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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:

1018SistersofCharitybooklaunch 150The Sisters of Charity have launched a new book outlining their ‘Ministry of Love’ during 180 years in Australia.

Launched by Congregational Leader Sr Clare Nolan rsc, the book, Ministry of Love: The Story of the Sisters of Charity, was written by Danielle Achikian.

Thursday, 11 October 2018 19:27

No age limit on mission for senior SVDs

Senior confreres 150The senior confreres of the SVD AUS Province might have stepped away from missionary duties in Papua New Guinea and other places, or full-time ministry in Australia, but you’ll still find most of them up and out of bed by 6am and continuing to pursue mission in different ways.

The seniors, who among them all have hundreds of years of missionary experience, live in the Province’s Marsfield community, pursuing their personal interests, various small ministry activities, and shared prayer and meals.

0918 SrSesarinaBaursc 150Sister Sesarina Bau rsc retired from St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney at the age of 84, recently, bringing to a close more than half a century of ministry to the sick.

It was an end of an era. During the past 50 plus years, Sr Ses has worked tirelessly at St Vincent’s caring for everyone in many different roles.

0918 AbbotJohnHerbertOSB 150“Remember, Lord, the shortness of my life and how frail you have made all human beings.” These words, from Psalm 88 are the very words that spoke to Rev Abbot Father John Herbert OSB in his darkest hours, he has told a workshop titled 'Fragility, an opportunity for renewal'.

0818RitaMalevisirsj 150The most common question I am asked is, why did you become a Sister? That’s probably the hardest question to answer, writes Josephite Sister Rita Malavisi.

Maybe married people get asked – “How do you know that “he/she” is the one?”. The answer is probably quite simple, “You just know”.

0718SrAngelaReedAustralian Mercy Sister Angela Reed believes in the right of every person to flourish and this belief has driven her all the way to the United Nations where she oversees her congregation’s advocacy work, with a focus on the trafficking of women and girls.

A Global Sisters Report feature article on Sr Angela says that she represents Mercy International Association / Mercy Global Action at the United Nations and is Mercy International Association's global action coordinator.

0718CheryleThomsonmss 150It is forty-two years since Cheryle Thomson travelled from her home in Port Pirie to Tasmania to begin her life as a Missionary Sister of Service.

She was drawn to the congregation because of its outreach to people in rural and outback areas and she has spent most of her life living among and supporting those people.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 13:49

La Salle Brothers celebrate Oak Jubilee

0618LaSalleJubilees 150Two De La Salle Brothers have each celebrated their Oak Jubilee, marking 80 years’ service to the order and to the education of young people, the La Salle Council reports.

On Trinity Sunday, the De La Salle Brothers celebrated the Oak Jubilee of Brothers Julian Watson and Christian Moe at St Bede’s College Mentone, Melbourne.

0618NAIDOCWadeye2Often the media coverage of Aboriginal people is very negative and very little positive exposure happens, so it is wonderful to have a chance to redress this imbalance at NAIDOC week.

Mostly, in the Indigenous communities I have ministered, I have been attached to the school, and quite often NAIDOC week occurs in the holidays, so the school celebrates NAIDOC earlier or later. In Wadeye, this has been the case for the two years I have been here. Everyone goes on bush holiday during NAIDOC week so they celebrate later with the Wadeye festival.

0618SrVeronicaSariSSpS 150The Year of Youth theme suggests the need to dialogue about the importance and life-giving presence of young people in the church and society.

I paused and reflected on this theme and asked myself – is there any time I have taken to listen to young people’s stories? Have I allowed them to tell their stories and dialogue with them about what they feel? Have I walked with them to achieve what they are longing for in this fast moving world?

0518StJohnofGodSisters 150The St John of God Sisters joined with the broader Perth community recently to celebrate the 120th anniversary of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.

Founded in 1898, the hospital was the first permanent facility established by the Sisters of St John of God and today, as a private tertiary hospital, it remains at the leading edge of medicine and research, as is known as a place of healing and hope.

Bosco Titjikala baptism 150Fr Bosco Son SVD’s new assignment at the bustling Macquarie Fields Parish couldn’t be further away from his previous ministry in the small indigenous community of Santa Teresa in Central Australia, but he says his aim remains the same – simply to the love the people.

“Before taking up my position at Santa Teresa, the former Provincial, Fr Tim Norton SVD, asked me to try to do two things: one was to try to love the people and the other was not to create a problem,” he says.

0418SrCarolineDeutscheribvm 150When Loreto Sister Caroline Deutscher was approaching her 90th birthday it was suggested it might be time to retire from her university teaching job. Almost a decade later, she is celebrating 80 years of religious life, The Ballarat Courier reports.

The 99-year-old celebrated the milestone with family and friends at Nazareth House.

0318IconsMercy 150When Mercy Sisters Margaret Broadbent and Barbara Bolster attended an icon painting workshop at ACU, they both found themselves led to a place of reflection and contemplation.

The five-day workshop in Melbourne, Directed by St Petersburg Iconographers Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova, was centred around the prototype of the sacred Icon entitled: “The Holy Mandylion” and lent itself to many hours of silent concentration and reflection.

0318SrElizabethDodds 150Sr Elizabeth Dodds’ passion for learning feeds her ministries as a Sister of Charity which centre around leadership, formation of leaders and formation in charism and governance.

“I love governance,” she said. “I really do.”

0218FrWarrenKinneSSC 150Missionary priest Fr Warren Kinne ssc is looking forward to one of the more unusual challenges of his religious life – he has signed up as an official Commonwealth Games chaplain, The Catholic Leader reports.

“There will be surprises on the track and in the pool, and there could well be surprises of the spirit,” he said.

0218JesuitIndigenous 150As the nation marks the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to Indigenous Peoples, the Australian Jesuits have announced the first details of their Bookends Project, outlining a process where Province community members will be invited into deeper engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Bookends Project, was launched in July, committing the Province to redoubling its efforts to promote reconciliation with the country’s First Peoples and its most recent arrivals – refugees and asylum seekers, jesuit.org.au reports.

0218SrLucyvanKesselPBVM 150Presentation Sister Lucy van Kessel kicked off 2018 with a new role as Congregational Leader in Western Australia, bringing to a close 25 years working alongside people living in poverty and on the margins at Ruah Community Services.

Here, in a story from Global Sisters Report, Sr Lucy reflects on those years where she, as a Presentation Sister, worked with the Daughters of Charity in a non-government organisation, paid by the government – a collaboration which she says would make the Presentation founder, Nano Nagle, feel right at home.

0218MercyLGBTIQ 150Mercy Health has launched a new network called ‘Whole Self @ Mercy Health’ aimed at supporting the organisation’s commitment to equity and inclusion for its LGBTIQ employees.

A cross section of employees have developed the network which will provide valuable resources, networks and events for employees who identify as LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) and their supporters.

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


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.

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