Earth Hour – 25 March 2023

Image by Earth Hour.

This year marks the 15th year of Earth Hour. What began in the Sydney CBD has spread across the nation and the globe. It is estimated that one in three people will participate in the symbolic action of turning off lights in their homes and some places of work for one hour.

Earth Hour is not about saving energy. The amount of energy this action conserves globally is negligible. The simple act of turning off the lights serves to remind us that Earth is a single planet sharing the one source of light. Looking down your street, across the suburbs, or at the dim city skyline during Earth Hour creates a sense of solidarity with others. At least one in three of your neighbours across all the continents cares enough about Earth to engage in this symbolic action. We are not alone in our concerns. The cumulative effect of everyone’s small actions and heightened awareness emits powerful messages to politicians, investors, influencers and policymakers.

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Josephite Justice Network Gathering – March 2023

The Josephite Justice Network (JJN) gathering was held at Kincumber South, New South Wales from 10-12 March 2023. Josephite Sisters, Companions as well as young Josephite volunteers from throughout Australia, were all present.

The theme for the gathering was The Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:5). We realised during the course of the weekend, that getting together and listening to each other was a breath of fresh air, and a chance for us to recharge and prepare for all our forthcoming opportunities.

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International Women’s Day in Canberra

Sr Jo Brady next to a statue of her grandmother Dame Enid Lyons.

On International Women’s Day (8 March), I was fortunate to be invited to the unveiling of the statues of the first two women to enter federal parliament 80 years ago in 1943. The two women were Dame Dorothy Tangney from Western Australia who entered the Senate, and my grandmother Dame Enid Lyons from Tasmania who entered the House of Representatives. Dame Enid Lyons became the first woman in cabinet.

At the time of entering parliament, my grandmother had 11 children, five of whom were still in boarding school. As the wife of Joe Lyons, Tasmanian Premier and tenth Prime Minister (1932-1939), my grandmother was familiar with politics, having stood for the Tasmanian Parliament with her mother in the 1920s and having been involved in campaigning with her husband. In her maiden speech she had observed that a woman in the public sphere must “justify herself not as a woman, but as a citizen”. [1]

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JJAMM (Joseph, Julian and Mary MacKillop) 2023

And that’s a wrap on JJAMM 2023! What a fun, empowering, and faith-filled ride it was. Our Josephite student leaders journeyed across Australia and New Zealand to join forces in their collective pursuit for justice in the name of the Josephite tradition. It was a privilege to watch these gifted and insightful young leaders reinvigorate the dormant light within them and channel their newly kindled charism into the world of social justice.

As we laughed, dreamed, learned, prayed, strategised, and JJAMM-ed together, we truly felt the spirit of St Joseph, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, and St Mary MacKillop with us. The days we shared with each other not only enriched our understanding of what it means to be a creative, vision forward Josephite leader, but highlighted the importance of connection within community to achieve our just visions.

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Celebrating Lent at Mount St Joseph’s College

In preparation for Ash Wednesday (22 February), the Mount St Joseph Girls’ College (MSJ) community in Victoria, hosted a ‘Burning of Palms Ceremony’ with Fr John Healy from Holy Trinity Parish.

Fr John spoke about the meaning and rich symbolism of palm branches and their connection to Ash Wednesday. He explained that they remind us of the palms laid to cover Jesus’ path as he arrived in Jerusalem, just before he was crucified.

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Feast of Saint Joseph 2023

Greetings on the feast of Saint Joseph.

Currently, the Church worldwide is engaging in the Continental Phase for the Synod on Synodality. As Patron of the Universal Church, we might pause to reflect on the spirit of Synodality in the life of St Joseph.

The word ‘synodality’ means ‘walking together’. Through the Gospel stories, we see and recognise that Mary and Joseph walked together through all that confronted them – on journeys to Bethlehem, Egypt and to Nazareth. They listened deeply to all that was happening around them: the need to participate in the census, to be confronted with the reality of ‘no room in the inn’, and the insights gained through the visit of the shepherds and the magi.

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Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day

Crough Patrick (a mountain) is an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo, Ireland.

This St Patrick’s Day (17 March) we celebrate the Irish Sisters of Saint Joseph who have been part of the story of the Congregation since its beginnings.

As early as 1871 there were 78 Irish Sisters in the group of 137 Josephites. Some of these Irish women immigrated to Australia with their families and others travelled alone.

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MacKa Moments for Lent

Photo by Aaron Burden.

MacKa Moments (MacKa short for Mary MacKillop) are short, candid videos about moments in Mary MacKillop’s life by Sr Rita Malavisi.

For the season of Lent, Sr Rita will create and share MacKa Moments and release them weekly.

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