Good Grief: Promoting Mental Wellbeing In Adults and Children During COVID

For there is always a light, if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history. 

COVID-19 continues to impact our lives in a variety of ways: who we can see and what we can do at home, school, work, and play.

No-one really knows yet what the long-term impact, if any, will be on children. What is known though, is that a caring, consistent, and open parent or carer, who is coping as positively as they can, is likely important.

The evidence shows that this relationship helps support children’s resilience and wellbeing when they adapt to big changes, whatever they are. So it is critically important that adults acknowledge “we can’t give what we don’t have”.

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Mary MacKillop’s Humanity and Humour

Illustration by Jane Maisey rsj.
Flesh and blood MacKillop is a woman of strength and humour who had her share of personal heartbreak. The real, very human MacKillop lies somewhere between feminist icon and humble saint. No one is the loser if you recognise her sanctity and holiness, but you don’t lift her out of the realm of human beings, as a woman struggling in tough times. [1]

Many of the stories relayed to us by the sisters who personally knew Mary MacKillop give insights into her works of mercy, her massive kindness, her amazing compassion, her commitment and love of God.

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Season of Creation: The World is Our Household, Let’s Honour It

Photo by Kateri Duke rsj.

The Season of Creation is a month-long prayerful observance, from 1 September to 4 October, that calls the planet’s 2.2 billion Christians to pray and care for God’s creation.

It is a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment — not just “distant” nature, but crucially, the place where we live — and the ways in which our lifestyles and decisions as a society can endanger both the natural world and the humans and other creatures inhabiting it.

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National Child Protection Week: 5-11 September

National Child Protection Week is facilitated by The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) each year as a means to create awareness and prevention and aims to bring abuse and neglect out of the shadows and put child wellbeing on the national agenda.

NAPCAN was co-founded in 1987 when the issue of child abuse and neglect was a taboo topic. NAPCAN’s purpose is to bring an awareness of child abuse and neglect and create safer communities for children.

Protecting children from abuse is a whole of community responsibility.

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Tokaanu and Waihi, Aotearoa New Zealand

Hostel in Tokaanu with Boarders and Sisters 1945 after the Hostel was renovated. Sisters of Saint Joseph Aotearoa New Zealand Archives collection.

In 1902 when the Society of Saint Joseph priests (Mill Hill missionaries) [1] were working among the Māori people on the southern shores of Lake Taupo, they realised that a Catholic School was a necessity.

They approached Mother Mary MacKillop for Sisters of Saint Joseph to staff the school.

At the beginning of September 1903 on behalf of Mother Mary MacKillop, Sr M. Patricia wrote to Fr Bruning that “she would make an effort to supply your wants as she has a great love for and sympathy with the Māori Missions”.

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A Josephite Companion’s Reflection on Father’s Day

Photo by Robert Cheaib.

For the Josephite Companion Movement, 2021 has been a year of new beginnings: a new name and structure, and new ways to “Gather Together”.

We have surmounted many obstacles and climbed many hills. We have had meetings and prayer sessions via email, video, phone, Zoom and, in some lucky cases, in person. All this has enriched our Movement and opened our minds and hearts to new ways of being community.

The Josephite Companions Leadership Team (JCoLT) has made the most of these new times by organising our inaugural Zoom Conference, Be Courageous and Full of Hope, which will be held on 4 September 2021, Father’s Day weekend. The conference will focus on where our movement has come from, where we are now and how we move forward.

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Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor: Social Justice Sunday 29 August

In a short space of time the peoples of planet Earth have witnessed bushfires, floods, and catastrophic environmental damage. Good people everywhere ask, “What is the right and proper way to respond?”

I spoke to Olkola/Djabaguy woman Sherry Balcombe about this. “We as Aboriginal people know the Earth is the most sacred of gifts given to us by the Creator Spirit,” she said. “It is what gives us life. It nurtures us, it sustains us and provides all that we need. We must heal country”.

Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ named earth as our common home, crying out for attention. When it is exploited and spoiled, the poorest of earth’s people suffer first, and future generations are robbed of their inheritance.

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Book Review: Journeying with Joseph

The title of the book, Journeying with Joseph, offers a broad canvas on which the authors explore and honor Joseph, whom Christians know as the foster father of Jesus.

The idea of the work evolved from the creative mind of its editor, Mary Cresp rsj, and from Josephite history impregnated as it is with the ideas of founders such as Mary MacKillop, Julian Tenison Woods and others. The writers themselves offer us their expertise in areas such as spirituality and theology as they write about a silent man who provided a sacred space for both Mary and Jesus.

The book is subdivided into three sections: Joseph’s Foundational Inspiration, Joseph’s Radiant Influence and Joseph’s Cultural Outreach. The sections make it easier to access areas of particular interest to the readers.

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