NetAct Federal Election Kit

‘The NetAct Election Kit’ is offered to you to assist in reflecting on some of the critical issues that face us at this time.

The upcoming Australian Federal Election on Saturday 18 May 2019, is a real call for us to act as Gospel people on behalf of the vulnerable in our society.

You’re invited to view the kit provided below:

NetAct Federal 2019 Election Kit (PDF)

(A Project of Catholic Social Justice, Welfare and Educational Agencies)


Thumbnail image: Election Day Vote by OrnaW obtained from Pixabay. Used with permission.

ANZAC Day War Poem

In commemoration of ANZAC Day on 25 April, please enjoy “In Flanders Fields”, one of the most quoted poems from the war.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

“In Flanders Fields” is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. “In Flanders Fields” was first published on December 8 of that year in the London magazine Punch.

It is one of the most quoted poems from the war. As a result of its immediate popularity, parts of the poem were used in efforts and appeals to recruit soldiers and raise money selling war bonds. Its references to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world’s most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict. The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day symbols throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada, where “In Flanders Fields” is one of the nation’s best-known literary works. The poem is also widely known in the United States, where it is associated with Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Kathleen Hitchcock rsj

Image: Poppies by James Wainscoat obtained on Unsplash. Used with permission.

International Earth Day 2019

Photo by Anika Huizinga obtained on Unsplash.

The Gift of Earth

If we look around us, wherever we are at this moment, there is nothing we can note with our senses that is not gift of Earth. It does not matter how far or distant from nature the elements we are observing are, the source is Earth.  The ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the Sydney Opera House, the local shopping centre, the instrument you are using to read this paragraph, all sourced from Earth, channeled often through human creativity and expertise.

But we too are Earth and, sadly, often distance ourselves from all that is natural, all that is created.  Humanity places itself apart from the natural world. Our faith, however, tells us all creation does not come from nothing but from God, whom the mystics describe as No-thing but unmeasurable love.

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Easter Greetings from Sr Monica Cavanagh

Greetings on this great feast of Easter.

So they, the women, left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples – Jesus is risen.Mt 28:8

As Pope Francis reflects: ‘The Easter Triduum is the memorial of a drama of love that gives us the certainty that we will never be abandoned in life’s trials’. Over these past days of the Paschal Triduum, we have journeyed with many emotions. We have experienced fear and courage, betrayal and faithfulness, grief and joy and despair and hope. We have heard the heartbeat of God’s love as we, like John the Beloved, have leant upon the breast of Jesus at the last supper; we have touched the heartache of Peter as he denies the one to whom he has pledged his life; we have experienced the despair of Judas and the cowardice of Pilate and stood faithfully at the Cross with Mary. We have sat in the darkness of the tomb and touched those dark places within as we have grieved with the people of New Zealand and the people of Rwanda celebrating the 25th anniversary of 100 day genocide in their nation. We have touched into the suffering of Jesus from all corners of the world where war, drought, famine, floods and earthquakes have destroyed homes and livelihoods. From these seeds of hardship new life begins to emerge – new life born of the hope of Easter. We have seen New Zealanders unite as one, embracing difference and standing as one with their brothers and sisters. We have heard stories from Rwanda of forgiveness and reconciliation and we have heard stories of great rejoicing as yet one more person is rescued from the rabble of a natural disaster.

These are the Easter stories of today. Like Mary Magdalene, may the actions of our daily lives proclaim that Jesus is truly alive as we welcome the dawning of a new day, transform our fears into acts of courage, reach out with a hand of hope to a refugee, listen to the story of our first peoples and celebrate the beauty that surrounds us in the gift of creation. In and through these moments, we experience the spirit of that first Easter, rising once again as we proclaim ‘He is risen Alleluia’.

May this Easter be filled with deep peace and joy as we move forward as people of the Resurrection filled with the light of the Easter candle.

Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj
Congregational Leader


Image Sunshine Cross Religion by StockSnap obtained on Pixabay. Used with permission.

Dianne’s Life Commitment

On Sunday 24 February 2019, the sisters gathered in the chapel at St Joseph’s Convent Kensington (South Australia), and burst into joyous song with “Come sing out our joy to our God.”

They were celebrating the fact that their dear friend, colleague, Associate and Affiliate – Dianne Colborne – was making her Life Commitment as a Sister of Saint Joseph.

The Celebrant for the occasion was Fr James McEvoy, a long-time friend of Dianne’s.

During the Reflection after the Readings, Genevieve (Gen) Ryan rsj focused on the reading from Jeremiah 29 in which God says:

I will come to you and fulfil my good promise to bring you to this place.Jeremiah 29

Gen traced the unfolding of God’s plan and call to Dianne by drawing our attention to many occasions and incidents in her life. She told how Dianne started her journey into Josephite life as a very young woman in 1970. Nudged by God’s Spirit, she moved away from the formal journey towards religious life and, in 1971, she came to Adelaide where she lived out her discipleship as a teacher, principal of Catholic Schools and, in due course, a Pastoral Associate in the Adelaide Archdiocese.

As we know, every Religious Order has its charism and spirit. It is difficult to define that charism but once a person is drawn to a particular religious community it is easy to recognise it in her life – especially by those already living it. Long before Dianne made any moves to formalise her commitment, other Josephites recognised our Charism in her.

She is now a Sister with Life Commitment and the Eucharistic celebration during which she professed her vows is still resounding in the hearts of all who were present.

Once the celebrations surrounding her commitment were over, Dianne returned to Western Australia where she is Co-ordinator of a Retreat Centre at Safety Bay, near Perth. There her ministry is one of hospitality and welcome to those who come seeking to deepen their relationship with self, others and God.

View a reflection from the Mass of Dianne’s Life Commitment here (PDF)

View photos from the celebration in the gallery below:


Photos provided by Patricia Keane rsj and Dianne Colborne rsj. Used with permission.

Reflections for Easter

Easter provides us with a time to reflect on our love for Jesus.

Provided below are four reflections: one each for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday for you to use…


Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday (PDF)


Good Friday

Good Friday (PDF)


Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday (PDF)


Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday (PDF)



Reflections provided by: Frances Maguire rsj, Emilie Cattalini rsj, Wendy Lailey rsj and Kathleen Hitchcock rsj


Call to Change

Evolving Consciousness – Our Common Home

This Lent season you are invited to evolve your consciousness in caring for our common home. Nellie McLaughlin provides a reflection with the key message to ‘Change the Story: From Separation to Interconnectedness’.

Be inspired to answer the ‘call to change’ by reading the reflection provided below:

Evolving Consciousness - Our Common Home (PDF)


Thumbnail image: Butterfly on yellow flower by Boris Smokrovic obtained on Unsplash. Image used with permission.

Palm Sunday

A reflection for Palm Sunday…

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem.

Please download and continue reading the Palm Sunday Reflection

Palm Sunday Reflection

Kindly provided by Briege Buckley rsj


Thumbnail image: Palm image by Valentin Salja obtained on Unsplash. Used with permission.