Newsletter 13: 23 October 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As many would be aware, during these past school holidays, the Marist Association of Saint Marcellin Champagnat held their second National Assembly. 180 people gathered at Sacred Heart College in Adelaide from different Marist schools, ministries and communities across the country. Importantly, those in attendance were there at their own expense and time for the purposes of being together and reflecting on the progress of the Association over the past three years and imaging the future for this new Marist movement. Participants ranged in age from late teens to early 90s, and all shared an openness to the Spirit and one another that was uplifting and inspiring. The hospitality of the fine people of Sacred Heart College and the Adelaide Marists was greatly appreciated.

A significant outcome of the Assembly was the election and subsequent appointment of the new Association Council. The Council plays a key role in the governance and leadership of all Marist ministries in Australia. The new Council members have been elected for a term of three years.

Brother Peter Carroll - Provincial Marist Brothers Australian Province

Mr Nathan Ahearne – Director of Faith Formation, Marist College Canberra

Dr Jennifer Elvery – Education Consultant and sessional lecturer, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane

Mrs Carmelina Eussen – Deputy Principal of Marcellin College Randwick

Ms Kate Fogarty – Principal of Assumption College, Kilmore

Br Michael Green – Rector of Aquinas College, Adelaide

Br David Hall – Dean of La Salle Academy, Australian Catholic University

Mr Joe McCarthy – Director of Belonging & Development, Marist Association, Melbourne

Mr Ross Tarlinton OAM – recently appointed Diocesan Director – Strategy and Governance, Diocese of Lismore

In the week before the Assembly, the Marist Brothers of the Australian Province held their Third Chapter. Brothers elected from communities throughout the land joined at The Hermitage in Mittagong. Also present were two General Councillors from Rome. Brother Luis Carlos Gutiérrez, the Vicar General and Brother Ben Consigli the Councillor for Oceania and Asia. Brother Peter Carroll was endorsed for a second three year term as Provincial. The new Provincial Council was also elected.

Brother Jeff Barrington Brother Darren Burge Brother Dennis Cooper

Brother Greg McDonald Brother Graham Neist Brother Peter Rodney

Let us keep these new leaders in our prayers as we ask God to be with them, and Mary to guide them in their discussions, discernments, and decision making during the years ahead.

On Monday the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, was broadcast across the nation. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued a joint statement with Catholic Religious Australia (read here) welcoming the Prime Minister’s apology and renewing the Church’s own apology to victims and survivors of abuse, and to their families, friends and supporters, who have shared their suffering. Last Friday, the Provincial Brother Peter Carroll wrote to all members of the Australian Marist community in support of the National Apology. Peter’s words capture the sincere sentiments shared by all working today in Marist Schools.

On behalf of all Marists, I would express our full support for the National Apology and its aims of acknowledgement, recognition and reflection on the terrible legacy of sexual abuse of children in many institutions across this country.

It is part of our Marist history in Australia that children were tragically failed. Their trust, and that of their families, was betrayed by those who were meant to care and protect them.

The Marist Brothers’ Province of Australia openly acknowledges these terrible events and apologise for them and the damage that they have caused.

The effect of such abuse is lifelong and too many have and continue to endure, great pain and hurt as a result. We are profoundly sorry that this has happened.

I encourage all of us to take time to commemorate the National Apology and reflect on the painful lessons of the past so that we can all work towards a safer future for all children in our institutions.

Sally Dillon