Julian Tenison Woods: A Life – Chapters 21st, 22nd & 23rd

Chapters 21st, 22nd and 23rd

This year [1870] the schools were not so successful and complaints were many.[i] About this time Father Woods had a sudden attack of illness. The Doctor recommended absolute quiet and rest. But it was not easy to follow this prescription.[ii]

The death of Father Smyth [Vicar General] withdrew a powerful protection from the tantalized Director of Catholic Education.[iii] The Archbishop – there was only one in Australia then – appointed Archdeacon Russell Vicar General, until the will of Dr Sheil could be known. Seeing the debts and difficulties, the acting Vicar forbade Father Woods going on with the improvements at the convent building, tenders for which were already advertised. He also in his official capacity held an investigation at the convent into a mysterious occurrence which had happened there some months before. This was an unspeakably painful matter to all concerned.[iv]  The investigation, though most searching, discovered nothing.[v]

In December [Father Woods wrote] ‘Priests and people seem dead against us, and the most severe things are said’.[vi]

On Thursday 2nd February 1871 the Right Rev Dr Sheil, Lord Bishop of Adelaide [returned to Adelaide]…The Bishop made some changes in the diocese, placing Father Woods in North Adelaide. But the anxiety, the overwork, the many duties which he imposed on himself … proved too great a strain.  His health failed; indeed, some of his friends feared his reason would give way. A change of scene and labour was desirable.[vii]

On 18th May His Lordship found Father Woods very ill and gave him permission to go as soon as possible for a change to the College at Sevenhill. While he was at the College, Bishop Quinn of Bathurst paid a visit there. Dr Quinn invited Father Woods to go to Bathurst in August, and also requested Sisters for Wentworth and Bourke. The Bishop of Adelaide giving permission, Father Woods consented.

Though his stay at Sevenhill benefited his health, the poor priest had too many anxieties to allow him much enjoyment. Money which he had borrowed from the Bank was overdue, and he hurried back to town to face the trouble.[viii]

Dr Sheil sailed for Melbourne. Leaving the boat at MacDonnell Bay, he paid a visit to Mount Gambier, and then went on to Melbourne, en route for Ballarat where he was to preach at the opening of the Cathedral, which he had commenced.

Father Woods, being unable to settle his difficulties, went on with his usual work until the last day of July, when he preached the panegyric of St Ignatius in the Jesuit church at Norwood.[ix]

Within a few days, he received instructions to proceed to Victoria where the Bishop then was. This had already been arranged, as the Bishop of Bathurst expected Father Woods in his diocese, and on his way there he could call at Ballarat.

Yet, as he hastened to obey, he could not shake off the feeling that trouble was at hand.[x]

 


This extract is taken from:

Chapters 21st, 22nd & 23rd of Julian Tenison Woods: A Life has been used with the kind permission of the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph 1997 and the publishers, St Paul’s Publications.

If you would like to read the full text, including an informative Introduction, footnotes and an index, this book is available online and from some Mary MacKillop Centres.

For locations and contact details visit the Josephite Books webpage.


Carmel Jones rsj

 

Footnotes:
[i] Chapter 21st, p. 136
[ii] Chapter 21st, p. 137
[iii] Chapter 21st, p. 139
[iv] Chapter 22nd, p. 143
[v] Chapter 22nd, p. 145
[vi] Chapter 22nd, p. 147
[vii] Chapter 23rd, p. 151
[viii] Chapter 23rd, p. 152
[ix] Chapter 23rd, p. 153
[x] Chapter 23rd, p. 154

 

Julian Tenison Woods: A Life – Chapters 19th and 20th

Chapters 19th and 20th

Mary MacKillop, 1871

On Friday, 4th December, the Bishop arrived from Europe, bringing some priests and a community of Dominican Nuns, who would take up the higher education.

The Inspector intended the new Institute of St Joseph for parochial schools, and schools for the children of the poorer classes who were often neglected in small country places…[i]

When the priest arrived in these far-off places, his time was generally limited: he could not wait to instruct the young …[ii]

Father Woods had ten years’ experience of this difficulty before he became Director of Catholic Education. He knew it did not require very highly cultured people to impart the simple instruction needed – a plain homely education would be sufficient. Therefore, he decided to receive into the convent many who were not qualified to teach high classes, but who could certainly instruct little children in the rudiments of their religion…[iii]

Besides, what great services these good women could render to the orphans or the inmates of the Refuge – for the rule adopted by the Sisters expressly said that they must ‘Do all the good they can, and never see an evil without trying how they might remedy it.’

A book of rules and instructions, with prayers and devotions for the use of the Sisters, had been prepared; and now, with the approbation of the Bishop, was published.

A great deal had been done by the Founder, aided by the first Sisters, to arrange for perfect uniformity in the schools and branch houses…[iv]

Tuesday, Feast of the Immaculate Conception was a First Communion day for St Joseph’s children. Consequently there were 300 girls in white veils and about 40 boys in surplices….[v]

His Lordship said,

The untiring zeal and self-devotion of the Very Rev. Father Woods have relieved me from all anxiety of providing for the Catholic education of the humbler classers, dearer still to me, and more demanding my pastoral solicitude, because of their present and future positions in society. Amongst the co-operators in the grand sublime work committed to my charge, there is a department which most emphatically demands my most pleasing and grateful recognition and your deep appreciation – I mean the Sisters of St Joseph…[vi]

[Father Woods] arranged for a retreat to be given to the Sisters, who now numbered forty. The convent being too small for so many, a house in Rosetta Terrace was kindly lent for the purpose by the Hon. E. Solomon. The kindness shown by the Jewish community has been remarkable, but then, St Joseph was a Jew…[vii]

Father Julian Tenison Woods

Arrangements were made by the Bishops to hold a Synod of the Catholic Church in Australia the second week after Easter…[viii] Father Woods met the Bishop of Brisbane at the Synod…[ix] Early in September, a letter arrived from Dr Quinn, who was on the eve of his departure for Rome, requesting the Sisters to go to Brisbane where a school was ready for them…[x]

On 8th December, four Sisters left for Brisbane, accompanied by Sister Mary, who was to establish the new community and return to Adelaide. Father Woods was expected to go to Brisbane according to the invitation of Dr Quinn, but he delayed his visit till long afterwards.  Had he gone then, much sorrow and suffering might have been spared him.  By remaining in Adelaide, where he considered his duty obliged him to remain, with the best intentions, everything seemed to go wrong.

An old and sincere friend, speaking of the troubles which beset him in the management of the schools and other charitable works, said the Founder was ‘[t]oo innocent; too much of the dove and too little of the serpent in his composition.’  He could not believe that people with a fair appearance of piety were hypocrites.  Unless he saw the evil done under his own eyes, he could not believe any wrong of those whom he trusted…[xi]

And thus the storm gathered.[xii]

 


This extract is taken from:

Chapters 19th and 20th of Julian Tenison Woods: A Life has been used with the kind permission of the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph 1997 and the publishers, St Paul’s Publications.

If you would like to read the full text, including an informative Introduction, footnotes and an index, this book is available online and from some Mary MacKillop Centres.

For locations and contact details visit the Josephite Books webpage.


Carmel Jones rsj

 

Footnotes:
[i] Chapter 19th, p. 121
[ii] Chapter 19th, p. 121
[iii] Chapter 19th, p. 121
[iv] Chapter 19th, p. 122
[v] Chapter 19th, p. 122
[vi] Chapter 19th, p. 122
[vii] Chapter 19th, p. 124
[viii] Chapter 20th, p. 126
[ix] Chapter 20th, p. 129
[x] Chapter 20th, p. 129
[xi] Chapter 20th, p. 130
[xii] Chapter 20th, p. 130

Julian Tenison Woods: A Life – Chapters 16th, 17th and 18th

Chapters 16th, 17th and 18th

Mary MacKillop, 1871

In addition to [Father Woods’] duties as Secretary to the Bishop, Director General of Catholic Education (a regular system of which he was expected to organise) and Inspector of Schools, he had to take charge of Port Adelaide, eight miles from the city, until another priest could be had. Dr Sheil was to go to Europe immediately after Easter, and the whole of the education arrangements were left to the new Director General…[i]

Dr Sheil left for Rome on 29th April and Father Woods worked on alone at his school plans. Nothing baffled him – troubles and difficulties he said were ‘a sign that God blesses our work, and please Him, we will prosper too.’…[ii]

He had drawn up School Regulations for the use of the diocese and was considering the advisability of bringing two of the four Sisters (who were teaching in the South East under his supervision) to Adelaide. Once established in the city, they (being already experienced teachers) could train others: so he determined to wait no longer…[iii]

Sister Mary and her companion arrived at Port Adelaide on Sunday 23rd June. Father Woods met them and accompanied them to the city by the evening train.  They took up their residence in the cottage provided for them by Miss McMullen who remained with them as a postulant. The Cathedral school was opened on the Feast of the Visitation, 2nd July, attended by sixty children…And now the work was fairly begun…[iv]

At the Examination six months after, there were 200 pupils present…[v]

Father Julian Tenison Woods

On the Feast of the Assumption (15th August), Sister Mary made her Profession and two postulants, one being Miss McMullen, received the Habit, the first ceremony of the kind that ever took place in Adelaide…[vi]

It might interest the reader to see the round of duties he attended to in the course of the year, as taken from the Southern Cross of 1867 and 1868. This paper came into existence a short time after Father Woods had taken up his residence in Adelaide… Father Woods contributed largely to it… his former connexion with the press being serviceable.

The first number appeared on 20th September, announcing itself as ‘[t]he only attempt ever made by the Catholics of South Australia to have a little journal of their own’…[vii]

This one year will suffice to show the devotedness with which the earnest worker carried out his design.[viii]

 


This extract is taken from:

Chapters 16th, 17th and 18th of Julian Tenison Woods: A Life has been used with the kind permission of the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph 1997 and the publishers, St Paul’s Publications.

If you would like to read the full text, including an informative Introduction, footnotes and an index, this book is available online and from some Mary MacKillop Centres.

For locations and contact details visit the Josephite Books webpage.


Carmel Jones rsj

 

Footnotes:
[i] Chapter 16th, p. 86
[ii] Chapter 16th, p. 86
[iii] Chapter 16th, p. 87
[iv] Chapter 16th, p. 92
[v] Chapter 16th, p. 92
[vi] Chapter 16th, p. 93
[vii] Chapter 17th, p. 94
Note: Chapters 17 and 18 refer to the events that made up a year in the life of Father Woods as compiled by Mary MacKillop from the Southern Cross journals of 1867 and 1868 – including opening new schools, attending Board meetings, giving lectures, celebrating Masses and Funerals, preaching sermons, establishing orphanages, refuges, temperance guilds and a Catholic Book Depot, writing textbooks for Geography and Grammar and arranging Examinations.  The number and variety of events and activities make very interesting reading.
[viii] Chapter 18th, p. 120

Laudato Si’ Webinar: Part Five

In May 2015 Pope Francis launched his encyclical with the subtitle “On Care for our Common Home” and the title “Laudato Si’” which are the opening words for a hymn composed by St Francis of Assisi in the 1200s.

For our time, this document is both relevant and important, since it highlights the priority that respect for the environment should have in Catholic life, and integrates the notion with what is central to our understanding of humanity’s relationship with God.

It is striking that many of the issues raised in Laudato Si’ find a parallel in the writings of Julian Tenison Woods. We can be proud of the fact that Julian Woods, as co-founder with Mary MacKillop, injected into the foundations of the Sisters of Saint Joseph a sense of the integration of spirituality and nature and set an example of science being a means of relationship with God. We remember, however, that he lived in a different time from us, and no-one is suggesting that his perceptions of creation and his world are the same as those of Pope Francis. But like a thread that runs through the whole garment, Julian’s words do illustrate his insights into a constant theme that can be traced from the Gospels to our era, and they, like those of Laudato Si’, can help us recognise these teachings as foundational to our faith.

In this five-part webinar, Sr Mary Cresp explores some of the parallels between the work of Pope Francis and Julian Tenison Woods. Sr Colleen Keeble assists her in the presentation.

You’re invited to watch the fifth and last part of the webinar below:

Conversion

 

View all the webinar videos here

So Small a Beginning: Part 5

Sr Marie Foale speaks about the beginnings of the Institute of St Joseph for the Catholic education of poor children.

She believes that as a young Josephite growing up, she had a sense that one day Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods had made a spontaneous decision to found an order.

You’re invited to watch the fifth and final part of Sr Marie’s conference speech, ‘So Small a Beginning’ below…

Part 5

Click here to view Part 1

Click here to view Part 2

Click here to view Part 3

Click here to view Part 4

Julian Tenison Woods: A Life – Chapters 15th & 16th

Chapters 15th and 16th

Mary MacKillop, 1871

Father Woods returned to Penola as he had arranged. Great was the sorrow of his parishioners on hearing that he was certainly leaving after Christmas…[1]

Preparations had to be made for the expected visit of the Bishop and for the Confirmation, which had been delayed several years, owing to the prolonged absence of the late Bishop.  Many adults were to be confirmed and Father Woods was kept busy at work, but as we have already seen, he considered it ‘a perfect luxury to have plenty to do.’…[2]

On the day of the Bishop’s arrival, a party of the principal parishioners rode, or drove, out about twenty miles to meet him…A picnic to the curious caves of Struan in the limestone country of the Mosquito Plains had been arranged so that the Bishop and his scientific companion [Father J N Hinteroecker] should have an opportunity of inspecting those wonderful specimens of geology…[3] [Father Hinteroecker] and Father Woods became great friends – indeed the two priests were in many ways kindred spirits…[4]

During the visit of the Bishop, the school question was much discussed. His Lordship addressed Miss MacKillop as Sister Mary to the surprise of her friends, and henceforth she was known by that title.

Father Julian Tenison Woods

The school, and indeed everything commenced by Father Woods, was all that could be desired by the Bishop.

At length, the long talked of parting came. On his last Sunday, Father Woods preached his farewell sermon amid the tears and sobs of his people…[5] It was a fearfully hot day and bush fires were prevalent. Penola is surrounded by forests and has had some extensive fires, being on more than one occasion in danger of total destruction.

Among his reminiscences, Father Woods told stories of the fires…[6] Father Woods had witnessed many a bush fire, and he had a grand one as a send-off. After leaving Penola, while ploughing through the dreary sand over the Victorian border, thick smoke enveloped the travellers but soon blazing trees added to their discomfort, crackling branches snapped off and fell in their way. …[7] Instead of going on to Portland, they stayed for the night at Dartmoor and continued their journey the next day…[8] The earnest naturalist, the scientist priest, the lover of the wild and the beautiful turned to a new and busier phase in his varied life.

Father Woods arrived in Melbourne on 16th February…[9] We hear of Father Woods preaching at St Francis’ on the evil of balls. There was a warship in the Bay and the Officers gave a ball. It was Lent – hence the sermon. He persuaded a noted family not to go, much to the annoyance of some young people.

Very few could resist his influence, yet he never seemed to try to induce others to adopt his opinions…[10] At the commencement of April he left for Adelaide…[11]

 


This extract is taken from:

Chapters 15th and 16th of Julian Tenison Woods: A Life has been used with the kind permission of the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph 1997 and the publishers, St Paul’s Publications.

If you would like to read the full text, including an informative Introduction, footnotes and an index, this book is available online and from some Mary MacKillop Centres.

For locations and contact details visit the Josephite Books webpage.


Carmel Jones rsj

 

Footnotes:
[1] Chapter 15th, p. 76
[2] Chapter 15th, p. 76
[3] Chapter 15th, p. 77
[4] Chapter 15th, p. 80
[5] Chapter 15th, p. 81
[6] Chapter 15th, p.81
[7] Chapter 15th, p.82
[8] Chapter 15th, p. 82
[9] Chapter 16th, p. 83
[10] Chapter 16th, p. 85
[11] Chapter 16th, p. 85

Laudato Si’ Webinar: Part Four

In May 2015 Pope Francis launched his encyclical with the subtitle “On Care for our Common Home” and the title “Laudato Si’” which are the opening words for a hymn composed by St Francis of Assisi in the 1200s.

For our time, this document is both relevant and important, since it highlights the priority that respect for the environment should have in Catholic life, and integrates the notion with what is central to our understanding of humanity’s relationship with God.

It is striking that many of the issues raised in Laudato Si’ find a parallel in the writings of Julian Tenison Woods. We can be proud of the fact that Julian Woods, as co-founder with Mary MacKillop, injected into the foundations of the Sisters of Saint Joseph a sense of the integration of spirituality and nature and set an example of science being a means of relationship with God. We remember, however, that he lived in a different time from us, and no-one is suggesting that his perceptions of creation and his world are the same as those of Pope Francis. But like a thread that runs through the whole garment, Julian’s words do illustrate his insights into a constant theme that can be traced from the Gospels to our era, and they, like those of Laudato Si’, can help us recognise these teachings as foundational to our faith.

In this five-part webinar, Sr Mary Cresp explores some of the parallels between the work of Pope Francis and Julian Tenison Woods. Sr Colleen Keeble assists her in the presentation.

You’re invited to watch the fourth part of the webinar below:

Consequences

 

View Parts 1 to 3 here

So Small a Beginning: Part 4

Sr Marie Foale speaks about the beginnings of the Institute of St Joseph for the Catholic education of poor children.

She believes that as a young Josephite growing up, she had a sense that one day Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods had made a spontaneous decision to found an order.

You’re invited to watch the fourth part of Sr Marie’s conference speech, ‘So Small a Beginning’ below…

Part 4

 

Click here to view Part 1

Click here to view Part 2

Click here to view Part 3