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60 years of Marist Missionary Life

16 May, 2023
Sr Marie in front with Srs (from L) Margaret, Noreen, Anne.

On May the first, the people of the Monto church community rejoiced in celebrating 60 years of Marist Missionary Life of Sister Marie Lamerand.

The celebratory Eucharist was followed by a morning tea with parishioners and Sister Anne who lives with Sr Marie in Monto.

Two other Marist Missionary Sisters, Sisters Margaret and Noreen had arrived to celebrate with Sr Marie. They had travelled from Sydney and Tannum Sands respectively.

The previous night Fr Simeon had presided at the Sunday community Eucharist during which the four sisters renewed their vows.

Many cards and congratulations were shared with Sr Marie from friends and other SMSM sisters from many parts of the world. A special congratulatory letter was received from Rome from the SMSM  international leadership team outlining the various places in the world Sr Marie has worked and ministries  she has held.  And that’s quite a few over 60 years!

Following the morning tea, the sisters went to Cania Gorge for a picnic.  It was a wonderful day of gratitude, friendship and the beauty of nature.    Magnificat!

Sr Noreen Dunne smsm

Places where I have been missioned and what I have done 

My journey over the past 60 years as a Marist Missionary Sister has taken me to many countries, some where I have been ‘on mission’ myself and others where I visited our sisters on mission there.

My first assignment was teaching at a secondary school for girls run by our sisters in Western Samoa.

Next came a transfer to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, where I continued teaching but in a variety of Catholic educational centres – a training college, an urban primary school, a rural primary school and finally a recently established secondary school. At that time, in the 60’s, most young people who had the opportunity to attend school were away from their village at a boarding school for the whole year so one really had the opportunity to get to know them.

My next, privileged, assignment was formation with the local diocesan congregation in the Solomons who, since 1975, have been autonomous.

There followed a long period of involvement in various levels of administration. Highlights of those years were the opportunities to visit our sisters in mission in Kiribati, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica.

Eighteen months in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea came next, and later another ten years ‘home’ in Solomon Islands, on the staff of Holy Name of Mary Seminary.

All of this travel behind me, I am now happily again in a town in rural Australia.

Monto has proven to be a great place to spend some of these latter years and as always it’s the people who make it “home”.

Sr Marie Lamerand SMSM