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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:

Thursday, 08 October 2015 10:32

Dedicated to Jesus

sr-gabriel-williams osu150Ursuline Sister Gabriel Williams said she would never forget the impression of a nun at a Catholic boarding school in Armidale which moved her to join the order 50 years ago, writes Emilie Ng.

Thursday, 08 October 2015 09:35

Religious men and women on screen

Fr Peter Malone msc150Something that might be of interest in this Year of Consecrated Life would be to look at religious men and women portrayed in the movies. Father Peter Malone msc, film critic, media practitioner, author and theologian, walks us once again through iconic movies featuring Religious.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 12:26

Am I a person of peace and harmony?

peace posterWhen I reflect on the word 'peace' I think of silence, stillness and harmony. As a small child I learnt from my parents the meaning of silence, stillness and harmony with nature, writes Sister Helen Smith rsj.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 01:18

Reflections on a journey remembered

Br Robert OConnor fms150This me, here and now, is the one that Jesus loves, not some cardboard cut-out, good ‘brother’ but a flawed, wounded, damaged seeker, for whom all these experiences had all been part of the shaping process, writes Marist Brother Robert O'Connor.

Monday, 21 September 2015 23:22

My faith journey

the vine cvr150While struggling with depression, it was a friendship with two external Discalced Carmelite Nuns who became an inspiration in living a life for God, writes Lay Carmelite Russell Darby on his remarkable and inspiring faith journey.

Monday, 07 September 2015 10:12

Entering the spiritual domain

Fr-Michael-Gormly ssc 150A Buddhist monk in Korea once gave me a lesson I have not forgotten. I was invited to a Zen retreat at a hermitage in a remote valley. To get there I travelled by train and bus, then I hiked into the hills. The monk greeted me with the question: What has been the path that brings you here? Columban Father Michael Gormly reflects on the contemplative dimension of mission.

Monday, 07 September 2015 09:52

Leadership comes quietly

Sr Rose Glennen rsm and giftThe skills I learned as a child – to listen, to speak, to ask, to negotiate life in a complex world, to speak the truth – have stood me in good stead, writes Mercy Sister Rose Glennen as she reflects on her many years of religious leadership.

Tuesday, 01 September 2015 12:49

Mission on the margins

Fr Kevin ONeill ssc150Australian Father Kevin O'Neill ssc reflects on his first three years as Superior General of the St Columban’s Mission Society and on the Columbans' advocacy for justice in an interview with The Catholic Leader.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015 14:53

A lasting Loreto legacy in Vietnam

Sr Trish Franklin ibvm 150Loreto Sister Trish Franklin, Founder of the Loreto Vietnam Australia Program (LVAP), has in the past week bid farewell to her co-workers, friends and thousands of children she has helped over the past 20 years in Vietnam. Her inspiring work will soon be celebrated in a book to be published on October 2015, writes Elouise Hahn.

lay passionists WilsonsWhen retirees Chris and Tom Wilson aren’t teaching English or hymns to Passionist novices from China and Southeast Asia, they’re voluntarily co-ordinating about 500 people across South Australia for a Passionist lay movement aimed at strengthening parish communities.

Monday, 03 August 2015 12:34

Inspired by charity

Sr Anne Turner rscAs a child, Sister Anne Turner rsc was wary at first of nuns - the women in “unfamiliar clothing” and their “uncompromising commitment to teaching" yet they inspired her towards a journey of vocation and mission.

Monday, 03 August 2015 12:07

Refugee's journey to the altar

Fr Tru Nguyen msc 150Vietnamese refugee Tru Nguyen has turned around a displaced life, including imprisonment as a child for attempting to escape the country’s Communist regime, to one at the altar following his ordination as a a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) in Adelaide last month.

Br Sean McManus Br Peter Flint 150The only two Christian Brothers remaining in Tasmania, Br Sean McManus and Br Peter Flint, have used their vocations to help others, in the charism of Christian Brothers founder Edmund Rice based not on charity but on helping people to help themselves and flourish.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 09:51

My dream came true

Sr Natalia Naki sspsSister Natalia Naki ssps reflects on the fulfillment of a childhood dream of living a consecrated life, a journey which has since brought her to nursing school, medical school, training in Australia and back to her to ministry in Indonesia.

Monday, 13 July 2015 14:28

You're doing 'life', Father

Fr Peter Toohey ssc 150As he retires from the prison ministry, Columban Father Peter Toohey reflects on the many graced moments with prisoners, prison workers and volunteers. "As Pope Francis has reminded us, Jesus stank of His sheep," he writes. "What else would you smell of when you are forever searching for lost sheep, picking up the injured and carrying them home?"

Sr Veronica Willaway osb150Sister Veronica Willaway, an Australian Aboriginal Sister from the Yuat Noongar tribe who joined the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of New Norcia in 1958 and currently serving in Nebraska USA, shared her fascinating story with journalists Marco Ceccarelli and Jamie O'Brien.

Monday, 15 June 2015 12:27

A widescreen vision

Fr Peter Malone msc150Father Peter Malone msc who recently celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination as Missionary of the Sacred Heart has just published an engaging memoir which gives an insightful glimpse of growing up as Catholic in a pre-Vatican II Church, on religious life and his engagement with the world of cinema.

Fr Aloysius Mowe sj150“We keep being told by non-Muslim commentators and writers what Islam is or is not, what Muslims are like and what they believe and do. Rarely, if ever, do we hear Muslim voices telling us how Muslims live, what they believe, what they hope for, what they fear,” said Fr Aloysious Mowe, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service Australia, at a meeting of the "Circle of Mercy." 

Sr Margaret Mary ocdSister Margaret Mary joined the Carmelites in 1961 after serving as a lay missionary and teacher in the Kimberley. She shared her reflections on how contemplative life serves our world with journalist Marco Ceccarelli, shedding light on the role played by enclosed nuns today.

Monday, 11 May 2015 15:13

Adoration leads to divine design

Sr Mariella Mascitelli pddmArchitect Mariella Mascitelli pddm is a Sister of the Disciples of the Divine Master who specialises in Church and liturgical design and concerns herself with how the design draws people to Jesus in prayer.

Monday, 11 May 2015 10:14

Memories are strange things

Cecilia-MarieCasementoGood Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento dedicates a deeply personal reflection to all mothers who have lost a child through death, illness or separation, and for all children who have lost a mother.

Thursday, 30 April 2015 12:35

Do your best and let God do the rest

Sr Monica Shelverton pbvm150A visit to Cork in Ireland, the hometown of Presentation Sisters founder Nano Nagle, was an emotional experience for Sr Monica Shelverton who was moved by the sacrifice the first Presentation Sisters made to come to Tasmania.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 09:16

Daring with holy boldness

Sr Margaret Cannane pbvm 150Presentation Sister Margaret Cannane's address during the official opening of Presentation House in Lismore last year needs to be retold. Her words allow us to walk along its storied halls and hear the history of the Presentation Sisters' ministry from Ireland to Lismore NSW and their legacy of Catholic education, community life and commitment to the poor.

Monday, 13 April 2015 16:10

Adventure in Alice

Sr Anne Surtees osu150Ursuline Sister Anne Surtees is giving up a role she loves as Director of Centacare Pastoral Ministries in Brisbane to head off into the great unknown in Alice Springs after "feeling uncomfortable being so comfortable", writes Peter Bugden.

Monday, 13 April 2015 12:50

Don Bosco: yesterday, today and tomorrow

Fr Frank Freeman sdb“Remembrance is a form of meeting” said the poet Kahlil Gibran. And so the Salesian family joyfully gathered to rediscover their shared history and meet St John Bosco meet once again in a conference which officially launched the Australia-Pacific Bicentenary celebrations of St John Bosco's birth, writes Salesian Father Frank Freeman.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:11

Easter lasts for 50 days

Sr Ilsa Neicinieks rsm150To remind us that Easter lasts more than a day, the Sundays that follow Easter Sunday are called the Sundays of Easter - with lots of alleluias, writes Mercy Sister Ilsa Neicinieks.

Abbey-Church-WindowThe life of Jamberoo Abbey is ordered towards one goal – seeking God - and the whole structure of the day is focused on that seeking, both individually and as a community, writes Debra Vermeer on the life of the Benedictine Sisters at Jamberoo Abbey.

Monday, 16 March 2015 13:44

Sr Gabi on urgent mission

Sr Gabriela Aguilar vdmVerbum Dei Missionary Sister Gabriella Aguilar's mission to make God known doesn't come only from her calling to religious life, but also from her own experience of standing on the precipice of atheism, writes Emilie Ng.

Croatian Catholics 150Fathers Ivo Tadic ofm and Euzebije Mak ofm joined Canberra’s Croatian chaplain Father Miroslav Jelic ofm in concelebrating a Mass for the feast day of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac together with more than 300 Croatian Catholics from Sydney, Wollongong and Bateman’s Bay who travelled to Canberra for this annual celebration.

Fr Irek Czech sds 150Father Irek Czech sds, Polish Salvatorian and parish priest of St Lawrence and Mary Immaculate Parish in Balcatta, Perth, lives a life of contemplation and evangelisation which thoroughly answers Pope Francis’ recent call for religious sisters, brothers and priests to “wake up the world”.

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