Message from Br Peter Clinch,
Oceania Province Leader

FrontCoverThe 2014 Christian Brothers’ Congregation Chapter in Nairobi calls followers of Jesus and Blessed Edmund Rice to be drawn into the Mystery we call God and be open to the transformation that awaits us as we journey through life.

Encountering the Mystery

At the core of our call to be brother (and sister) for the world is our being drawn into the Mystery we call God. At this pivotal time in the history of our Congregation we are awakened to the presence of God in our midst, as we seek meaningful and respectful ways of standing in solidarity with the whole Earth community. People who stand in solidarity with the whole Earth community, listen deeply to our groaning earth and her suffering people respond with compassion and justice and move to be in right relationships with all life. In a contemplative stance to the world, the Church and Congregation experience God calling them to be agents of change, hope and transformation.

The Nairobi Congregation Chapter reminds us:

It is the agenda of the world that sets the mission direction of the Church and our Congregation. On behalf of the Oceania Province Leadership Team, our hope is that all who visit this website will be inspired and informed of how followers of Blessed Edmund Rice are fired by the Gospel of Jesus to be immersed in the God quest, live a simple life, and engage with people made poor.

The agenda of our world impels us to find a new and radical way of being brother and sister for the world. In doing so, we embrace our fragility and move forward with our new-found humility.

This website concentrates on the region of Oceania. Hopefully it will inspire people to be involved in the mission of Oceania Province and to enquire further how to participate in building joyful, healing and life-giving communities and to listen, walk and advocate in a spirit of respectful engagement with those made poor and those abused.

Key documents which describe and direct are listed below.

Click on title to reveal content.

MISSION and VALUES STATEMENTS

OCEANIA PROVINCE MISSION STATEMENT

The Oceania Province Mission Statement

draws its life and vision from
the Charism of Edmund Rice and
the Mission of the Congregation.

 

Daring to be disciples of Jesus and
inspired by Edmund Rice,
we, living in solidarity
with the whole earth community

and walking with those
whom society has marginalised,

particularly young people,
proclaim liberation and justice for all creation.

OUR LIVING VALUES FOR MISSION

 

Framed by our Oceania Province Values our Missiology Statement brings to life the faith based, multi-dimensional and challenging nature of Province Mission .

 

PRESENCE

Alive to the wonder of all creation opening us
to intimacy with the Mystery of God.

COMPASSION

Opening our hearts to and standing
in solidarity with the suffering world.

LIBERATION

Freeing and enlivening a world groaning under the weight of injustice.

 

PUBLICATIONS WHICH DIRECT OUR ACTIONS

CONGREGATIONAL DIRECTIONS

CONGREGATIONAL INSIGHTS AND CHAPTER DIRECTIONS

Documents which set the direction for the Congregation and Province during the period 2014-2020

Download documents by moving mouse over cover image and clicking the left mouse button.
The documents are quite large and may take a minute to download.

   FrontCover ProvinceChapterDoc OurWayIntotheFuture AWayIntoTheFutureNotes

OUR WAY INTO THE FUTURE

Congregation of Christian Brothers – 2020

OurWayIntotheFutureThe charism of Blessed Edmund is at a crossroads.

We can allow the flame to flicker out through preserving the status quo, or we can choose to move in trust to the Spirit’s invitation.

A Way into the Future brings hope, direction and a means of transformation, as we desire a new and radical way of being brother for the world.

Nairobi Congregation Chapter 2014


The time in now!

The place is here!

You are the people!

With these words the Munnar Congregation Chapter 2008 had called the Christian Brothers to embrace a new way of living in our world.

We dare to risk being different and become hope for the world. We hear the cries of our times as a clarion call to become a vibrant example of Religious life that is responding to the urgent needs of our world.

For us, the status quo is not an option. We are aware of the need to undertake a bold journey to a whole new place to which we are being led by the Spirit of Jesus.

Over recent years the Christian Brothers’ Leadership Team visited every part of the Congregation, listening to Brothers, their leadership and many members of the Edmund Rice Network. They witnessed inspiring examples of dedicated service, some of it with people at the margins.

They recognised too that fundamental change in the approach of the Congregation to its work – and to it community living – has to happen if the Brothers are to respond more urgently to the cries of suffering people in our world.

Our Way Into the Future offers a global response.

Visit the Our Way into the Future Website for latest news and developments   

Download Key Documents

Download The Proposition - A Way into the Future                                              

Download Our Way Into the Future – Congregation of Christian Brothers 2020

Download Br Philip Pinto’s Message to Accompany Our Way into the Future   

FORMATION AND ACCREDITATION

FORMATION FOR MISSION

The Oceania Province invests energy and resources into formation opportunities.

You’ve been walking in circles, searching. Don’t drink by the water’s edge.Throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst end.Jeanette Benson

In creating space for reflection, conversation and action, the Oceania Province invests energy and resources into formation opportunities that are designed to educate, challenge and disturb.

The Oceania Province is committed to the support, development and recognition of all individuals with whom it forms relationship. Formation is celebrated as a process of accompaniment; aᅠ mutually respectful engagement that invites people into connection with the foundational story and spirit that inspired the life and vision of Edmund Rice.

In creating space for reflection, conversation and action, the Oceania Province invests energy and resources into formation opportunities that are designed to educate, challenge and disturb.

In return it is gifted with people like yourself who want to share its mission desire to be consciously and compassionately present to the needs of the entire world, but especially those made poor and marginalised.

You’ve been walking in circles, searching.
Don’t drink by the water’s edge.
Throw yourself in. Become the water.
Only then will your thirst end.

Jeanette Benson

To see how you might get involved view the pages:

The New Pathways Program

The New Pathways Program

Supported by the Oceania Province, New Pathways is a project that encourages people interested in exploring a personal commitment to the Edmund Rice charism, to find ways of making such a commitment possible.

Some people have made private vows, others have included a commitment as part of their marriage vows, and others have discovered new ways and new expressions.

For more information please use the "Contact" button (top right) for phone numbers and contact the Regional Coordinator in the Office nearest you.

Immersions and Internships

Cross Cultural Engagement Programs

Cross-Cultural experiences across the Edmund Rice Network include opportunities to volunteer, be an Intern, or a member of an Immersion Group.

These opportunities exist locally (within your own country), across the Oceania Province (Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea,  the Philippines) or countries in other Christian Brothers Provinces such as Africa and Europe.

Apart from a sense of adventure and a commitment to learning more about yourself, suitable candidates for the Walking Together Cross Cultural Engagement Program would ideally possess:

  • The required qualifications, skills, and experience necessary for any specific role they might undertake in another culture.
  • A commitment to a personal sense of justice spirituality and a passion for justice
  • A willingness to live and work alongside a religious community and an understanding that participation in an Edmund Rice Ministry involves sharing in personal reflections of spirituality.
  • Good health.
  • Maturity - good communication skills, a strong sense of self and self-understanding
  • Openness to cultural adaptation - i.e. humble, flexible, accepting.
  • An attraction to the Edmund Rice story and an understanding of its implications for ministry.
  • A desire to live simply, with a willingness to enter the privileged space of another culture as a guest and to live simply amongst the people.
  • An understanding that ministry is a shared journey with members of the local community, where both giving and receiving relationships develop.
  • Willingness and an ability to reflect upon, share, and discuss their experience as a participant, including gaining a greater understanding of the complex issues relating to decolonisation and development work in a cross cultural context.
  • The support of a network of relationships within their own life and a willingness to deepen and extend those relationships through their experience.
  • Willingness for ongoing involvement in the Edmund Rice Network, Church, community work, advocacy, or other justice & peace activity on return from their placement.
For more information, please contact your Regional Office
(see contact list for phone and email details).

Volunteering

Volunteering changes the way you see your world and your place in it.  Seeing the world through the eyes of another can be a moment of profound transformation.  For many volunteers they can never be the same again.

As a volunteer you will be able to connect meaningfully with others, hear their stories and strip away the false illusion of differences that artificially separate us.  Only from here can we allow the concerns of another to become our concerns because we understand more fully that our fates are intertwined.

“What is it that you intend to do, with your one wild, precious life?”

Mary Oliver

Volunteering is something everyone should consider doing at some point in their life, for many it is the only way to enjoy a tiny experience of what life is like for others. Our catalyst for volunteering is usually a desire to help or to solve a problem. Therefore our experiences often begin as responding to perceived needs through providing a ‘service’.  Before long we are engaged in acts of 'charity' as we seek 'justice' and support 'peace'.  Before long many volunteers become so informed about the systemic causes of inequity that their volunteering starts to also include 'advocacy' for the disempowered and even 'activism' to draw attention to unmet rights.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Aboriginal activists group, (including Lila Watson), Queensland, 1970s

We have learned that through the dislocation that comes from regular contact with poor and marginalized people, our eyes are opened and our hearts are transformed.  Our volunteers know that we become ever more conscious of this transformation as we reflect on our experiences in the light of our sacred stories and our collective mission.   Providing a long list of volunteer opportunities is one of the ways the Christian Brothers and the Edmund Rice Network supports people to consider more deeply;

“who it is that I intend to be in the world?”
Respect for the human person considers the other to be ‘another self.’ It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic of the person.

 The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1944)

For a listing of the Edmund Rice Oceania Projects and the skills required to the part of any of them check out Metanoia Matters and register your interest.  By using the latest technology your knowledge and skills can be used without your leaving home.

“Only earthbound man still clings to the dark and poisoning superstition that his world is bounded by the nearest hill, his universe ends at river's shore, his common humanity is enclosed in the tight circle of those who share his town or his views and the colour of his skin.”

Robert Kennedy

All Edmund Rice Ministries and Programs welcome volunteers – contact one today!

Christian Brothers Vocations

The Chapter Call

To be in right relationships as brother with each other,
with people made poor and with the whole Earth community,
conscious that being brother is our pathway to our being evangelised and transformed.

Nairobi Congregation Chapter 2014.

There is a constant call from God for all of us to respond to the love that Jesus showed in his life in various ways. One of these ways is in consecrated religious life.

The Christian Brothers welcome enquiries from those who may be interested in knowing more about the life of the Christian Brothers, and possibilities of following Edmund Rice as vowed members.

A person interested in this life would enter a journey of discernment. The first part of this journey is in expressing interest and entering into conversation while living life as normal. As the conversation continues, so too may your journey.

Br John Webb is the Coordinator of Vocations for the Christian Brothers Oceania Province. He welcomes enquiries and requests for further information. In addition there are local Christian Brothers across the Oceanic region who can accompany people on their journey.

For more information, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MINISTRY ACCREDITATION

Every Edmund Rice Ministry exists to build a life‐giving community which affirms and celebrates difference, promotes right relationship and stands in solidarity with those made vulnerable by society.

Authentic Edmund Rice Ministry

ERMVC Poster            Click Image to DownloadThe Edmund Rice Ministry Values and Characteristics Statement identifies and articulates the core features of Ministry life that best enable each Edmund Rice Ministry to give contemporary witness to that Jesus inspired, Edmund Rice vision.

While acknowledging that responsibility for bringing Edmund Rice Ministry values and characteristics to life rests with each individual Ministry, the Oceania Province has a canonical responsibility to ensure that entities for which it has direct governance authority demonstrate that their work is consistent with the Congregation’s mission mandated by the Catholic Church.

Similarly, other civilly incorporated entities that are in collaborative relationship with the Province by virtue of annual funding arrangements, general resource allocations, sponsorship funding or the receipt of in-kind professional support services from the Province, also strive to be authentic expressions of the Edmund Rice vision

While acknowledging that responsibility for bringing Edmund Rice Ministry values and characteristics to life rests with each individual Ministry, the Oceania Province has a canonical responsibility to ensure that entities for which it has direct governance authority demonstrate that their work is consistent with the Congregational mission mandated by the Catholic Church.

Similarly, other civilly incorporated entities that are in collaborative relationship with the Province by virtue of annual funding arrangements, general resource allocations, sponsorship funding or the receipt of in-kind professional support services from the Province, also strive to be authentic expressions of the Edmund Rice vision.


The Accreditation Process

LivingTheVision            Click Image to Download

 

The Edmund Rice Ministry Living the Vision Accreditation Process2 is designed to provide scaffolding to support each Ministry governed, sponsored or supported by Oceania Province to participate in an analysis of its own lived expression of the core values and characteristics defining Edmund Rice Ministries.

The ‘Edmund Rice Ministries Values and Characteristics Statement’ forms the foundation of the Accreditation process. In its entirety, the invitational Accreditation Process serves to promote and affirm the importance of ongoing critical reflection, expansive visioning and community dialogue in discerning the cultural and spiritual integrity of Ministry activity.

The Accreditation process is:

  • Invitational in encouraging ministries to consider how they explicitly respond to the Edmund Rice Ministry Values and Characteristics Statement
  • Formative in providing an experience of reflection, dialogue and visioning amongst as many of the Ministry community as possible
  • Flexible in being sensitive to the unique nature and diversity of ministries across the Province
  • Affirming in ensuring ministry endeavour is recognised, proclaimed and celebrated
  • Future oriented in identifying specific areas for growth and development for the next period of life in the ministry
  • Community centred in promoting the sharing of best practice across all Edmund Rice Ministries.

For more information please use the "Contact" button (top right of page) for phone numbers and contact the Regional Coordinator in the Office nearest you.

REFLECTIVE WRITING

Reflection on Sunday Readings by Br Julian McDonald cfc

The Body & Blood of Christ

(Corpus Christi)

Corpus Christi

Then, taking the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, Jesus said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.

Luke 9, 11-17

Download the Reflection

Reflection 2 on The Congregation Leadership Group Meeting

By Oceania Province Leader, Br Peter Clinch cfc

The Hero Model of leadership brings security to the group and many members leave the decision making and responsibility to the leader. The Western world generally likes a hero to be proud of, and to set trends that they can follow. With such leadership many become followers and admirers. In the Host Model of leadership, leaders recognise the gifts, creativity and leadership of others that encourages their participation as fellow leaders – not as followers.

The host seeks to find and develop other leaders,
             whereas the hero promotes loyal followers.

Download the Full Reflection

OWITF Reflection July 6 2018

VOW FOR MUTUAL COLLABORATION

Religious seem to have a sense of the connectedness of everything. They hold values which are important to the human community. They hold them to a point where they are prepared to give their whole life to living them out in obvious and concrete ways. One such value is that of collaboration.

 Download full Reflection