International Women’s Day – ‘Women at the Heart’

Participants of the Women’s Empowerment Project in Peru taken by CCAIJO staff member.

International Women’s Day, held annually on 8 March, is a global day that recognises the resilience, strength, and achievements of women from diverse backgrounds and cultures across the world. Acknowledging this important day allows Mary MacKillop Today to reflect on the invaluable contributions of women within the communities we support and the persistent challenges they still face.

Just like Saint Mary MacKillop, we go where the need is greatest, and even today, we see that women around the world continue to face gender-based discrimination, violence and inequality. Women and girls need equal access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities to strengthen their ability to learn, earn and lead in their communities.

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Habits of the Heart

View of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Showing Off

Sr Adrienne, a Sister of Saint Joseph in Aotearoa New Zealand, shows off her green thumb.

My first profession was a change of habit, coming as it did in the latter part of my life.

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JJAMM 2024

JJAMM (Joseph, Julian And Mary MacKillop) is a gathering of student leaders from Josephite secondary schools around Australia and New Zealand.

Learning, laughter, and leadership. The three core ingredients necessary to complete the JJAMM recipe. The JJAMM team was blessed to welcome twenty-five Josephite schools across Australia and New Zealand for a four-day leadership retreat like no other. We called attendees to cultivate their Josephite charism through the honouring of formidable leaders such as St Mary MacKillop, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, and St Joseph, and use their timeless legacy to inform their own dreams of social justice.

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Josephite Justice Network Annual Report 2023

A Year of Growth and Courage

­­The Josephite Justice Network (JJN) consists of the congregations of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart and the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar.

They are called to serve the mission of God in the spirit of their founders, Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods, especially with those who are oppressed or pushed to the edges of society.

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Sr Lyn Raftery rsj

As the daughter of parents brought up in the Depression years and as part of a young post war family whose income was very basic it is part of my DNA to not waste anything.

Recycling is something to which I am naturally drawn. When the Sisters of Saint Joseph changed from traditional habits to wearing ordinary street clothes I chose to make or buy clothes from natural fibres – cotton, linen, wool and rayon rather than synthetic. I find these fabrics more comfortable to wear and they are better for the environment when disposed.

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World Day of Prayer 2024

World Day of Prayer 2024 artwork by Halima Aziz.

The World Day of Prayer has a long history. It begun in New York in 1887 by Mary Ellen Fairchild James as a day of prayer for home missions. Two years later it became prayer for world missions. It travelled to Canada in 1922, then to the British Isles in the 1930s. From 1927, the prayer day was known as the ‘Women’s World Day of Prayer’. After the Vatican Council in 1967, Catholic women united their ‘May Day of Prayer’ with the March ‘Women’s World Day of Prayer’ which then became the ‘World Day of Prayer’.

The aim of the World Day of Prayer is to become aware of other countries and cultures, especially those living in isolation, to pray for those countries, and to encourage women to offer and use their talents to better society.

Different countries have been given the responsibility of organising the theme and the prayer service each year. For this year, Palestine has prepared the prayer based on the theme, “I beg you… bear with one another in love”. (Ephesians Ch 4: 4-5). One would have to say how much we need this in our present environment!

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Zero Discrimination Day 2024

Zero Discrimination Day is observed by the United Nations every year on 1 March. This day celebrates the right of every person to live fully and productively with dignity. As the official website states: “Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all forms of discrimination”.

With a spoon full of honestly, I’ll admit that when I was asked to write a reflection on this day, I did indeed have to look it up. But, with reflection, I’ve found that this day certainly holds significant resonance within myself and for our Catholic and Christian communities.

This resonance springs forth through the core gospel teachings of love, compassion, and justice. These teachings, rooted in Jesus’ messages, can now be lived through a Church mission to foster inclusivity, respect, and dignity for all individuals, irrespective of their background, race, gender, beliefs, sexuality, or socio-economic status.

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A Perthville Pilgrimage exploring Josephite Spirit and Mission

You’re invited to journey back in time and experience what life was like for the early Sisters of Saint Joseph as they began the first Josephite foundation in New South Wales at Perthville in the Bathurst Diocese (1872-1876).

Share the history, the spirituality, the daily lives of the Sisters as they taught and ministered at Perthville and the surrounding villages. Accompany the early Sisters as they welcomed Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods to their community in those early days. Through input, social interaction and personal reflection you will be inspired to nurture and share the Josephite spirit and mission in your own life.

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