November 2016





May the Sacred Heart of Jesus

be everywhere loved





Page 1                  From the Director Fr Jim Littleton MSC

Page 2-3               Refugee and Migrants response from United Nations Meeting Sept 2016-“Year of Mercy”.  

Bernadette Phillips

Page 3-4              “Mother Teresa’s Canonisation” - Pope Francis

Page 4                   Provincial Chapter held Monday 26th Sept – Tues 4th Oct 2016 - Fr John Mulrooney MSC, Provincial

Page 4-5               News from Vietnam – Fr Bob Irwin MC  


Page6                    Reminders































     From the Director

Greetings to all Lay MSC as we come to the end of another year! For your reflection I am attaching a recent article written by Hans Kwakman MSC, which he called “The Motive of Evangelisation”. It reminds us that we are all called to be involved in making Jesus better known, to be missionary disciples.

Fr Chevalier was filled with concern about the fact that so many people did not know Jesus Christ and even did not know what they were missing. He wrote: “the Sacred heart of Jesus, the only source of light, truth and life, is not sufficiently known, is not sufficiently loved. Yet his love has saved the world…. And his loving kindness keeps it in being”. Talking about the Sacred Heart, Chevalier referred to the person of Jesus as appearing in the Gospels, loving with a human heart. He argued, when people get to know Jesus of the Gospels, their hearts and their lives will change. People will start to love him, and by loving him they will “combat egoism and indifference.” So in order to make known the “greatness” of Jesus Christ and “the treasures of mercy which his heart contains,” Chevalier intended to bring religious men and women, diocesan priests and lay people together in a society of the Sacred Heart.

In his sermons Chevalier loved to tell the Gospel stories revealing how Jesus cares for the sick and the poor. With excitement, he spoke about Jesus’ concern for a sinful woman caught in adultery; for Jairus, a synagogue official, whose daughter had died, and for the widow of Naim, on her way to bury her only son. He underlined how Jesus’ Heart, “from the cradle to the cross,” showed both “gentleness and strength”.


Also Pope Francis feels deeply concerned about the fact that so many people still do not know Jesus Christ. In “Evangelii Gaudium” he writes: “Evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him” (EG n. 15). He adds: “If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life” (EG n. 49). The Pope continues: “Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is something beautiful, capable of filling life with new splendour and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties” (EG n. 167)

During 2016 I have had the pleasure of visiting most Lay MSC groups. We are all growing older, but

our faith is growing deeper. May I wish all of you the graces and blessings of Christmas.

Jim Littleton MSC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pg 1

                                            Bernadette Phillips                          


Refugees and Migrant Responsibilities

General Assembly of the United Nations

New York, September 2016

I wanted to share this summary with you. Let us hope that the plight of refugees and their rights and safety will become the responsibility of world leaders on a global scale. Working together and sharing the responsibility is a positive vision for the future.

Religious leaders, nations and the international community have a ‘grave responsibility’ to act against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, said the Vatican Secretary of State at the United Nations in New York recently.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin was at the UN as the keynote speaker at a side event to the United Nations Summit for Migrants and Refugees. World leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, met on the same day to discuss issues relating to large-scale movements of migrants and refugees around the world.

Preventing the spread of hatred and violence in religion’s name

Organised by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, the side event was themed ‘Upholding the responsibility to protect: The role of religious leaders in preventing crimes of atrocity’, Cardinal Parolin said religious leaders too, have a responsibility to ‘help counter the spread of hatred and violence in the name of religion and to promote more inclusive and peaceful societies’.

‘Religious leaders have a twofold moral responsibility in carrying out their religious mission,’ Cardinal Parolin said. ‘First, they are called to highlight in all circumstances those principles and ethical values written in the human heart by God, known as the natural moral law. Second, their vocation is to carry out and inspire actions aimed at helping the building of societies based on respect for life and human dignity, charity, fraternity (which goes far beyond tolerance) and solidarity.’

The Cardinal called on national authorities to recognise and ensure religious freedom as a fundamental human right. ‘Confining religion only to the intimate sphere of the person risks the development of a culture of intolerance. It is important that the international community ensure a proper interpretation of the right to freedom of religion in international law,’ he said ‘Similarly it must reject restrictive interpretations that relegate religion to the private sphere of individuals, preventing a rightful role of religion in the public sphere.’

UN members sign agreement on commitments to migrants and refugees.

At the main summit, UN member states signed an agreement, ‘The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants’, which communicates the political will of individual countries and their leaders to share the responsibility of refugees and migrants on a global scale in order to save lives and protecting human rights.

William Lacy Swing, the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, in an address at the summit, pointed out the 'cruel irony that those fleeing terror and conflict are themselves being accused of terrorism and criminality,' due to widespread and growing anti-migrant sentiment and policies.

What are some of the commitments under the New York Declaration?

  • Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status. This includes the rights of women and girls and   promoting their full, equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions.
    • Ensure that all refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of arrival.
    • Prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. Pg 2
    • Support those countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.
    • Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purposes of determining their migration status.
    • Strongly condemn xenophobia against refugees and migrants and support a global campaign to counter it.

New York Declaration

It is hoped that each country will implement these commitments in the coming years. Refugees, migrants, those who assist them, and their host countries and communities will all benefit if these commitments are met.

  • Implement a comprehensive refugee response, based on a new framework that sets out the responsibility of Member States, civil society partners and the UN system, whenever there is a large movement of refugees or a protracted refugee situation.
  • Find new homes for all refugees identified by UNHCR as needing resettlement; and expand the opportunities for refugees to relocate to other countries through, for example, labour mobility or education schemes.
  • Strengthen the global governance of migration by bringing the International Organization for Migration into the UN system. 

September 2016

Pope denounces 'sin of indifference' before Mother Teresa’s canonization.

Mother Teresa, revered for her work with the poor in India, has been proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Francis criticises those who choose ‘not to see the many forms of poverty’ on eve of ceremony that will proclaim Mother Teresa a saint.

Pope Francis has denounced what he called the modern-day sin of indifference to hunger, exploitation and other suffering, while commending the example of Mother Teresa on the eve of a sainthood ceremony for the nun.

“Tomorrow, we’ll have the joy of seeing Mother Teresa proclaimed a saint,” Francis told thousands of lay volunteers in St Peter’s Square at a special gathering to stress the need for more mercy and caring in the world.

Mother Teresa to become saint amid criticism over miracles and missionaries .

Francis will lead a Sunday morning canonisation ceremony in the square which is expected to draw huge crowds of faithful and other admirers of Mother Teresa, who founded an order of nuns devoted to caring for the poor and destitute on the streets of Kolkata, India.

In his speech on Saturday to a crowd of volunteers that included some who helped rescue survivors of the 24 August earthquake in central Italy, Francis decried those who “turn the other way not to see the many forms of poverty that begs for mercy”.

Choosing “to not see hunger, disease, exploited persons, this is a grave sin. It’s also a modern sin, a sin of today,” he said.

Mother Teresa may deserve to be made a saint. But why now?

Francis hailed volunteers as “artisans of mercy”, whose hands, voices, closeness and caresses help people who suffer feel loved. While in the square, he patted Leo, the labrador that helped find a four-year-old child who had survived in a pile of quake rubble. The dog raised a paw, which Francis grasped.                                                                                 Pg 3

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has been encouraging Catholic faithful and institutions to tend to the needs of marginalised people.


“The world needs concrete signs of solidarity, above all when faced with the temptation toward indifference,” Francis said.

In a shop in Kolkata which sells snacks and rosaries, Muslim shopkeeper Tanveer Ahmed recalled seeing Mother Teresa and other nuns take in a leprosy patient who lay bleeding in the street while others passed by, unmoved.

“We are fighting with each other. We are killing each other.

But, if you want to see love, please look at Mother Teresa,” Ahmed said.

He added: “I believe Mother is next to God.”

MSC Provincial Chapter held Monday 26th September – Tues 4th October 2016

                                                           at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill NSW

                                                                              Who we are

                                                                    Who we want to be

                                                            (Our compassionate, empowering, courageous vision)

There has been a year of preparation for the Chapter……much discernment, reflection, community meetings and organization in the lead up to the Provincial Chapter. The first questions that were asked at the pre chapter meetings were around – issues/challenges/problems/things that need addressing now or in the immediate years ahead. Over this time it was hoped to first of all get a feel of the members of the Province, to get a sense of our “well-being”, a sense of our ‘being MSC’ and how comfortable we were with that; a sense of our own journey and the journey of our brothers since the last Chapter in 2010. Most members participated willingly and comfortably in this process which was about connecting with each other, to strengthen our mission. Of course there were some concerns about being able to fulfil present ministry commitments in the Province taking into account aging and mortality.

Many were happy to envision a future where they presently are, emphasizing the power of MSC presence…. wherever we are and in whatever we do. Many expressed a willingness to embrace change as we move forward.

The 8 days of the Chapter were a time of journeying together and seeking space and time for God to reveal himself and what his desire is for us as MSC, as a community and as individuals. What each MSC desires is of course intimately linked with God’s desire for us.

Fr John Mulrooney MSC

The Chapter concluded Tuesday 4th October. Today in Fr John’s report to the Province he spoke about the Chapter and announced that Fr Chris McPhee was elected as the new Provincial. Congratulations to Fr Chris, he promises to be a fine leader in the coming years. Please keep him in your prayers. Overall the Chapter was a very good experience of unity and brotherhood and there was very positive feedback at the end of the Chapter when members were asked to evaluate their experience.

News from our Mission in Vietnam, November 2016 Fr Bob Irwin MSC

Greetings again from Saigon,

It is Monday morning here and I know it is Monday because the local primary school head teacher talks at the children (and the whole neighborhood) on the very loud speaker (!) for about 45 minutes. She excelled herself today, went for 55 minutes. An hour later they were back again and she was at it again. I wonder what on earth they talk about? Anyway, the big news here at the moment is that the MSC postulants sit for their IELTS English exam this Saturday morning and afternoon. The examinations cover listening, reading, and writing followed by an oral exam on a one to one for the speaking test. A lot hinges on it for them for if they do OK then they can go on to the next stage of to the novitiate in the Philippines. If not good enough then they have to leave or they may repeat the whole postulancy year. So spare them a thought and prayer, please.                                                                  Pg 4

ON THE BUSES: No visit to Vietnam is complete unless you have some experiences on the public transport. Every trip is an experience. The weekend before last I had to go on a forty minute ride on the Saturday and Sunday as I was giving two days of recollection for our students who are preparing for final vows. The first bus was brand new! Everyone was sitting up very proud, instructions were in Vietnamese and English (and ignored). When paid, the conductor he wanted to know where I was in my best Vietnamese I told him Phan Dang Luu street, which he announced to the passengers, and asking me more (I think) I told him at the corner of Lam Son...which was dutifully announced to the smiling passengers. The next day was a different story. Dirty old bus, as usual..a young girl gave me her seat immediately behind the driver from hand on the wheel, one holding the mobile phone, and no hands on the wheel when changing gears! Yesterday, I was back in that district for a one day of recollection for the postulants and aspirants on the theme of failure, success and perseverance. Meanwhile, Thoi was with some of the professed students on the theme of humility! Presumably (obviously) he is more suited to that topic than I am! Both bus drivers yesterday stayed on the horn the whole way! Must say I rather like the buses. It is my only chance to get back at those pesky motorcyclists who take over "my" footpath as the buses lurch from one side of the road to the other, scattering the bikes, like lemons, in all directions! Not very Christian, I know!.....but they don't hit they miss is miraculous!

The students are all back from their trip to Oz. We had a debriefing recently and it was heart warming for me to hear their summaries of what they witnessed and experienced in their time in Australia. The three who stayed on after the Province Chapter for their few weeks experience of the country kept telling stories of the great kindness of the MSC and all the people they met on their journey there. They were very impressed by the ministries in the province in Oz and how they are carried out e.g. the men in the parishes treat the people as friends! The school staffs and students were also very friendly and they were very impressed by the various MSC spirituality symbols etc in the schools. They were a bit bemused by the Irwin lounge at Daramalan and gave me a bit of a serve!

It is always good to hear the opinion of people when they first meet up with you, especially when it is so positive. As I mentioned in my last letter it was wonderful to see how easily the young men from Vietnam were made at home in Oz...very much a part of the Province. Of course, they keep saying how good the Aussies were to them but it is obvious that their presence gave the oldies a good fillip. Same here too! With the youthfulness of the Vietnamese here you get to smile a lot. 40% of the population is aged between 10 and 24. When I get home to my community at CRC we will be celebrating a number of birthdays, the youngest of whom will turn 70!

So, soon will be back in Coogee. A bit too late for MSC schools end of year farewells etc but not too late for the delightful little St Brigid's school next door. Should be home by December 8 and, as usual, I will  spend some time in the Novitiate in the outskirts of Manila to visit our five Vietnamese novices there.

Take care down there. Enjoy the arrival of summer, if it is really on its way.

Take care and God bless.

Uncle Bob

Group of MSC Students, OLSH and MSC Sisters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Pg 5


The annual donation of $10 per address is much appreciated.

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TO: Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Fr Jim Littleton msc

PO Box 84 DICKSON ACT 2602

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Fr Jim Littleton MSC

National Director, Lay MSC                                    Lay MSC Newsletter

Daramalan College                                                 Bernadette Phillips, Editor

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                                                                                                                                                            Pg 6