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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:

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.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:34

Planting seeds for the harvest

lay speakers 2014The growing partnership between lay people and religious institutions has brought renewed vitality to Catholic mission and a strong assurance that the work of religious congregations is moving forward into the future. Giselle Lapitan looks back to the stories of lay speakers in the 2014 National Assembly and shares their insights on mission and governance.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:44

A week in the far west

toowoomba tripSister Elaine Morzone mfic and Mary Schwartz were invited by the parishioners of St Mary’s Cunnamulla to provide formation for the Parish Pastoral Council and workshops in the ministries of funerals and communion to the sick and housebound. Mary Schwartz recounts their journey and introduces the places and good people who continue the Gospel message in the far west of the Toowoomba diocese.

First East Timor CarmelitesCarmelite Fathers Angelino Dos Santos and Martinho Da Costa became the first East Timorese Carmelites to have done their entire Carmelite formation and preparation for priesthood after East Timor became part of the Carmelites’ Australian Province in 2001.

Sr Carmel Moore rsj 150Meditation is a journey inwards to the divine indwelling, rather than a resting place. It is still and silent, exteriorly, but can lead to some very uncomfortable places, interiorly, writes Sister Carmel Moore rsj.

Monday, 18 August 2014 11:40

Why would a woman...?

goodsams vocationGood Samaritan Sisters, Sarah Puls and Bernadette Corboy, reflect on what religious life means to them. They consider some of the questions for women today who might be thinking about religious life.

Sunday, 13 July 2014 18:27

Treading gently on holy ground

Fr Luis Villavicencio csScalabrinian Father Luis Viovicente's approach to his new role as parish priest of Seaton, South Australia is guided by the words of Moses at the burning bush: “Take off your sandals because you are on holy ground,” writes Jenny Brinkworth.

Sunday, 13 July 2014 17:37

Why are Christians still divided?

Sr Trish Madigan opThe National Covenant Document, a framework of relations between Australian Christian churches for co-operation and shared hopes, brings energy to mission, writes Dominican Sister Trish Madigan who grew up in a family of mixed Christian heritage.

Friday, 13 June 2014 14:30

Meet Friar Thomas McFadden

Fr Thomas McFadden ofmcapFr Thomas is currently engaged as the full-time Vocation Director for the province of Australia, actively promoting the Capuchin way of life as a vocation to be discerned by young Catholic men. In this article, Capuchin Father John Cooper shares Fr Thomas' vocation story.

Friday, 13 June 2014 11:28

Failure and trust in God

Fr Gary Walker ssc 150How does a person know that they are successful in doing God's work? Does it matter? Columban Father Gary Walker reflects on the mysteries of faith and mission and on how God sees differently from us.

Sr Pat Bartley rsjSister Pat Bartley rsj looks back at 60 years of her vocation and finds that a phrase from among her Jubilee greetings encapsulates the joys and challenges in the story of her religious life.

Sr Helen Merrin opDominican Sister Helen Merrin loves the adventure, challenge and ability of the martial art 'karate' to still the mind and sharpen her focus, writes Debra Vermeer.

Monday, 14 April 2014 18:35

Lenten prayer in the heart of Australia

Sr Anne Foale rsmWhat do Uniting Church elders, workers from Catholic Centre Care, an Anglican priest and members of her parish, Aboriginal members from the Congress church and two Sisters of Mercy in Port Augusta have in common this Lenten season, asks Sister Anne Foale rsm?

Ayen DongDominican Sister Diana Santleben of Penola House spoke to Trazia Akec of Newcastle, whose daughter Ayen Dong (pictured) was in South Sudan at the time of this writing and she shares with us this refugee family's story.

Monday, 14 April 2014 14:44

Prayer, priesthood and pedal power

Fra Oscar Aguilera osmThe priestly ministry and cycling passion of Fra Oscar Aguilera osm complement each other and goes beyond this Servite priest's fitness and health goals, writes Matthew Biddle.

Monday, 24 March 2014 14:23

Universally useful for 175 years

RSC Aurora article What well-to-do young woman would have the courage to begin a new religious congregation that served Ireland's poor in their places of need? Sr Margaret Valentine rsc, Pastoral Co-ordinator of Myall Coast Parish, tells the story of the first congregation of religious women in Australia, the congregation to which she belongs.

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