2022-03-10 AUSTRALIA

Voyaging Prayerfully into the New ‘Star of the Sea’ Province

With the occasion of the coming launching of the new Star of the Sea Province, various New Province Working Groups (named ‘Shared Marist Life: Marist Brothers and Lay’) met virtually on Wednesday 23rd February to reflect about one guiding question: “Whose New Province is it?”.

Shared Marist Life Working Group launched a significant step along this journey and included thirty Marists drawn from the ten countries which will be part of the New Province. It took the form of a ninety-minute online meeting called “Oceania Gatherings – Living and Sharing our Champagnat Marist Life”.

This first gathering was about exploring issues that will help set the directions for shared Marist life and mission in the New Province, including discernment around Marist identity, formation, vocational commitment and co-responsibility.
The main topic of this gathering was Living and sharing the Champagnat Marist Life: building relationships, bridges and links. And among the topics discussed were the International Lay Forum on the Lay Marist Vocation, the Marist language and an exploration of the concept ‘Marist Life’.

A highlight of this first gathering with the motto “Welcoming, Nurturing, Living and Sharing Our Vocation” was the inclusion, embrace, appreciation and respect of various cultures and the opportunity to begin paddling the waka (canoe) into uncharted waters together. Participants enjoyed meeting each other and left with a sense of positivity, peace and excitement for the next gathering in March when they will start exploring the Marist vocation.

“We are drawing on the rich depths of our First Nations cultures and our Marist heritage as we voyage together to bring new life to our Marist mission here in the region of Oceania. Our dream, and our commitment, is that this be a mission to which brothers and lay Marists are called and for which they are equally co-responsible. May Mary, our Good Mother, and St Marcellin continue to pray for us, as we join each other in this spirited dance of love and new life into our New Province”, said Nathan Ahearne (Mission and Life Formation).

The next three gatherings are scheduled online for 30 March, 28 and 29 April.

The new Province

The new Province will be inaugurated on 8 December 2022, during the first Chapter, that will be hold in Mittagong, Australia, from 8 to 15 December 2022.

On 10 May 2021, Br. Ernesto, Superior General, communicated to the Brothers of the Province of Australia and District of the Pacific that, from 8 December 2022, the two Administrative Units will be the Marist Brothers Star of the Sea Province. The new Province will be formed by ten countries, with all Marist presence in the Oceania continent.

Province of Australia and District of the Pacific are now moving on to the next stage of preparation for the establishment of the Star of the Sea Province. This involves a series of 11 work groups investigating issues which need to be addressed as they form the new Province. The working groups will provide an interim report at the end of August 2021. The interim reports will give an indication of the Scope of Work for each group and the indicative timeline for completion.


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