2020-07-29 AUSTRALIA

Marist Schools Australia Newsletter No. 10 | 28 July 2020

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Dear Colleagues, On Monday 20 July, the Marist District of Melanesia formally joined with the Australian Province and was marked by an online celebration that involved the Superior General, Brother Ernesto Sanchez and two General Councillors, Brother Ben Consigli and Brother Ken McDonald. Provincial Brother Peter Carroll wrote the following in recognition of this historic development for all Marists in Australia and the many countries which collectively form the Province.

… the bonds between Australia and Melanesia have always been close – from the very beginning of Marist ministry there. While there were Marist Brothers in the Solomon Islands for a short, tragic period from 1847-1852, it was in 1938 that the first Australian Brothers started ministry there. Many Australian Brothers have worked in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands since then. Some have served as leaders of the District of Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands or, District of Melanesia, as it became more recently. Some have died there – such as Brothers John-William, Justin and Donatus who were executed by the Japanese during World War II. Brothers from Melanesia have trained and studied in Australia. Brothers have laboured together; taught together, lived and prayed together and made deep and lasting friendships. In more recent years, this has extended to Marist lay women and men.

Since 2003, the District has included New Caledonia and Vanuatu. While the connection between Australia and these countries has not been as direct, our Marist relations are still strong. Interestingly, in early years the Marist Brothers and their works in New Caledonia came under the administration of the Provincial of Australia, until 1899. Our historical ties are close. This merger means that the Province is one of the most international and intercultural in the Institute. It now includes Brothers, Marists and ministries in Papua New Guinea, the autonomous District of Bougainville, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, as well as Australia, East Timor and the community and school in Cambodia.

As Australian Marist educators, we welcome our colleagues working in Melanesia and look forward to opportunities to forge closer ties in the coming years, particularly in professional learning and formation. Listed below are the schools and ministries in Melanesia, which are well known to many of our schools communities here in Australia.



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