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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:

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”.

sr margaret awardSisters Margaret Cresp rsj and Slavica Turcic asc were among those who received recognition for their work in the Archdiocese of Adelaide's Archbishops' Awards for 2014.

Fr Vinh Tran svdAs an SVD priest, Father Joseph Vinh Tran remembered many mission stories from other missionaries during his formation and was touched by them, shaping the way he viewed God’s mission and vocation. After two years of mission experience in Thailand, he now can tell his own stories, writes Fr Truong Le svd.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 16:29

Think of others before 'selfies'

Fr Ambrose Pereira sdbSalesian Father Ambrose Pereira has come from the Solomon Islands to pursue social media studies in Queensland as part of his mission to encourage the islands’ young people to look beyond selfies and reach out to others, writes Paul Dobbyn.

Saturday, 07 February 2015 13:48

Some questions for the Year of Consecrated Life

Sr Pauline Morgan rsjAfter reading John Philip Newell’s book, Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings, The Rebirthing of God, Sister Pauline Morgan rsj ponders what is trying to emerge from deep within the collective soul of Religious, in the context of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 17:08

What should you treasure this Christmas?

redglassA little boy pulled from his pocket a treasure he had found in the garbage, a small dirty piece of red plastic. He said, “this is for you, if you look through this, everything is beautiful!” Sister Marj Crossman rsj recalls her first Christmas in Peru and the story about this most precious Christmas gift.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 16:54

A year to find new ways to meet the Spirit

Sr Berneice Loch rsm150 2015Pope Francis dedicated 2015 to the promotion of consecrated life, asking the Church's religious sisters, brothers, and priests to "wake up the world" with their testimony of faith, holiness, and hope. Sister Berneice Loch rsm, the president of Catholic Religious Australia, reflects on what that might mean.

Monday, 15 December 2014 21:36

New life emerging

planting hands 150My take on religious life, after living it for over 45 years, is so different from those early days where I was one of many, doing what many did, writes Sister Marie McAlister rsj.

Monday, 15 December 2014 13:25

The star fell down the well...

Sr Ellen Royan rsjWhen you hear the readings of this wonderful festival of Advent and Christmas, ask yourself – what gospel are you hearing and what message does the evangelist have to proclaim to you today? Sister Ellen Royan rsj guides us through the rich tapestry of the Infancy narratives in the gospels.

Monday, 15 December 2014 09:36

JRS calls for volunteers

Sr Margaret Guy rscJesuit Refugee Service Australia (JRS) is opening a Parramatta drop-in centre in 2015 to support asylum seekers on bridging visas. This project has become a reality through the help of the Parramatta Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Charity, the Holy Spirit Sisters, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and the efforts of Volunteer Coordinator Sister Margaret Guy rsc, writes Maeve Brown.

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