• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Monday, 29 July 2019 08:00

'Marburg Moon Muster 2019' - Report


Marburg Reunion group 450Terry Davies (SVD Marburg class of 1969-70) organized a wonderful 50th anniversary gathering at the former SVD seminary, Marburg, Queensland, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. Unfortunately, Terry himself landed in hospital just before the ‘touch-down’ and was unable to join us – but he is on the mend! Terry worked on this project for several years, tracing as many former SVD students as he could, and resulting in a gathering of 19 men, on the 20-21 July 2019.

A very special guest was Fr Frank Gerry SVD, who had been novice master to many of those present. Particular tribute was paid to Frank for his role in awakening us to our potential to be the best we could be, in the SVD tradition, each in our own different way. Many of us had spent much of our working lives in the helping professions, especially in social action and social justice activities, often with a connection to Australia’s indigenous people.

The gathering also included:
Archbishop Doug Young SVD (’69-‘70), of Mt Hagan, Fr Nick de Groot SVD (’61-‘62), and Fr Phil Gibbs SVD (’70-’71), Paul Ashton, John Beirne, Dan Cooper, Rick Dalmau, Brian Gibbons, Chris Hawke, Anthony Lupi, Ian McDonald, Damian McNamara, James ‘Sandy’ Mitchell, Peter Murphy, John Reedy, Peter Roberts and Gary West.

The gathering started on Saturday with morning tea and a formal lunch, but from the first moment the dynamic was one of informality, humour and the pleasure of renewing old friendships, as well as meeting others who had previously been known only by name (or legend!).

There was a lot of light-heartedness in our sharing in the large group, with some deep and moving stories told in smaller groups, throughout the weekend. As one of the participants said, afterwards, “This reconnection … was moving, peaceful & reinvigorating. I was gladdened by (the) many glimpses of our lived life journey over the past 50 years. I also felt a freedom and an honour to share more deeply on some topics with some of you. … Again thanks to you all.” (Chris Hawke, ’70-’71).

The gathering continued on Saturday evening with a meal at the Bowden family’s Marburg Hotel. The hospitality shown us over the weekend by Julie, Dan and Matt was warm and generous, with many inquiries about particular former members of “the big House on the hill”. As Brian Gibbons (’69-70) commented, the Marburg community’s hospitality was as unstinting now as it was in the years we lived there.

Meanwhile, the table conversations became more animated as the evening progressed. It wasn’t only personal stories that were shared (along with some recovered and even imagined memories), but also with views on current politics, social justice issues, economics and culture being vigorously exchanged!

The conversations continued, with new energy, on Sunday morning, during and after breakfast. Some then had to leave to begin the journey home, while others remained to celebrate Eucharist together in the Chapel at Marburg. Archbishop Doug Young concelebrated with Fr Frank Gerry.

Doug reflected on the weekend’s experience of peace, at-homeness, rootedness, mercy, journey…and how these experiences seemed to have surfaced from within, in each of us, as well as having seeped in from the outside. The sense of “country” that Marburg gives us which, for all of us who have moved around a lot in our time, might actually be the one still point in our individually turning worlds, a truly recognizable point in the journey at every stage.

A final coffee and brunch then brought the experience to a close. Phil Gibbs later observed that the weekend had been one of both nostalgia and renewed energy, with the SVD spirit being so alive in the sharing of everyone there. Yes, only four of the group had taken final vows and been ordained for mission in the SVD, but there was a real continuity with those whose lives had been lived in the love and care given to their families and to their various works of service in different parts of the world. A powerful mutual blessing!

Finally we parted, with a slow and reluctant ‘Australian’ farewell taking place on the front lawn as we unhooked ourselves and headed back into the continuing, familiar orbits of our lives.