accurate to get into our hearts. Follow your hearts, let
your hearts lead you into the future, lead you to God and lead you
more deeply into being Brother.
Formation Programs Reviewed
LAST YEAR the new Province Leader wrote to Brothers and Edmund Rice
Network members inviting participation in a Formation Research Project.
aim of the initiative was to identify positive dimensions
of the current formation programs and assess needs not being met
in the light of the Congregational Chapter document The Heart
of Being Brother and a similar titled one produced by the
Holy Province Chapter earlier last year. This led to a large response
from across the Province. The feedback has now been published as
a report written by Dr Peter Harney cfc and Mr Michael Fox from
the Centre for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of
those involved in the development of formation programs in schools
and Edmund Rice Ministries are urged to read this report. This is
how former Province Leader, Tony Shanahan, describes the challenge:
The task of formation is to encourage
those who find the doing easy to pay attention to the other dimensions,
and to challenge those who connect more easily with the spiritual
side to express that in some form of doing in ministry.
Fr Michael Lapsleys visit
Michael and Ben Taylor
at the Conference
Fr Michael Lapsleys visit to Perth in
May was a huge success. We have prepared a separate photographic
essay from the Conference held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle
and the Ecumenical Service held at St Georges Cathedral on
25th May. Thank you to Marlene Jackamarra, Indigenous Issues Officer,
for all the effort that went into this Healing of Memories workshop.
Thank you also to Fr Michael for sharing his knowledge with us.
Fr Lapsley was born in New Zealand but has worked for 30 years in
South Africa. He was Chaplain of the African National Congress when
he lost both hands and an eye in a letter bomb attack. His energy
today is directed to the work of the Healing of Memories Institute
he set up in 1998.
Click on the photograph above or here
to go to Photo Gallery.
SA ER Leaders impress
Faulkner was the little spy who sent us an email
to say that It was heartening to observe our ERCers
at last night's Youth Expo at Sacred Heart College. Whether
they were taking their turn to address the assembled troops,
or making themselves useful helping with the meal, or collecting
money, one could be sure that Justin Chung and Rachel and
Fernando were spreading happiness. The Expo was organised
by the Diocesan Youth Office.The Expo was organised by the
Diocesan Youth Office and took the form of five minute presentations
by Youth Groups such as NET, Antioch and La Sallians (who
admitted to pinching the ERC idea!) and Religious Congregations
... including our own. Some sixteen organisations were represented
and the talks were bisected by a meal. Impressive
By popular request.
The ERF Link Committee is planning another Bush
Retreat for the weekend of 17 - 19 October
2003, at Trinitys Camp Kelly Dwellingup.
Hopefully once again we will be able to enjoy
the same delightful mix of Aboriginal, Australian
and Celtic Spirituality that we did last time.
All meals and dormitory style accommodation will
be available, BYO bedding or BYO tent etc. Costs
to be advised.
Caring for our Planet
Faulkners principal work these days is with the Catholic Earth-Care
Commission. In an update for this edition he told us the Commission
is occupied at the moment with Nuclear Waste Dump, Genetic Modification
of Crops and Depleted Uranium Ordnance issues. Br Peter represented
Archbishop Wilson recently at the unique Forum on the Murray
where both Houses of State Parliament together with ten Federal
MPs spent a full day working on a solution to the health of the
Murray-Darling Basin. SA's Earth Charter C'tee meets at the Cathedral
Building every six weeks and is studying and putting into practice
the various "Principles" of the document. (It's like a
Catholic Earthcare Australia had its April Meeting postponed by
the Bishops' conference.
You can check out the Catholic Earthcare website
all the other troubles in the world East Timor has slipped from
the news a little yet the challenge of building this new nation
continues. The East Timor Leeuwin Care Group has asked us to pass
on their thanks for a donation of $2,150 from the Province. This
has been an important contribution to the $8-10,000 the group aims
to raise this year to provide the living expenses of a very
prayerful, generous community of twelve who are daily serving people
at risk in East Timor.
For the latest information about the East Timor
Leeuwin Care Group visit the Edmund Rice Centre website at the University
of Notre Dame Australia: http://erc.nd.edu.au/
Outreach Program at Rostrevor
schools today are endeavouring to implement outreach programs that
develop a sense of social responsibility in young people. Lynne
Moten, Service Programme Co-Ordinator at Rostrevor has provided
us with an overview of the program at Rostrevor College. The
boys are encouraged to assist and stand in solidarity with the poor
and marginalised in our world and to be aware of, and to respond
to social justice issues. Her report details the type of endeavours
undertaken at each level in the Junior School and gives an overview
of what is also happening at the more senior levels. One recent
development is that the Programme has now extended to the point
where parents have become involved in working on the Soup Run at
night. The plan is to have a Rostrevor team work on that run, and
the dream is to eventually have our own van. The way this programme
has developed in the last year, it wont be too long before
that dream becomes a reality! Lynnes reports can be
viewed as a pdf file here.
Vale Br Kevin McMaster
Br Kevin McMaster had a long and distinguished teaching
career in Queesland, New South Wales and in the Holy Spirit Province.
As Br Rod Ellyard noted in this tribute published in the Brothers
newsletter "Kevin had a wonderful smile and his hearty laugh
with friends was infectious".
Kevin was born in Adelaide to George McMaster
and Elizabeth Willis. He has one surviving sibling, Mrs. Margaret
King who lives in the Perth suburb of Lesmurdie. Kevin attended
CBC Wakefield Street where he did well in his schooling and excelled
as a cricketer. He remained attached to his alma mater throughout
life. When he joined the Brothers he became part of the largest
Australian Novitiate group, that of 1948. The usual range of early
teaching appointments took him to Toowoomba, Chatswood, Rostrevor,
Adelaide and Highgate. In June 1969 a new Community was established
at Bedford from Highgate. Kevin was appointed first Superior. He
gave the new entity the name St.Mark's.
Vigil Ceremony at McAuley
Centre for Br Kevin.
His well honed qualities of thoroughness and
meticulous attention to detail came to the fore and the builders
knew they had a man who would not be satisfied with anything less
than what was required. These qualities were the mark of the man
and he put them to good use in appointments as Headmaster of CBC
Fremantle and Rostrevor, Deputy Principal at Trinity, Province Bursar,
Administrator of Castledare and Clontarf, and Consultant at the
Catholic Education Office for his final 10 years. Kevin studied
relevant documents and committed them to memory and with such detail
he was seldom wrong.
Kevin was a highly qualified person. He had
five degrees in Education and Administration. A peak time of recognition
of his talents was his time as visiting Professor at Iona, USA under
the Austin Loftus Scholarship scheme.
Mass at Chapel of
St Michael the Archangel,
Catholic Education Centre,
The Vigil Prayers for Kevin were attended by
about 65 people. When it came to the Sharing of Memories, quite
a stream of people had something to say. From school classmates,
to those who shared initial formation or lived with him as a Brother
to recent work colleagues and friends, they kept standing up and
speaking about the impact he made on their lives. His Requiem Mass
the following day at St. Michael the Archangel chapel at the Catholic
Education Office where he worked in charge of Schools Capital Development
Funding until a fortnight from his death, was very well attended.
Br. Basil Hickey, a long standing friend, gave the enlogy and spoke
with insight and emotion. Fr. John Harte SJ celebrated the Eucharist
and also spoke movingly.
Kevin had a wonderful smile and his hearty
laugh with friends was infectious. Despite this, his wonderful abilities
in organization and administration were not fully matched in his
ability to deal with people. Misunderstandings occurred and there
were hurts on both sides. This was a big cross for him to bear and
there were plenty of signs that he suffered deeply. He also suffered
poor health. While his illness and final suffering from the cancer
that killed him was mercifully brief, he suffered from asthma most
of his life. He was often short of breath and short of energy.
A very significant Brother has passed from
May he rest in peace.
Vale Tom Roberts
Br Hugh Sharpe cfc, whose paintings of Edmund Rice
and his family have been a regular feature of the web edition of
the news, is now living in Perth. He has written a very moving tribute
to Tom Roberts. Tom was a former Brother familiar to many in the
Edmund Rice Family in Holy Spirit Province who died in Tasmania
On Tuesday May 13th I visited Tom in the Whittle
Ward (Palliative Care) in the Repatriation Hospital in Hobart, now
part of the Hobart Royal. Tom has been ill for several years with
advancing chronic sugar diabetes. Some months ago a new severe condition
lead doctors to discover a brain tumour, which proved to be a secondary,
for cancer had invaded all his internal organs. The medical people
were surprised that he has been able to hold on so tenaciously to
Although Tom was fully conscious, I was anxious
not to overtax his strength. We spoke and reminisced, but not continuously,
for about an hour. During that time we joked, and he laughed quietly
to himself of the good times we had had together, especially in
Fremantle with Tony Kelly, Pat Grant, Len Marshall, Bert Hodgekinson,
Neil Wilson and others. He remembered them all. He expressed a warmth
and high regard for brothers he had known and lived with, ones like
Bruno Doyle, Paddy ODoherty, and appreciated the sterling
work done in the institutions. His time in Broome, where he had
been the first Principal of Nulungu College, had been an important
and happy time for him. His community was Peter Hardiman and Nick
Bilich (R.I.P). He was grateful for the prayers offered for his
welfare by the brothers in WA. One of the most devoted visitors
during Toms last illness was Br Jack Higgins of West Moonah,
To celebrate Toms 70th birthday, to acknowledge
his life and to accept that he was terminally ill, a Leave Taking
Ceremony took place on his birthday, 4th April, in their unit at
Snug, a small town south of Hobart. Appropriately it was during
Easter week. Tom and his wife, Denise, welcomed close friends and
relatives his sister Bernadette from Perth, his sister Cecilia
and her husband, Ted, from Victoria and his nephew, Gerald Kelly,
from Melbourne. The ceremony recalled all the special events in
Toms life, gave thanks for Gods gifts and expressed
gratitude for all the happy times he had experienced, especially
when he was in the Christian Brothers. Tom received the Eucharist
and was anointed by Fr Chris Hope. Denise remarked that an almost
party atmosphere prevailed from midday till after tea.
Mary Morgan, a Presentation Sister, of Maryknoll, Tasmania, runs
a Prayer Companions Group with which Tom and Denise were associated.
To her the ceremony was inspirational as she noted Toms wonderful
spirit and attitude as he faced the future.
Such was his spirit that even on the day I
saw him he had travelled by ambulance to see for the last time their
unit at Snug, but he was able only to stay twenty minutes. He even
advised the gardeners to have a break and to take good care of themselves.
Before I left Tom gave me a printed card on
which were written these words he had composed himself:-
May the Spirit
be with you
And guide your
Im ready for this
Let the adventure begin.
I felt I was a link with the brothers and that
part of his life for which he was very grateful. When I said goodbye
I was sure I would not see him again.
Even up to the following Thursday (16th May)
Tom was anxious to contact friends by letter, but by Friday he was
in and out of deep sleep. By phone Denise told me he was in a coma
(Monday) and that his was a gentle dying, with almost some hints
Tom hung on to life for another ten days and
died peacefully at 7.00am on Friday 23rd May.
I was told that on the following Tuesday, 27th
May, Fr Chris Hope lead the obsequies assisted by Fr Graeme Howard
in the Snug Church. Over sixty people, including a sister and two
nephews who placed the white pall on the coffin, formed the congregation,
many of whom were locals from the small township such was
Toms influence over the short period he had been there. As
he loved the harp, a member of the symphony orchestra played during
the Mass and sea-shells from Broome were offered as symbols of Toms
dedication to his mission work in that town especially his efforts
with the aboriginal people. In his homily Chris stressed Toms
love for people, his humour and his work for the Edmund Rice Family
a truly beautiful celebration.
In his married life and in his religious life
he had been a source of blessings for so many. R.I.P.
Edmund Rices Birthday on May
4th was celebrated this year at Ollys Workshop in
Wangara. Br. Olly Pickett welcomed about 80 Edmund Rice Family
and Friends, as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon tea, followed
by a guided tour of the workshop and the wheelchair assembly
line, from bits and pieces through to completed wheelchairs
packed ready for shipping. Large wall displays showed all
the places in the world where almost 2000 wheelchairs have
now been sent, primarily for use by child victims of land
mines. Photographs of the many maimed but smiling kids proudly
sitting in their wheelchairs dotted the walls. The workshop
run by Br. Olly is a joint venture by the Christian Brothers
and the Rotary Club of Scarborough. Over 50 volunteers assemble
the wheelchairs, and they are often supplemented by groups
of school kids, who collect donations and then volunteer to
help with the assembly.
Two boys, who had been on recent Trinity College
pilgrimages to India, spoke movingly of their experience working
with the sick and poor, and how it had affected their lives
since. They were followed by a short PowerPoint reflection
and prayer led by Br. Rod Ellyard.
Finally, while a large sausage sizzle was got under way by
Br. Bernard White, many took a few minutes to inspect the
nearby Eddys Carpentry Shop under the guidance of Br.
Peter Thrupp. Peters workshop provides kids at risk
with an opportunity for constructive use of their time, and
exposure to the influence of Edmund Rice.
So, an interesting day ended on a great
note, with a delightful sausage, onion and salad sizzle. The
day had given us all an opportunity to see and feel something
else of the Spirit of Edmund Rice in action. Br
Thrupp says thanks
as he appeared in the paper
with the new saw donated by
Scarborough Rotary Club.
Br Peter Thrupp runs Eddys
Carpentry Workshop in Wangarra helping about 50 children from
local schools facing challenges in their lives. He recently
used the Wanneroo Times to thank the Scarborough Rotary Club
for donating a new docking saw and to publicise the work of
Todd Flanagan in China
Talking of the tour to India, many will remember the video
made a couple of years ago on the Trinity Pilgrimage to India
which was largely the brainchild of Todd Flanagan. Todd has
recently been promoted to the position of Principal at the
Shanghai International School in China where he has been based
for two years.
He reports he is particularly keen on implementing
the style of leadership, which he saw and experienced at both
Aquinas and Trinity College.
Todd and outgoing principal,
Todd and students in the
beautiful ground of the school
|Todd attended Aquinas College between
1979-1983 as a boarder and later worked in the Boarding House.
He worked in the Junior School relieving the then Assistant
Principal, Mr Mark Hackett before accepting a role as the Assistant
Principal Administration at Trinity College. The Shanghai
International School is the first international school officially
recognized by and registered with the Chinese government, YCIS-Shanghai
has become an important window in Eastern China
for the exchange of educational ideas and experiences with other
parts of the world.
Success in Tracing Family
Christian Brothers Ex-Residents and Students Services received a
heartening message on their website recently from Godfrey Gilmour.
He has been reunited with over 70 family members and was writing
to express his appreciation. He urges those searching "to persevere
and maintain your hope". Here is the text of Godfrey's message:
I have just recently traced my father after
a search that has lasted most of my life. I have also made contact
with all my brothers and sisters as well as a large extended family
in the British Isles. I met over 70 family members. It was an emotive
time and an especially warm and loving occasion.I was able to meet
my father just a short while before he died in February.
For years I had searched and yet always avoided
making direct contact, I guess I was scared of more rejection. I
was wrong on all counts as the reception I received was wonderful
and I am now in regular contact with the British side of my family
as well as my Maltese family.
I would urge those searching to persevere and
maintain your hope.
Godfrey Tonna Gilmour
The C-BERS website also is well worth a visit: http://www.cberss.org/
Immersion Retreat in Lusaka
Walsh reports that 19 school principals and others from Australia,
NZ and Ireland were engaged in an 'immersion' retreat at the International
Spirituality Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. Peter Shanahan and Mark McGlaughlin
from Holy Spirit Province were there too.
Richard's report can be read on the edmundrice.org
website at: http://www.edmundrice.org/formation/content/507retreat.html
Who needs ham radio when you
have the internet?
We had an email in following our request for news
from Vin McKenna in which he informed us Br Peter Ellis
has commenced work at the mission at Wewak (PNG) among other duties
he is Electronic Technical assistant to the mission hospital. He
has obtained an amateur radio callsign, P29PE, and has established
regular contact on the 20 metre band with Vin Doc McKenna
VK3AOY in Melbourne. Vin had the science wing at Aquinas
named after him last year and is remembered for his call sign VK6AQ
when he was teaching at Aquinas when Hal David was writing What
the world needs now.... What Doc McKenna thought
the world needed was a plethora of antennae and if hed had
his way he probably would have tried to install a Cyclotron at Aquinas
as well. He did teach the most popular RE classes in the college
though. Today he lives in retirement in Melbourne with his wife
Joy when hes not visiting his amateur radio friends around
the world. The internet does not seem to have dampened the interest
of the genuine ham radio enthusiasts.
The success of the Edmund Rice Volunteers program
is becoming increasingly evident. The following is a report from
Anne ODonoghue who is presently volunteering in Nairobi with
our own Kelsey Wilson.
all, its nice to be writing again, a good chance for me to
reflect on whats happened to date. In terms of life over here,
things are calm and normal, despite the talked about
threat of terrorism. The rains were late this year, causing fears
of drought and famine, but then we were hit with massive flooding
and sadly many have died or lost homes up country. In
Nairobi, the main water pipe serving the city was destroyed and
part of it found floating down a river somewhere! Weve had
no water for about three weeks now. Luckily, we have a rainwater
tank and plenty of buckets to fill from it! Those I work with have
to walk long distances and pay for and carry containers of water.
Apart from this, life is going nicely, there is a great network
of volunteers here and we realise how lucky we are in the scheme
Ruben school was still on holidays, I kept busy running a bit of
a craft program at a local orphanage, run by the Mercy Sisters.
I also helped accompany a group to the local safari park and animal
orphanage. The children were just as excited as any foreigner to
see the local wildlife, as they are not exposed to such treats,
coming from the slums or the streets of Nairobi. There was particular
excitement (and shrieks) all round when our picnic lunch was invaded
by a family of warthogs!
During the last week of break, I
helped to lead an Edmund Rice Camp for some of the more disadvantaged
children from Ruben and a neighbouring school. The weather was appalling,
but we all had a fantastic time, with activities like art and craft,
indoor sports and bushwalking. Some of the Standard 8 students as
well as some local teenagers with scout training proved to be innovative
and energetic leaders. Even when all 40 of us were stranded in a
gazebo for two hours, waiting out a downpour, the children were
thoroughly entertained, playing a long string of games, involving
lots of African singing and dancing and no other resources.
my remedial program is in full swing and taking up much of my time
and thoughts. There is lots of work and many challenges associated
with getting a new program up and running and with assessing students
individually. I am lucky to have the help of a young local woman,
Benadetta (in picture). She helps me with translating when necessary
and with managing the class, so that we can have a teacher/ student
ratio of 1:5, or have time for preparation by taking turns with
running a class. The other volunteer here, John also comes in to
help out when he can.
I have 10-12 students from each standard (grade)
1-6, plus a smaller group of Standard 7/8. On Monday we focus on
speaking and listening in English, on Tuesday and Wednesday the
focus is on developing reading skills, Thursday
has a writing focus and on Fridays we are trying to develop the
students numeracy skills, while also practising speaking and
listening in English. The children in lower primary still only learn
English as a subject, so we talk to them in a mixture of English
and Swahili, but I try to run lessons mostly in English for the
upper primary classes, as that is the language of instruction and
examinations for them. There is some need to use Swahili, though,
to facilitate learning, as often a lack of English is what has caused
these children to fall behind in the first place. I am learning
Kiswahili (and loving it!). Often the children will rattle on to
me in Kiswahili, which I may pretend to understand with a kweli?
(really?) or hapana (no) response.
It keeps the kids on their toes if they dont think I cant
understand them! I am learning fairly quickly though, and the children
are also quickly picking up more English. The babies (7 year olds)
now all greet me with Good morning teecha!, and can
all say return your books! as I repeat it to them so
The children rush to class and especially enjoy
free reading time, with the story books (donated by you!) and the
learning games I have brought or made. They get incredibly excited
about using coloured pencils, paint or paper (all of which I bought
with your generous donations).
have also just started a Reading Club in the library at lunch times.
The students are not allowed to borrow from the library (books often
go missing, having been sold in the village!), nor is the library
normally open at lunch times. So, hopefully now we will make the
most of the books donated, and can encourage the childrens
enjoyment in reading.
The librarian, Br Florence (shown in picture), principal, students
and staff were all incredibly grateful for your donations, and they
have enabled me to run (I hope) an effective program. There is still
much work to be done to ensure that I am meeting the students
needs. Thanks to all who have given advice and resources. Particular
thanks to Caroline Fogarty, who recently sent me an invaluable package
of ESL resources and ideas.
Please keep the children and me in your thoughts
and prayers. I am having a fantastic time, and we are really still
just getting started! There is lots more to achieve. Look out for
more updates next month, and I will also send more action
photos, of the teaching and learning going on in the remedial classes.
with the Christ Child
from the Edmund Rice Icon
EDMUND RICE REFLECTION...
of Edmunds saintliness was that he saw the face of
Christ in those least respected by the social code
beggars, prisoners, the unsophisticated, and unkempt.
story handed down is that of Poll a woman of the
streets, an alcoholic, shunned by the people of Waterford.
Supported by Edmunds friendship, she managed to seek
help from the Presentation Sisters and turned her life around.
Poll decided to mark the 120km journey to Cork to take the
pledge, it was Edmund who trusted in her decision
(where others saw her as a hopeless case) and arranged from
her to be suitably attired for the trip. Poll never acquired
material wealth, yet her story has continued to enrich others
for almost two centuries.
your great commandment was to Love one another as
I have loved you.
Rice took this to heart. His love was true, practical and
selfless. Help us to be unafraid to love like that.
reflection is taken from Chapter 4 on Christ-like Love in
God is in the Ordinary by Teresa Pirola.
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