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Our stories

A survey sponsored by CRA in 2009 found that there were 8,422 Catholic Religious in Australia. Of that number, 5,927 were Religious Sisters, 884 Religious Brothers and 1,611 Religious order priests. Here are some of their stories:

1712SrChristine2 150As a woman from country Queensland, Sr Christine Henry, a Sister of Charity, recognised the need to support farmers struggling to survive the extremes of climate change, which were taking a toll on their livelihoods and families.

This vision and initiative grew into the Downs and West Community Support ministry, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, writes Sr Karan Varker RSC in the Global Sisters Report.

Alice House blessing 150The Divine Word Missionaries have confirmed their deep commitment to mission in Central Australia by purchasing a property in Alice Springs which will not only be a dwelling for confreres and visitors, but a house of spirituality and Indigenous theology for the whole community.

The house, named the Logos Spirituality Centre, was blessed by the SVD Superior General, Fr Heinz Kuluke, during his visit to the red centre last month in the presence of local community members and other Religious working in Alice Springs.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:19

Discernment

Sr Paula Volchek csfn 150What does following Jesus mean? For Sister Paula Volchek csfn, it happily feels like a dance - carefully listening to the music and dancing to the call of Jesus. 

Sr Libbey Byrne rsc 150Libbey is passionate about using her God-given gifts to strengthen and encourage the People of God on the Myall Coast to live lives infused by faith and enriched by belonging to a faith community, writes Tracey Edstein.

presentation sisters farewell ionaAfter 110 years of responsibility for the Iona Presentation Primary School, the Presentation Sisters handed the school to Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe sdb.

Good Sams in 80sCharters Towers’ remaining Good Samaritan Sisters will close their convent doors at the end of May after 117 years of service.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:50

No ordinary life for Sr Chris

Sr Chris Schwerdt rsj 150Sr Chris Schwerdt insists she’s “ordinary” but as Suzanne Adams discovered, as someone who has worked tirelessly looking after the needs of others, she is clearly anything but that.

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 23:10

Relationship in the digital age

Fr Anthony Le Duc SVDThe true paradigm for relationship requires the integral dimension of embodiment where individuals can look upon each other directly, touch each other physically, and listen to one another, writes Fr Anthony Le Duc svd.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 15:42

Audette's song of joy

Sr Audette Mansour rsm150Listen to Mercy Sister Audette Mansour as she talks about her current ministries and her life as a Sister of Mercy in what she describes as a 'Song of Joy'.

bishop jobst libraryThe University of Notre Dame Australia’s Broome Campus has renamed its library in honour of the first Bishop of Broome John Jobst sac, a Pallotine missionary esteemed for his ministry to Aboriginal people.

josephites forster toncurry150Josephite Religious Sisters Louise McDonell and Kathryn McCabe represent a continual Josephite presence since the Sisters of St Joseph first came to the Forster Tuncurry parish in 1958 to establish Holy Name Primary School at Forster, writes Greg Byrne.

Sr Mel Dwyer and girlsWatching young African girls fight gender inequality to become strong career women in one of the world’s poorest countries has shown Canossian Sister Mel Dwyer, a former athlete, the power of the feminine genius.

Monday, 13 February 2017 20:08

Sr Patricia's petition had global impact

Sr Patricia Pak Poy rsm 150Mercy Sister Patricia Pak Poy started a petition calling for a ban on landmines, contributing to a world-wide movement which continues to have an impact today, writes Jack Manning.

marists bicentennaryMore than 150 people recently gathered at St Joseph’s Church in Subiaco to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Marist Brothers and their continuing dedication to “making Jesus Christ known and loved”.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 13:22

A celebration of relationship in Port Moresby

Cardinal John Ribat mscNeil Helmore of the Catholic Diocese of Townsville met Cardinal John Ribat, Papua New Guinea's first locally-born cardinal and the first cardinal from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and heard the stories closest to his heart.

Monday, 14 November 2016 13:15

Truth-seeking for 800 years and counting

fr kevin toomey opThis year the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) is 800 years old. Father Kevin Toomey op shares something of its spirit and mission.

Monday, 07 November 2016 12:17

Book review: The Letter Under the Pillow

religious sistersA recent book by Josephite Sister Clare Aherne outlines stories of religious women from across the seas, knitting together the historic contribution of the Josephites, their connection to Saint Mary MacKillop and their emotional experience of emigration, writes Caroline Smith.

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 21:52

Serving God by serving community

Fr Bruce Clark ocarmSince 1978 Father Bruce Clark ocarm has been serving in Australia and East Timor. He offers us a glimpse of his work and how he represents Australia to his community as Director of Formation and Novice Master of the Carmelite Order in East Timor.

new norcia toursMembers of the Perth Catholic community and wider public have the chance to learn about Australia’s only monastic town, New Norcia, and its Benedictine heritage in a new tour experience.

Fr Bedi Asmon svd musicFr Bernadinus (Bedi) Asmon svd, a young missionary from Indonesia, who undertook his formation in Australia, is now living and ministering in Brazil where he has discovered that music is the common language with the people he serves.

Belmore celebration Sr MariaSt Joseph’s parish in Belmore held a big celebration for the final profession of Sr Maria Thi Thanh Tuyen Nguyen of the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross Qui Nhon (Vietnam) - a religious congregation central this thriving, multicultural Catholic community.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 15:02

Take heart, God is among us

maitland newcastle 150thAs part of the observance of 150 years of diocesan life, a celebration of the contribution of 32 religious congregations was held in Maitland last month.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 09:26

Meeting the new generation of religious

Sr Jane Maisey rsj 150Josephite novice Jane Maisey was featured in the Herald Sun's Sunday magazine, Stellar, along with two other young religious in formation, which featured their individual stories of vocation and discernment.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 12:47

Passionists celebrate 60 years at 'The Fort'

oxley 150The Passionist Community at Oxley was joined by more than 100 friends and associates to celebrate six decades of ministry at ‘The Fort’, reports The Catholic Leader.

Monday, 12 September 2016 09:07

Being merciful

sr maryellen thomas rsjSister Maryellen Thomas rsj recalls the American westerns of her childhood and what the films taught her on the nature of mercy.

Fr Jan Szweda svdAfter seeing the need of the people Nhulunbuy in isolated East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Father Jan Szweda svd offered to move in as Parish Priest and he’s loving it.

broome diocese jubilee 2016Salesian Fr Frank Freeman recalls the part played by members of various religious congregations in an article celebrating 50 years of the Broome Diocese in the Kimberley, northwest of Australia.

Friday, 03 June 2016 14:10

No regrets for Irish exile

sr maryanne and fr mcgearty smlSister Maryanne Welsh is the last surviving Irish member of the Josephite community in Adelaide. Her memories of growing up in County Kerry were revived when she attended a Mass commemorating the Easter Rising at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on May 1. She spoke to Jenny Brinkworth about her journey.

Friday, 03 June 2016 12:31

Attraction

Sr Denise Mackay rsj150Sister Denise MacKay rsj looks back on a few pivotal moments of "allurement, relationship and emergence" that led to her vocation as a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Sr Cheryle Thomson mssSister Cheryle Thomson mss was drawn to the Missionary Sisters of Service because of its outreach to people in rural and outback areas, from where she now has a fund of stories from her years on mission.

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