Who wants to be a Martyr?

Each month, Pope Francis asks for our prayers for a specific intention. For the month of March, the prayer intention is for the martyrs of our day, witnesses to Christ: Let us pray that those who risk their lives for the Gospel in various parts of the world might imbue the Church with their courage and missionary drive.

The word ‘martyr’ brings to mind the early Christians martyred for the faith. In popular usage, it can also mean someone able to put up with a good deal in the pursuit of some cause.

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Josephite Justice Network Gathering: March 2024

The Josephite Justice Network (JJN) gathering for 2024 was held at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney from 8-10 March. Josephite Sisters, Companions, and organisational partners, as well as our young JJN team, were all present.

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Palm/Passion Sunday Reflection

Holy Week begins and ends with drama. When I think of Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, three things stand out:

  1. The beginning of Holy Week
  2. The importance of processions in our life and the tradition of Walk for Justice for Refugees
  3. Having the courage to walk this journey with Jesus to his cross and passion.

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A Laudato Si’ Easter Reflection

Cross at St Joseph’s Spirituality and Education Centre in Kincumber South, NSW.

As followers of Jesus, we are asked to walk humbly on the Earth and to care for the land, the oceans, and all creatures. Pope Francis reminds us in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum that the time for climate change action is becoming more URGENT.

He has posed the question: “Are we working for a culture of life or a culture of death”?

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Earth Hour: A Date to Remember

Image by Sumitkumar Sahare.

Do you know why the last Saturday of March each year is significant? Why is it marked on many calendars around the world as a date to remember? Because it is World Earth Hour, a date when we are encouraged to switch off our electric lights, our electronics and conserve energy for an hour from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.

This simple, symbolic gesture shows our support and concern for planet Earth. This year the date is Saturday 23 March as the last Saturday in 2024 falls during the Easter celebration.

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St Joseph Feast Day 2024


As we celebrate the feast of St Joseph (19 March) – Patron of the Universal Church and the Sisters of Saint Joseph – in this year dedicated to prayer and the synodal pathway, we are called to live and respond with a contemplative heart to what the Spirit is asking of us in the midst of the reality of our lives.

It is about being attentive to the signs of this time, calling us to new pathways and ways of being Church.

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Mary MacKillop, Patron of our Diocese of Port Pirie

Sr Laurencia’s grave by Joan McDonald.

In the Diocese of Port Pirie in South Australia, there’s a beautiful well-kept graveyard, some seven kilometres out of Port Augusta, with the stunning Flinders Ranges as its backdrop. In good times the roses bloom and the kangaroos keep the lawn mowed and the grave-sites company. But on the area’s outer edge are the older graves of early pioneers – no roses or lawn here, just a few Blackbutt Eucalyptus, Weeping Myall and Saltbush surviving in red, sandy Earth.

On one side is a huddle of three graves, the centre on being that of Sister Laurencia Honner who died as a result of a fire on 11 May 1878, aged eighteen years. The local newspaper described her funeral at the time, the long line of buggies snaking out of town to Stirling North. Notably there is no mention of the grieving Sisters of Saint Joseph, her companions in this isolated, treeless town. Nor do they note the presence of Mary MacKillop who had made the arduous journey of some 350 kilometres by Cobb and Co and then buggy to Port Augusta to be with Laurencia before she died. If we were ever unsure about where Mary MacKillop walked, we can be sure her footprints are here at the grave of Laurencia.

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The Gift of Fusion – 10th Anniversary

Perthville Fusion ‘Weaving Dreams’ logo.

“Ten years on and I thank God that we took the step when we did,” is one Sister’s observation as we give thanks on the 10th anniversary of the fusion of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Perthville with the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

The Josephite foundation at Perthville on 16 July 1872 was the first in New South Wales, after Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods responded to the request of Bishop Matthew Quinn. Four years later, the Josephite community painfully moved into two separate pathways when Bishop Quinn insisted on having a Diocesan Congregation at Perthville.

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