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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:

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.

Saturday, 13 December 2014 00:00

Switching on to God

prayerblog stillnessReligious sisters, brothers and priests continue to bring gifts of reflection and pause to the church in a digital world besieged by distraction and increasing anxiety, writes Giselle Lapitan.

CRAQld dvdThe Year of Consecrated Life offers a wonderful opportunity to look back on the different ways religious women and men have served Queensland - and continue to do so - by watching a DVD set produced last year.

ismapng YCL prayerThe Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) invite you to join them in prayer on the eve of the commencement of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Monday, 17 November 2014 23:05

What if?

Sr Sue McGuiness rsj150What if the Year of Consecrated Life ushers in a new graced time for religious, a kairos time, a time of vitality, hope and vision, a time that addresses the cries of a twenty first century world? This is one of the many possibilities that Sister Sue McGuiness rsj recently hoped for the Josephites, and we at CRA echo these hopes for the benefit of all religious.

Monday, 17 November 2014 22:19

Sion Sister's gold jubilee

Sr Mary Lotton nds150Sister Mary Lotton nds has come full circle in her 50th year as a Sister of Our Lady of Sion in the Diocese of Sale, Victoria. Colin Coomber writes about the roots of her vocation and her passion for Jewish-Christian relations, a cornerstone of the Sion charism.

Sr Suzanne Gentle pbvm150Presentation Sister Suzanne Gentle, Co-ordinator of Centacare Community Connections Cannon Hill in Brisbane was recently interviewed with Nirosha Ponnuthurai, an asylum seeker from Sri Lanki on 96.5 FM radio station in Queensland.

Monday, 27 October 2014 12:25

Carmelites worldwide honour founder


carmelites-brisbaneBrisbane’s discalced Carmelite community of contemplative women remembered the 500th birthday of their order’s founder, St Teresa of Avila, last week, reports The Catholic Leader.

Monday, 20 October 2014 20:48

Inventing love for the human heart

Sr Maria Goretti Tran spcSister Maria Goretti used to program robots and design smart phone games before she gave up a booming career in computer science and a relationship for a life of service as a Sister of St Paul de Chartres, writes Emilie Ng.

Monday, 20 October 2014 17:45

St Camillus still inspires after 400 years

camillians graphicIn 2002, the Ministers of the Infirm, affectionately known throughout the world as the Camillians, arrived in the Diocese of Parramatta to serve the sick and suffering as chaplains in hospitals across the Diocese. The recent launch of the Lay Camillian family demonstrates the enduring influence of the life, work and ministry of their founder St Camillus. 

Monday, 13 October 2014 10:04

Franciscan way is joy

Fr Benignus Clowes ofmFranciscan Friar Benignus Clowes' spirituality and his struggle with bipolar mood disorder has given him a very personal experience of the importance of pain and suffering as a path to joy, writes Peter Bugden.

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