Honour Father Julian, Care for the Earth

Photo by Markus Spiske

Commemorating Julian Tenison Woods’ anniversary of death (7 October), we examine his vision from our present time and perspective.

In the 1860s, Julian Tenison Woods invited Mary MacKillop to share his vision of a group of women working with children and families in Australia. His vision was born of the country areas he ministered in, of the urgent needs of his time and place.

He could see the immediate need for education, as communities were isolated from the major towns where they might receive it. He saw the need for continuing education in faith, because families were spread in parishes and celebration of Mass was infrequent.

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Let’s Cultivate the Vision of Father Julian Tenison Woods

Photo by Ann Morrison rsj

Julian Tenison Woods was gifted with the ability to see the presence of God in all that surrounded him. His God was embedded not only in human life and the people around him, but in the entire creation.

In a letter he wrote to Mary MacKillop in 1870, he said, “God’s beauty, God’s goodness, God’s fatherly watchful care of me and all nature pursues me everywhere.” 

The very rocks, trees, caves, skies, plants and animals shone with the beauty and unique wonder of God for Julian. So much so that he was able to simply say, “All created things give us ideas and glimpses of the beauty of the infinitely beautiful Creator.” (1881) 

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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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