2019-11-13 AUSTRALIA

Marist live and mission in Oceania

The Oceania Council and College of Leaders met in Brisbane, in Australia, on 4 – 5 November 2019. The meeting was joined by Br. Ben Consigli who is one of the liaison councillors with the General Administration in Rome. The next meeting of the Oceania Council will be in April 2020 in Auckland.

The Council focused on the various undertakings across the region.


Southern Stars Leadership

Dr. Frank Malloy and Mr. Benedict Toomey updated the Council about the planned second phase of this program which will be rolled out in 2020. This involves 24 Principals and senior teachers from across the Marist schools in Melanesia and the Pacific.


Global Education Network

Currently the Secretariat for Education and Evangelization are conducting a consultation about forming a global network of Champagnat Marist Schools. Feedback from across the Region has been very positive towards this initiative.


Oceania Regional Trust Fund Board

With the establishment of the Oceania Region in 2010, several committees and commissions were formed to support the various activities across the Region. As a result, it became necessary to have a financial body which could coordinate the various activities. This need led to the formation of the Oceania Regional Trust Fund Board on 1 July 2012. Now with the increasing emphasis on a global family, the closer relationship between the finance offices across the three administrative units and the establishment of the Financial Administrators Network, the functions of the Trust Fund Board will now be undertaken by the Financial Administrators Network.

Particular thanks was expressed at the meeting to the chair of the Trust, Br. Julian Casey, and other people who have assisted the fund over the years.


La Valla 200> Community

Next year the community will be going through a significant transition. Once visa requirements have been arranged, Br. Fabrício Basso, from the Province of Brazil Sul-Amazônia, will join the community. In mid-2020, the three-year contracts for the members of the Mt. Druitt community will have been completed. Argelia Hernández Mendoza and Rodrigo Gris Castro will be returning to Mexico in August.


Oceania Partnership Commission

Mr. Dan Dungey presented an overview of the current initiatives being undertaken in Melanesia and the Pacific. The strategy is to build capacity within the various countries across the region to support and nourish Marist life. This has been achieved through participating in various programmes such as “In the Footsteps” or Contemplative Retreats and adapting these to the local context.

A further discussion was held about the various courses being provided by the general administration. These have been developed as part of the strategic plan of the General Council. Oceania representatives have participated or will be participating in the initiatives.


Marist Youth Ministry

Some time was spent discussing the possibility of exploring how the newly developed Game Changers, program for young Marists, could be adapted to the Melanesia and Pacific contexts.

Some representatives from the Region may attend the MYM gathering at Mittagong in February 2020.


Rule of Life – Wherever You Go

This document will be officially launched on 2 January 2020. The meeting discussed ways to assist communities to engage with this document.


Religious Calendar

The 2020 calendar will use the new draft Constitutions for the daily reflection. As this will increase the number of pages the calendar will be spiral bound.



As the Oceania Council meeting coincided with the launch of the Australian Marist Solidary Christmas Appeal, the Council took the opportunity to express its thanks to Br Al Sherry who has retired as the director of AMS. Under Br Al’s direction AMS has assisted many of our Champagnat Marist works in Melanesia and the Pacific.


Changes of Personnel

The Council took the opportunity to thank Br David McDonald, District Leader of the Pacific for his time on the Council and College of Leaders. Br David has been a member of the Council since its establishment in 2012.

Mr. Joe McCarthy will be stepping down from the Oceania Partnership Commission when he takes up a teaching position in the New Year.


A blessed time of Sabbath rest...


Working for life...