July 2018

May the Sacred

   Heart of Jesus be  everywhere loved...




From the Director

The Feast of the Sacred Heart occurs this year on Friday 8th June.  In recent years, it has been the custom of our Superior General to write to all professed MSC on the occasion of the feast to remind us of its significance.

The opening line of his message this year is as follows: ‘The Feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us to turn the ear of our hearts to Jesus and listen to Him”.  We live in a busy world with multiple distractions; it is important that we find time in the quiet of prayer to listen to Jesus.  In doing so we will come to appreciate his deep and personal love for each of us.

In commenting on the problems that affect society today, the Superior General suggests that we should not be discouraged: “The Scared Heart offers us a transforming, liberating hopefulness.  We MSC have been granted front-row seats of this vision of hope.  We have personally seen and heard him speak to us in our own hearts of his unconditional love for us”.

This resonates with Fr Chevalier’s own words: “The love of the Heart of Jesus is the centre where everything meets, the pivot on which Catholicism revolves.  It embraces everything; it answers everything”.

In that context, I wish all of you a very happy feast day with abundant blessings.

Other more mundane issues:

  • I would welcome contributions to this newsletter from any group that wishes to do so.
  • This newsletter is now being produced at St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park by Amy Parish.  Her email address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • It is time to produce an updated Lay MSC Directory.  If we do not have your email address, I would be grateful if you could forward it to me at your earliest convenience.

Jim Littleton MSC

















Lay & Professed Council

Fred Stubenrauch


Welcome to our NEW Lay news. This edition has been, and future editions will be prepared by Amy Parish.

Amy is secretary to the MSC Community and the Parish at St Mary’s Towers.

Amy was practically born here! She and her family have had a long association with the place. She has been coming her for all her life.

 Articles for Lay News

Amy will be delighted to receive any articles from your group. Perhaps a list of your members and or short report on your activities etc.. perhaps even a photo.

Second Vatican Council

I’m sure this will bring many ‘nods’ of agreement from many of us!!!

Many of us have witnessed the miraculous new life that characterised the Church thanks to the Second Vatican Council.

John O'Malley SJ, the finest contemporary historian of Vatican II writing in the English language has provided us with 'a simple litany' of the changes in church style indicated by the council's vocabulary:

'from commands to invitations,

from laws to ideals,

from threats to persuasion,

from coercion to conscience,

from monologue to conversation,

from ruling to serving,

from withdrawn to integrated,

from vertical and top-down to horizontal,

from exclusion to inclusion,

from hostility to friendship,

from static to changing,

from passive acceptance to active engagement,

from prescriptive to principled,

from defiant to open-ended,

from behaviour modification to conversion of heart,

 from the dictates of law to the dictates of conscience,

from external conformity to the joyful pursuit of holiness.'

Thanks to Michael Fallon MSC who brought this to our attention in a recent homily.


Lay hope for the future

A response to the Provincial Chapter 2016


We live in changing times when the influence and relevance of the church in the lives of ordinary people is diminishing and when it is foreseeable that there will be no professed MSC available to serve in Australian parishes and no obvious way to maintain other MSC ministries. We could become disconsolate and fearful, dreaming of a time that is now past. But, we MSC have a vision of our founder to guide us through times of change and uncertainty that is as relevant to our times as it was to his.  We know that the remedy for the ills of the world comes when we learn to believe in God’s love for us and to allow that love to transform us and our mission, like Jesus, is to share that good news with the world.

Professed MSC have shown us how to live that vision with courage and hope and to be a church of compassion and mercy. You have formed us and we are profoundly grateful. It is now time for us to begin to take our share of the mission.

It was always a part of Jules’ original vision to have a three-pronged structure to ministry with professed men, associated diocesan clergy and lay people working together but in different ways, so as to respond to the needs of the people. Chevalier was always aware that the sort of ministry that could be undertaken by lay people and the places where lay people have easy entrée are different to that of priests and together we can most effectively respond to the needs of the times. As this vision began to re-emerge in the post-Vatican II world, so began a long process of reflection and discernment as to how this could occur in Australia.

In the 2004 Chapter you:

  • affirmed the mutuality of the lay and professed charism and
  • declared the desire to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the shared nature of the charism.
  • committed the province to set up structures and forums to ensure ongoing discussion and exploration of this vision of the Founder.

There have been many words spoken since that Chapter. We lay MSC have also taken this commitment seriously. We have matured over those years and now we stand beside you in ministry as reflected in the following initiatives:

An Institute has been established to facilitate adult faith formation in Heart Spirituality amongst lay people. Many lay people are now well formed and articulate in our charism and mission. Each of the MSC spirituality services has a lay Director.

Each of our Colleges has a lay Principal and an Assistant Principal Mission who is responsible for forming staff and ensuring the charism is embedded into every aspect of College life. It has been said by professed MSC that the Colleges have never been as MSC as they are at present.              

A Lay and Professed Council has emerged as a governing body for the emerging lay movement and a rich and fertile working relationship has developed between the Institute and the Lay and Professed Council.

A model of young adult, peer ministry has begun to develop.









Great MSC’s such as Jim Littleton and Bob Irwin have been significant influences on the emergence of each of these initiatives. They have deeply imbibed the vision of Chevalier and made it their own. They have courageously read the signs of the times and realized that traditional devotional practices and organizational practices must give way to more contemporary expressions. Fr Jim has evolved a model of Association that has been responsible for maturing countless thousands of people in MSC ministries in Heart Spirituality and is graciously encouraging a re-exploration of what association might mean in these times.

Aware that the Provincial Chapter was up-coming and that there would be discussion of on-going development of the lay movement, the Lay and Professed Council discerned that the time was right to call a gathering of lay people from all over Australia, representative of as many ministries as possible. The purpose of the gathering was ‘to consider the future of all lay MSC and to provide advice on this to the MSC Chapter.

The statement that representatives were asked to bring to the 2016 Chapter was:

Through a process of prayerful discernment at our recent Lay gathering we wish to say to you:

            We love you, we trust you and we are grateful for all you are and all you have    done.

Do not be afraid, we are here with you, and God is with us all.

Those present at the Lay Gathering would like to ask you:

  • Do you believe that we are all MSC with different expressions of the charism?
  • Can you see that our walking beside you reveals our commitment?
  • How can we seek to work together as co-workers to be a transforming presence and to face the future together?
  • Will you support the structural changes that our working together will require?

These are strong statements of affirmation and commitment. They reflect, most particularly, the cry of the people in MSC parishes, as they face the reality of the loss of the presence of professed MSC. While there is nothing that can be done about that diminishing presence, there is much that can be done to deepen and form the people in Heart Spirituality and to encourage them to be Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to everybody with whom they come in contact in their everyday lives.

The Chapter responded to the affirmations and questions by:

Acknowledging the developments in the past, the Chapter receives and affirms the report on the Conference of Lay MSC, ‘One Heart, Many Bodies’ (June 16,2016)

The Chapter commits the Province to collaborating with the Lay and Professed Council in the development of the lay MSC and the specific ways in which Lay MSC share the charism, Heart Spirituality and the mission.


The work is on-going and the working party from the Lay Gathering is discerning the way forward. At this stage we are considering developing a survey tool to be administered within MSC parishes, schools and other ministries. The purpose of the survey is to discern what is behind the statements from the Lay gathering to the Chapter. It is hoped that we can discern the next step in terms of new initiatives from the results of the survey.

We see significant alignment between the call of Pope Francis to be a missionary church and our MSC charism. We see a world hungry for the meaning and purpose that true spirituality can offer. We pray, as shared ministry opportunities emerge that we can be a part of the creation of a new world emerging from the heart of God.


Alison McKenzie (Report to Provincial Council 2017)









“Guidelines” of LCF

In the past few editions we have mentioned the move to organise the National Council of the Lay Branch of the Chevalier Family (LCF).

In the last edition reference was made to a steering committee set up to provide advice on the development of our LCF National Council.

A report on the first meeting of that committee is included in the March 2018 edition of Lay News.

Our second meeting was more focussed. We began with wonderful reflection prepared by Jenny Missen and, thanks to the expertise of Aidan Johnson, resulted in the document that follows. We have tried to interpret the guidelines faithfully within an Australian context. Considerable time was spent discussing just who is/who could be/who should be considered as belonging to the Chevalier Family.

We recognised that there are, and will continue to be, people who wish to have their allegiance recognised formally as has happened in the past e.g. OLSH Associates. Lay MSC. We also recognised that others don’t wish for such formal recognition but none the less wish to live their lives according to Spirituality of the Heart.

We also agreed that people will need some form of formation; some sort of help in coming to understand more about the charism that energises MSC and OLSH. Just what that formation looks like is yet to be determined.

At the gathering in Brazil one country outlined their formation program which takes six years and involves study and assignments along steps very similar to those undertaken by professed members of our orders. While not rejecting that idea my personal impression is that wouldn’t go down too well in an Australian context (but I am happy to be proved wrong!).

Our next meeting will be on 12th August and we will begin to focus on how the National Council might be selected/appointed.

Another crucial area for consideration and development is the financial underpinning of the work of the National Council, this too will be a focus of our next meeting.

We welcome any feedback comments – positive or negative. In fact ANY response would be nice!

Please send to my email as shown below.

The shaded boxes include parts of the original document, our comments follow each of these.





Laity of the Chevalier Family

Steering Committee proposal for the establishment of The National Council

--- A Response to Part II B - DRAFT ---


To help guide the Australian Province of MSC, OLSH, MSC Sisters and wider Chevalier family in a response to the “Guidelines” document approved by the General assembly of the Laity of the Chevalier Family, July 2018.

Unpacking the Guidelines within an Australian Context:

The National Council relies on the support and collaboration of the Provincial Administration(s) of the Chevalier Congregations in each country for its establishment.  

Provincial Administrations include:

  1. OLSH: The OLSH Associates, The OLSH Provincial Council,
  2. MSC: The Lay and Professed Council, the MSC Provincial Council
  3. MSC Sisters: The MSC Sisters are being kept informed of the process

The National Council consists of one or more representatives of the local administration(s) of the Lay Group(s) in the country, together with one or more officially appointed representatives of the Provincial Administrations of the Chevalier Congregations, present in a certain country.

Lay Group(s) include:

  1. Formal Lay MSC/OLSH
  2. MSC/OLSH School students, teachers and alumni
  3. MSC/OLSH Parish
  4. MSC/OLSH Missions
  5. Heartworks and other MSC/OLSH youth outreach
  6. Individuals who identify as such and who are recognised by others as such

Suggested rewording of the guidelines for Australian context (to be revisited):


The National Council consists or one or more representatives of formal structures and organisations for lay members of the Chevalier Family as recognised by the Provincial Administrations of the Chevalier Congregations, as well as representation for various lay Chevalier apostolate sectors in Australia with one or more officially appointed representatives of the Provincial Administrations of the Chevalier Congregations.

The task of the National Council is:

  • to endorse the legitimate execution of the administration of each Local Country Group;




Suggested rewording of the guidelines for Australian context:

  • To acknowledge and endorse the administration of each of the above mentioned groups.
  • to provide ongoing formation of the members in Spirituality of the Heart;
  1. Identify what current formation is happening

Current Formation includes:

  1. Courses provided through the Chevalier institute
  2. Hans Kwakman online courses
  3. More to be identified...
  1. Provide further opportunities for formation where needed

Note: It is important to consider what levels or degree of formation people have already undertaken.  

[a]Some will have already had considerable formation in the charism and

[b] others little or none at all.

For group [a] simply repeating what has already been done could engender a lack of enthusiasm, even tedium. “Re-inventing the wheel” is not stimulating or enriching,

For group [b] those coming into a group may find it difficult to become progressively informed and ‘formed’ from a starting point.

  • to appoint one or more Spiritual Accompaniers for Local Country Groups;

Suggested rewording of the guidelines for Australian context:

  • to appoint one or more Spiritual Accompaniers for mentoring of the above identified groups

For consideration: Who would be appropriate Spiritual Accompaniers? How would they be identified?

To revisit:

Once all existing forms of Spirituality of the Heart formation have been identified, the National Council will be in a better position to:

  1. a) direct individuals/groups to existing formation and
  2. b) identify the best way to provide ongoing formation in areas where it is lacking

Depending on the definition/role of ‘spiritual accompanier’ in a country as big as Australia with membership spread throughout all states would it be seen as practical to have more than one “spiritual accompanier?”

  • to assure collaboration of the administrations of the Local Country Groups with the wider Chevalier Family;

While it is acknowledged that not every group can/should have a member on the council, it is important that the council is in contact with all groups to ensure they are best represented. The National Council has the right to, and is encouraged to co-opt expertise from laity outside the council to assist in this process.


The council must continue to look for ways to support and grow the Chevalier Family. This may be through outreach to past students, parishes with previous connections of Heart Spirituality etc.

  • to send, if possible, 1 (one) member with right of vote  to the General Assembly, appointed by the National Council.

Members of the National council will select one member to vote on Australia’s behalf in the General Assembly.

Response to Request from International Committee

In the last edition reference was also made to a “Request for Information” from the LCF International Committee about progress towards our National Council.

The response prepared by the steering committee follows:

The comments are on behalf of both MSC and OLSH.

Name and contact for your National Council:

As yet we don’t have a National Council so the contact is at this stage:

Fred Stubenrauch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Have you communicated or met together with groups of the Chevalier Family beyond your own group? Can you give some details.

There has been communication between the MSC Lay and Professed Council and the Leadership Team of OLSH Associates.  A gathering of people representing these groups and others met 4th March 2018 at St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park. A wide ranging discussion resulted in the decision to appoint a steering committee to guide the development of the National Council for the Australian Province of MSC and OLSH.

Members of that steering committee include: Fred Stubenrauch (chair), Jenny Missen, Ellenmary Lomman, Therese Poulton, Paul Stinson, Jan Clark, Paul Compton, Aidan Johnson, Marian England.

The accepted goal of that committee is:

To help guide the Australian Province of MSC, OLSH, MSC Sisters and wider Chevalier family in a response to the “Guidelines” document approved by the General assembly of the Laity of the Chevalier Family, July 2018.

In particular:  To provide advice on the development of the National Council of the Laity of the Chevalier Family in Australia.

  • Have you begun to discern how you will form a National Council in your country? Can you give some details.









That steering committee has met twice 8th April 2018 and 3rd June 2018 with the next meeting scheduled for 22 August 2018. The committee is working through the “Guidelines” document to examine how the guidelines will work in an Australian context. Discussions have been very fruitful.

While the final decision has not been made we are referring to The Lay Branch of the Chevalier Family as LCF and expect that this terminology will be accepted widely to include people previously known as OLSH Associates and Lay MSC.

It is expected that the next meeting, will bring more focus on just how members of the LCF National Council will be selected.

There has been discussion about just who would be eligible to be considered for membership of the National Council.



What might be the part played by the Provincial Councils of the Australian Province in that process? This is a question for our next meeting.

  • Have you considered how you will appoint a chair of that Council who will have voting rights at the next General Assembly? Can you give details.

This has not been considered yet and we feel that the matter will be brought into better focus at our next meeting. The aim is to have the National Council and chairperson appointed in 2019. Perhaps at an assembly of lay people in 2019.

  • Have you begun to consider how you will fund your National Council and the International Council? Can you give details.

These matters have not yet been considered

  • Can you attach a newsletter of general Communication that you have sent to the laity in your country?



A Greeting  from the International Committee on the occasion of the Feast of The Sacred Heart


God’s beloved…

On June 8th, first Friday after the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the Church invites us to contemplate the mystery of God’s Love, which means to enter more deeply within the Father’s bosom, and to discover in Jesus’ Heart, the most sublime Love, the very Love of God. That’s why John the Evangelist wrote: “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Did anyone of us never see an image of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus, and feel challenged by Him? But, in fact, what is the core message revealed to us by the Heart of Jesus?

In Scripture, the Heart of Jesus is designed as a symbol of God’s Love: “We’ll drink at the source which will spring from His Heart … for blood and water will flow from Him” (John 7:37, 19:35). “Jesus is the living incarnation of God’s Love, and His Heart is the symbol of that Love. The Heart of Jesus is the source of all graces, a fire of light and love, an abyss of mercy” (Fr. Jules Chevalier). We may experience God’s Love, present in the pierced Heart of Jesus, through our contemplating His Heart and discover within Him, the depth of God’s Love.

On the Feast of the Heart of Jesus, let’s renew our experience of God’s Love, which was poured upon us through the institution of the Eucharist, thanks to water and blood flowing from that Open Heart, that very Love who lets Himself met, and who wants we become always more faithful to His will. Let’s enter, like Thomas, in the open side of Jesus, and in God’s intimacy, so that, united to His Heart, we faithfully fulfill the commandment of Love.

As Chevalier Family, let’s make an act of faith, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and live out the gifts of mercy present in the Heart of Jesus.

Let’s pray to God, and dedicate our Chevalier Family to Jesus’ Heart!

Ave admirabile, Cor Jesu, Te laudamus. Te benedicimus, Te glorificamus. Tibi gratias agimus. Tibi cor nostrum offerimus, donamus et consecramus. Accipe et posside illud totum. Purifica, Illumina et santifica. Ut in ipso vivas, et regnes in perpetuum. Amen

Missionary friendship!

Doris Machado LFC       

















And, finally:


Some expressions of Spirituality of the Heart


“A Spirituality of the Heart is a way of being in the world. It is a journey to be travelled with others. It is an energy that sustains and moves us, a dance in which we are participating. It is a way of being in the world, in relationship to self, others and God: a way of coming to rest within ourselves, at our deepest centre”                         James Maher MSC

“Spirituality of the Heart is first and foremost something to be lived rather than understood. It demands that I first overcome divisions in my own thinking that create a sense of separation from self, from others, from God. This same separateness divides the body from the spirit, the human from the divine. It is no wonder we struggle to embody the mystery of God’s incarnation in Jesus, in our own lives and in actions”

                                    Chris Chaplin MSC

It is a missionary spirituality that is without limits - everywhere - at every level of society. Religious, diocesan priests and laity are called to share this spirituality. The laity are indispensable to carry our spirituality of the heart.”

Jules Chevalier

 Spirituality for everyone

Fr Jules Chevalier MSC firmly believed that Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the solution to all the world’s problems. His invocation, “May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved – Forever” captures a key aspect of Chevalier’s spirituality and of his vision.


While each of the words in this invocation invite commentary I will focus on the word “everywhere”.  It is clear that Chevalier understood “everywhere” in its geographical and social dimensions. So, not only would the devotion spread to every place on earth but it would also find a home into every strata of society from home to work place to religious communities, presbyteries etc – that is, this devotion was for everyone, everywhere.

In order to achieve this vision Chevalier understood that lay people as well as religious and clerics needed to be included in the society that he founded. Lay people then, are invited to discover ways to live this spirituality in their day to day lives and not simply in that aspect of their life that may be connected to the men and women religious who claim Chevalier as their founder. Just as religious men and women strive to find ways to express and live this spirituality in community so lay men and women need to strive to find ways to live and give expression to this spirituality in their life as single or married people in their homes, work places and beyond.


The key aspects of this spirituality will be similar for everyone. It begins with a journey to one’s own heart; in this we recognize the need we all have for quiet, still awareness, to be in touch with our inner self. In this inner journey we pay attention to the multitude of feelings and thoughts that are known only in solitude.  In that place we intentionally open ourselves to the compassionate, loving heart of Jesus.


So spiritualty of the heart has this contemplative dimension. It also invites us to make the journey outwards from our own heart, to the hearts of others. And once again, in every person we meet, in whatever situation we find ourselves, we open ourselves to the abiding presence of the compassionate, loving heart of Jesus.


Spirituality of the heart invites us to make the inner journey to our own heart and the outer journey to the hearts of others in the belief that it is there that we encounter the compassionate, loving heart of Jesus. As we live this spirituality we become ever more sensitized to this compassionate, loving presence that manifests itself everywhere, in all dimensions of life. Living a spirituality of the heart gives witness and expression to this presence.


It is spirituality for everyone, everywhere.

  1. Fitzgerald

November 2015

The quality that most describes an MSC is kindness. The MSC Constitutions describe and prescribe the MSC way: the Spirit of our society is one of love and kindness, humility and simplicity.

Jules Chevalier, Le Sacre Coeur


A Spirituality of the Heart is foundationally about love – not a soft sentimental love but a love which challenges and yet comforts … that is courageous and yet humble … that is hopeful and yet not blind to the problems of our world. It is a love that is strong and determined but does not crush the bruised reed … that is faithful and generous. Like Christ, it is compassionate, tender and merciful.

Fr Bob Irwin msc  (2004)


‘To live,’ wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery ‘ is to be slowly born.’ The fact is that coming to be fully alive is the task of a lifetime. There’s so much in each of us that we’ve never touched, so much beauty we’re steeped in that we’ve overlooked. Consciousness is what lifts the ordinary to the sublime.

The ordinary is what reveals to us little by little, inch by inch, the holiness of life – we wait for retreats, liturgies, grand gatherings to take us to God, and indeed they can and do; yet God is with us all the while – most especially in the routine parts of life, the dull parts of the day, which are the gifts of space – time for consciousness and reflection, time to continue being slowly born.

From: Joan Chittister osb – Listen with the Heart – Sacred Moments in Everyday Life  (2003)



Perhaps you have some thoughts on this that you would like to share?

How has a belief in Spirituality of the Heart affected your life??


MSC Website

We are working, together with Peter Malone to have more articles and resources included on the MSC website. 

Meanwhile to use the modern way of greetings and best wishes – LOB (lots of blessings)


Fred Stubenrauch (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)