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A newsletter for Member Schools of Marist Schools Australia published fortnightly during term time


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25/05/2012: Australia


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Dear Members of the Marist Family
The first “Council” of the Church in Jerusalem was marked by conflict and disagreement about who was in and who was out, and why. Two thousand years later and we’re still at it. These last couple of weeks of the Easter season, when our daily Scripture readings have drawn heavily from John’s ‘Last Supper Discourses’, so rich with Jesus’s call to unity, to love, and to peace, you may have been like me in seeing these readings in an uneasy counterpoint with the debates that threaten to divide the Church. So much of our intra-Church discourse seems to be about who’s right, and what The Others who aren’t right should do to get right.
Enter Mary. Of all the qualities we extol in Mary, we don’t usually concern ourselves with her orthodoxy. We speak of Mary’s faith, her joy, her trust, her readiness to set out, her pondering, her resilience, her maternity, her discipleship. Even under her title Sede Sapientiae (Seat of Wisdom), it is to something deeper than doctrinal correctness that we refer. The Marian principle of the Church – its most fundamental principle according to John Paul II – is not essentially about doctrine, or hierarchy, or about rules of membership. It is about discipleship and unity, centred on Christ risen.
The Ascension, celebrated in the Australian Church last Sunday, is the subject of an ancient icon which is not so much about the Ascension at all, but about a way for the Church to understand itself. The ecclesiology that is visualised in this icon is one promoted by the theologian Hans Urs von Balthazar and drawn on by Brother Emili Turú in his recently published Circular He Gave Us the Name of Mary. 

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