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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:

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


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.

arcadia communitySt Benedict's parish in Arcadia takes its character not only from its Benedictine roots but also from the farming community in which it lies with its long tradition of gentle living, joyful generosity and care for each other, writes Debra Vermeer.

good sams aboriginal oblateElaine Walley, a Yamatji Elder from the Western Australian community of Three Springs near Geraldton, is the first Aboriginal woman to become a Good Samaritan Oblate.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 22:15

Deep yearning bears fruit for Gail

Sr Gail Leslie sosj vowsA 67-year-old grandmother who plays lawn bowls every Thursday is the newest addition to the Sisters of St Joseph community in Adelaide.

Thursday, 03 March 2016 11:11

Q&A with Sr Thao Nguyen

Sr Thao Nhuyen fdccIt has been 20 years since Sister Thao Nguyen fdcc put her feet on Canossian ground where she currently works in palliative care and young adult ministry. The Catholic Leader finds out more about consecrated life and Sr Thao's faith and ministry.

St Eugene de MazenodThis year, Australia’s Oblate Missionaries will join the worldwide congregation to mark the order’s 200th anniversary since they were founded by St Eugene de Mazenod. Their congregation's story, life and ministry demonstrate four fundamental characteristics which can be applied to our daily life.

Friday, 22 January 2016 18:16

A world in need of mercy

Sr Margaret Malone sgsSurely we can hope that by renewing our understanding and practice of mercy in this Year of Mercy, our often unmerciful world, our world of fatigued compassion will be transformed, writes Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Malone.

skateboarding FranciscanA music video of a skateboarding Franciscan, who spent 14 years living in Western Australia, received an Emmy at the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on 7 November, reports The Record.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 13:35

Listen to our stories

ballarat refugee stories On Monday, November 9, the Social Justice Group of Sacred Heart Parish Mildura organised an evening for some of the many refugees living in the parish. Sister Rosemary Graham rsm shares the moving stories they told the gathering.

Thursday, 05 November 2015 12:01

Reflecting with my two companions

Sue Kane 150When the doors were first flung open to welcome in the Year of Consecrated Life, I decided to walk with Hildegard of Bingen and Pope Francis to help me get the most out of this year, writes author Sue Kane.

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