Advent Reflection

Jacaranda tree by Annie Bond rsj.

The days are growing longer, the sun is growing towards its full summer radiance, the Jacaranda, Silky Oak, Poinciana and Flame Trees are blooming. We find ourselves moving quickly toward our remembrance and celebration of the coming into our world of the One who is Light. We are in Advent time, a time of waiting, hope and joyful expectation.

However, as I write, the nightly news is playing in the background. I am all too aware of the conflict, suffering and pain in which our world is shrouded. This gives me pause, and I question: “How much longer? Will anything ever change? When will we have ears that hear, eyes that see, hearts that are open?”

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Embracing inclusion at Figtree Early Learning Centre, Croydon

To acknowledge the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) and Pope Francis’ December prayer intention: For persons with disabilities, St Anthony’s Family Care provides a feature on their Figtree Early Learning Centre.

Ensuring the meaningful inclusion of children at Figtree Early Learning Centre is not just a social and moral responsibility; it is also an adventure of discovery, laughter, and growth that we have been on for the last 12 years.

At Figtree, we believe that every child has the right to be a significant part of their community. What better way to support their journey than through the vibrant, fun, and exciting programs offered at Figtree? Our programs are developed and implemented by the dedicated team of educators at Figtree and aim to support children’s communication, self-help skills and the development of their social interactions alongside peers. Friendships flourish in an environment that encourages collaboration, empathy, and a joy of shared experiences.

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International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – Human Trafficking

Photo by Aida L.

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December each year, is the day allocated for all nations to consider the crime of slavery against humanity.

I cannot ignore it as I have been close, very close to seeing the consequences of it.

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Come and stay at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre, East Melbourne!

Front of the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre
Apartment lounge
Apartment bedroom

Are you planning a trip to Melbourne this festive season? If so, we welcome you to come and stay at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre in East Melbourne.

Situated in the heart of Melbourne, the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre offers visitors a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of the Melbourne CBD, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a place of peace, calmness, and serenity.

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In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop at Kincumber

Pilgrims in the Chapel at St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Kincumber South.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a group of parishioners from Morpeth (in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese) and lead them on a pilgrimage In the Footsteps of Mary MacKillop at St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre, Kincumber South situated on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

The Sisters of Saint Joseph have maintained a significant link to Kincumber since Mary MacKillop and the Sisters first established this site as a home for boys in 1887.

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Sister Hyacinth Quinlan: A Meritorious Life

Sister Hyacinth Quinlan.

Sister Hyacinth Quinlan died at New Town, Tasmania on 9 September 1933, and was laid to rest at Cornelian Bay Cemetery on the banks of the Derwent River. Hyacinth’s death was recorded in many newspapers throughout Australia, under the heading “A Meritorious Career.”[1] Newspaper articles noted that she was one of the last surviving links to the original foundation in South Australia.

Bridget (Hyacinth) Quinlan was of Irish descent, born in the Clare Valley on 20 August 1850.[2] Hyacinth joined the Sisters of Saint Joseph at the Franklin Street Convent, Adelaide in August 1868. Her sister Ellen, Sister Michael, joined the congregation a year later. Hyacinth remained within the congregation during the time of Mary’s excommunication, whereas Michael returned to her family during this period.

Hyacinth was a member of the founding community at The Vale in the Bathurst diocese in 1872. In 1876, she was pressured by Bishop Mathew Quinn to remain in the Bathurst diocese to train the Irish novices after Mary MacKillop withdrew the Sisters over issues regarding central government. Hyacinth acquiesced to Quinn’s demands and decided to remain ensuring a continuing Josephite presence in the diocese.

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Circumstances call Mary MacKillop to Sydney… 140 years ago

First photograph of the new Convent and Chapel in Kensington 1876. Sisters of Saint Joseph SA Archives.

Mary MacKillop was a prolific letter writer to her Sisters as they spread across Australia and New Zealand. She provided encouragement, practical and spiritual advice. Her letter dated 13 November 1883 was a very personal one to the Sisters in South Australia.

What were the circumstances which led to her leaving Adelaide at short notice?

  • Attitudes of the clergy
  • Difficulties in communication

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A Letter from Father Julian Tenison Woods

Woods the Musician by Lon Schrek.

To mark the birth of Father Julian Tenison Woods on 15 November 1832, Sr Carmel Jones imagines a letter written by Fr Julian on his birthday…

As I sit here today on my birthday, pen in hand, I am drawn to reflect back on my life and thank God for the many graces with which I have been blessed.

I am certainly grateful for my parents, James and Henrietta, who gave me the gift of life, and for the many and varied experiences that came with growing up with my family in England. I was blessed to be able to follow my deep desire for priesthood which led me from London to France and then to Australia. I am also grateful for the way my life was so enriched by my love of science and the environment.

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