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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:

Friday, 10 May 2013 15:22

A century of love in action

Sydney celebrated the centenary of its very own religious order, Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor in spectacular style, when more than 850 worshippers from throughout Australia filled St Mary’s Cathedral to capacity.

Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:22

Final Federation gathering for sisters

Over 80 Sisters of St Joseph gathered at Perthville in the past week to celebrate 46 years of Josephite Federation, reports the Catholic Observer, the Bathurst Diocese's publication.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013 20:49

Patricians: 130 Years in Australia

In March, the Patricians marked 130 years since the first Patrician Brothers, Dominick O’Neill and Fintan O’Neill, arrived in Sydney Harbour aboard the S.S. Cephalonia on 6 March 1883. 

Monday, 15 April 2013 17:20

Mary how your garden has grown

Dominican Sister Mary Campion gets a blast from the past at Signadou College's 50th birthday and found that although a lot of things have changed, good things, such as friendships and a great sense of welcome, remain unchanged.

Monday, 15 April 2013 16:45

The thin edge of the wedge

Salesian Father Frank Freeman goes back to his earliest consciousness of church, introducing us to the first prayer he ever spoke, "Snail our life and sweetness”. His poignant reflections prepare us for the Marian month of May, reminding us how Mary’s reassuring presence, sweetness and intercession help us through many difficult situations.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:36

Leadership as witnessing to the cross

For Maronite Sister Marlene Chedid, everything comes back to community. This profound understanding of leadership as discipleship that underpins her work was recognised recently through her nomination in the University of Western Sydney’s 2013 Women of the West Award, which celebrates the unsung and often overlooked heroes of the Western Suburbs.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:30

Fire and all it brings to mind

We may not be on the frontline of fire fighting, or of flood cleaning, but we have daily opportunities of being on mission in our homes and neighbourhoods, writes Good Samaritan Sister Margaret Keane.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 23:44

Sr Anne sails home

The last of the Faithful Companions of Jesus Sisters left Adelaide last month – 20 years after the first FCJ Sister Margaret Mary Olsen came to Adelaide to work with AIDS victims. Sister Ann Connolly took time out from packing to speak with Jenny Brinkworth about her time in Adelaide and her life serving others.

Signadou Campus was founded by the Dominican Sisters 50 years ago initially as a teachers' college for religious women which then shortly opened its doors to laypeople. The College became part of the Australian Catholic University in 1989 and will soon mark its 50th anniversary with a celebratory weekend starting on Friday, the 22rd of March 2013 in Canberra.

Monday, 04 February 2013 12:34

Returning home to Lima

After several months of holiday in his native city of Ballarat, Columban Father Leo Donnelly returned home to Lima, Peru where he has lived most of his 80 years since arriving there in 1958. Before leaving he shared some of his insights and stories with Fr Dan Harding ssc on the value of witness and fellowship as a missionary in Peru.

Monday, 10 December 2012 21:35

Joy to the world

As Christmas day rapidly approaches, Mercy Sister Ilsa Neicinieks looks at the origins of the feast and how it has developed over time.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:55

Blessed journey

In 1968 Slavica Turcic, left Croatia with her parents and eight brothers and sisters to start a new life in Australia. Her plan was to save enough money to return to Croatia and fulfil her dream of becoming a nun. But fate, or ‘God’s providence’, would see her stay in Australia as a member of the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ, helping to brighten the lives of a group of Croatian migrants in the Outback opal town of Coober Pedy, writes Jenny Brinkworth.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:41

Making music in the heart

These days, musician and Marist Brother Michael Herry is putting the finishing touches to his hymns that will soon appear in the new edition of Catholic Worship Book II for the Australian church. It has been a long musical journey for this Marist Brother who firmly believes that music is integral to a deeper and authentic spiritual life.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 23:32

One heart, many voices

Father Noel Connolly ssc, Coordinator of Mission Studies at the Columban Mission Institute, offers us a glimpse of next year’s Mission Conference that aims to unite, encourage and inspire all those who are participating in God’s liberating plan for the world.

Fr Kevin O'Neill ssc, the newly elected Superior General of the Columbans, and his two other siblings who have also pursued a religious vocation were inspired by Vietnamese "boat people" who arrived in Australia in the 70s.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 11:23

A conversation with grace

Three Jubilarians from the sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar - Sr Jeannine French, Sr Marie Jones and Sr Tess Connolly - share their stories with Tracy Edstein, who uncovers a surfeit of grace and gratitude. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:10

Sowing the seeds of religious life

De Las Salle Brother Mark McKeon is a leader in waiting. He has put in the hard yards working with young people and actively promoting religious vocations. This gives him the experience to steer the community through changes and challenges ahead. But for now, he tells his story while he sits on the beach unpacking a picnic lunch.

Sunday, 17 June 2012 22:45

The gift of presence is free

There's always a good time to read an Easter story, being Easter people. And the message from Brisbane Canossian Sister Melissa Dwyer, a school principal in Malawi, Africa, is an enduring reminder of how simple it is to give generously.

Thursday, 13 October 2011 14:27

Remembering a remarkable woman

Sister Corrie van den Bosch mss remembers Sister Agnes Ryan, a member of the founding group of the Missionary Sisters of Service, who died recently aged 95.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:00

A charitable administrator

Sr Pauline StauntonSince 1988, Sister of Charity, Pauline Staunton OAM has worked at Sydney’s Long Bay Correctional Complex as administrator of the NSW Chaplaincy Service.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:45

Running for peace in Dili

Father Denis Andrew, the running-loving Carmelite Provincial recently completed the gruelling peace marathon in Dili, East Timor.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:42

Still going strong

At 98, Jesuit Father Geoffrey Schneider is still going strong, working as a school chaplain at St Aloysius Junior School in Sydney, writes Catherine Marshall.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:39

Honour for Sister of Charity

Sister of Charity, Maria Cunningham RSC OAM has been awarded the inaugural Catholic Health Australia Lifetime Contribution Award.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:38

For the love of teaching

Ninety-something-year-olds, Sister Patricia Keating and Sister Mary Singer epitomise the Brigidine contribution to education in Australia.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:35

The blogging Marist brother

"It's important for Church people to participate in the world of social media," says blogging Marist Brother John McMahon.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:31

A swimming Sister

"I feel very drawn to the water," says Sister Carmel Moore, RSJ who starts each day with a swim at the Merewether ocean baths in Newcastle.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:26

A mission of service and love

Sister Agnes Ryan, 95, a Missionary Sister of Service for the past 66 years, says love is the one thing that matters. It is at the heart of everything, she tells Corrie van den Bosch.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:23

The ‘blue collar’ outback priest

From Chile to Cunnamulla, Columban priest Father Rod MacGinley likes to work at the grassroots where he can really get to know the people.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:21

A vital life for Sister Zita

There's no such thing as official retirement for many older Religious - just ask Brigidine Sister Zita Barron, former chaplain at Long Bay Gaol, who turns 84 today, 17 December 2010.

Friday, 05 August 2011 00:15

Ministry move for Mercy Sister

After 27 years working with women in South America, Sister Jackie Ford RSM has moved her ministry to remote Western Australia, supporting Afghan men at the Curtin Detention Centre.

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