Kildare Ministries Newsletter

28 February 2019
Issue One
Welcome Luci Quinn- Principal of Clonard College
Opening school masses
Kildare Education Ministries Board
        Brigidine College, Indooroopilly celebrate 90 years!
  Land Transfer Ritual, Presentation Family Centre
New Leaders Day 1
Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project (BASP) News
  Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  2019 Calendar Dates
Keep updated!
Kildare Ministries
(03) 9682 2973
54 Beaconsfield Parade
Albert Park, Victoria, 3206


Dear members of the Kildare Ministries community,


This year marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Kildare Ministries and as the old cliché says, where has that time gone? The arrival of an anniversary, brings with it an expectancy for celebration, and provides opportunity to pause and reflect on what has been achieved and a time to wait for what is yet to come.  Indeed there is much to celebrate. One tends to think that nothing much changes from year to year but in fact even a cursory glance at the previous five years, identifies important events, occasions and moments that have played their part in helping to define and unite us as an emerging faith community called Kildare Ministries.   

There was nothing more moving, nor more spiritual as the two liturgies that gave life to Kildare Ministries in 2014, one held at Kilbreda and one at Brigidine College, St Ives.   Being a witness to hundreds of women who had dedicated their lives as Brigidine or Presentation Sisters, standing united with one voice to entrust their lives’ work to the Trustees of Kildare Ministries was humbling, emotional and life giving.  The ceremonies are etched in my memory for their demonstrative proclamation of Kildare Ministries and the courageous step these women took in entrusting their works to the Trustees who stood in front of them, equally humbled and emotional receiving the gift they had been given.  These liturgies and all that was celebrated within them, were indeed moments of grace and infinite promise.

Without a road map, the Trustees began to shape the entity and it was only after their own retreat in 2015 that the Trustees penned the Vision, Mission and Values statement which was to become the thread that bound our work. In fact, all our work still draws inspiration from that foundation document.  Over these last five years we have come together on many occasions, for meetings, retreats, seminars, workshops, student programmes and the big events like the pilgrimages and the conferences.  We have welcomed new people into the fold and farewelled good friends along the way. We have given priority to building our community through strong and nurturing relationships, while at the same time developing our narrative and understanding about it means to be mission leaders for our faith community today. 

We have made mistakes along the way and perhaps would have done some things differently if we had our time again.  There were moments of tension and disappointment that understandably arose from being in that liminal space between the known and the not-yet-known but what always struck me was the enormous good will evident in all the people who make up our community.  The competence, creativity and commitment displayed on a daily basis by our leaders and those who serve in our ministries, has ensured that Kildare Ministries is beginning to have a recognisable voice.

It is in this vein that the celebration for our fifth anniversary was designed. The Trustees were keen that our ministries were ‘outward’ looking by using their combined voice to speak out against injustice to humanity.  The Faith Leaders in our schools have been able to combine in the Ash Wednesday liturgies the story of Behrouz Boochani, a recent literary award winner and a detainee in Manus Island.  Boochani’s tragic story is a blatant reminder that although we share a common humanity we don’t all enjoy the same privileges. Boochani is only one example of far too many examples, of where people are marginalised because of where they were born, imprisoned for no crime, uneducated because of unfair structures, enslaved because of their economic circumstance with little hope of freedom from these injustices.

We mark our fifth anniversary by pledging to make the world, or at least our own communities, better places for us having been in them – teachers, volunteers, students, principals, board directors and managers, trustees – all of us.  This is what it means to be mission leaders in the Kildare Ministries way, to extend a hand of hospitality, to open our doors with welcome in our hearts and to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus in our daily interaction.

We are excited that the Living Justice Principles marks our fifth anniversary as well.  Two years in the making and many consultations in between and we are now ready to road-test our Charter.  Many teams of people contributed to this central document and we thank each one for their participation in and commitment to its completion.  Living Justice posters were distributed to every ministry during the first two weeks in February.  We hope that engagement with this document will become our hallmark.

Judging by the many photos sent to us celebrating the beginning of the year it seems that we are off to a good start and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few important moments already celebrated this year.

  • We welcome Luci Quinn as the new Principal of Clonard College
  • We welcome Louise Cleary csb as the interim Chair for the KEM Board
  • We welcome the first cohort of pioneering Year 7s to Kildare College in Adelaide and of course all year 7s and new students in our schools
  • We congratulate Brigidine College, Indooroopilly on their 90th anniversary and for holding the last land transfer ritual in early February
  • We welcome all new staff and volunteers across the ministries and hope that you will find your new place warm and inviting


At the time of writing, the news was just breaking that George Pell has been found guilty of child sexual abuse. While we can appreciate that George Pell continues to protest his innocence, the stories around the charges are devastating and horrific. There would be so many personal reactions to this revelation ranging from feelings of betrayal and bewilderment, anger, confusion and even a sense of hopelessness for our future Church.  What a stark reminder, if indeed we needed one,  that the Church itself is deeply in its own Lenten period, where the darkness and isolation is surrounded by confusion, anger, grief, fear and anxiety.

We must not lose sight of the pain and suffering of the victims of sexual abuse, and indeed we remain alert to their needs in our communities. Now more than ever we need to draw from the inspiration of the Gospel and take heart that good will prevail over the evil of sexual abuse in our own Church and across the globe. Ash Wednesday reminds us of the fragility of our humanity and calls us to renew our spirit and our conviction to make our relationships flourish and our communities thrive.  Let's pull together to show a face of Church that is loving and kind, compassionate and authentic.  


Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you
Deep peace of Christ to you




Erica Pegorer

Executive Director

Kildare Ministries

Welcome Luci Quinn- Principal of Clonard College

We are delighted to introduce to the Kildare Ministries community the new Principal for Clonard College, Mrs Luci Quinn.  A woman of deep faith and personal witness, Luci has been an educator for almost 30 years beginning her career in Melbourne and holding significant leadership positions in the Diocese of Sandhurst.  In recent times she has held the position of Senior Education Consultant for Learning and Teaching at the CEO Sandhurst and in partnership with La Trobe University was a part-time lecturer in religious education. She held the position of Principal at St Augustine’s College in Kyabram (2015-2018).

In her professional life, Luci models life-long learning and holds a number of educational qualifications.  She is excited by the possibilities that can be created in the classroom and has a profound understanding of the interplay between wellbeing and learning.  In addition, Luci is very community minded volunteering her time to serve on Boards, Stewardship Councils, Parish Councils and other community organisations. Parish life is an important aspect of her life as is the great outdoors.

Together with her husband David, Luci enjoys the company of her young adult daughters Emma and Hannah.

We welcome Luci and her family to the Clonard community and to Kildare Ministries. We can already see in Luci a woman who embodies ‘strength and gentleness’ and who will be a strong role model for the young women in her care. We look forward to witnessing her leadership unfold in this next chapter for Clonard College. Welcome Luci. 

A word from Luci

Coming to a new place, a new school, has brought with it so many experiences of being welcomed - greetings, offers of support, flowers, check-ins, kind notes, phone calls and questions about my story. When one experiences hospitality in this way it engenders comfort, safety, confidence, trust and a sense of belonging. Such has been my experience coming to Clonard College. This should not be a surprise for a College steeped in the Brigidine tradition, a tradition marked with a lived expression of the hospitality shown by Jesus. 

Kildare Education Ministries has chosen the value ‘Hospitality: welcoming all’ as our theme for 2019. It’s easy to think of hospitality in its simplest terms, however the richness of our faith tradition gives us many facets of hospitality to ponder as we journey through our year. Hospitality can be expressed as: 


love & mercy 

table fellowship 


counter to marginalisation 


love of stranger.


Since reflecting on the notion of hospitality, I have been struck by the idea that as host, one has as much to receive as guest. Hospitality is a human gift that bridges two lives. When we intentionally experience encounter, be present and attend to the stranger or other, we become more than we were beforehand. I think this is what Pope Francis desires for us as a faith community which ‘goes forth’. In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis writes that he wants us to get involved through word and deed in people’s daily lives, to be supportive, to be fruitful and to be filled with joy. This is a community of hospitality! I trust that our new students, staff and families are experiencing a sense of welcome. 

I want to express my deepest gratitude for the welcome so beautifully expressed in my commissioning at our Opening of the Year Mass. It was a truly sacramental moment in my life. One of my favourite authors Joan Chittester, when writing about ‘a hospitable heart’, says that when people come into our lives they come bearing ‘insights, wisdom, traditions, cultures and ideas that stretch us to the limit’. I look forward to continuing to be ‘stretched’ by your presence in my life as I embrace all that this Principalship calls me to be for this College.  

Opening school masses

Kildare College, Adelaide

Kildare College held their opening school mass on Monday 25th of February. Mrs Barbara Madonna, Kildare College's longest service staff member, turned on our lamp of learning ready for the 2019 school year.  All Year 8 and Year 7 students were welcomed into the community.

Marian College, Ararat

Marian College Ararat held their opening school mass on the 8th of February. 

St. Joseph's College, Echuca

Our Opening School Mass, held on Friday 1st February, served a number of purposes. Firstly we celebrated the commencement of the year.  We also inducted our new School Leaders. These Leaders consisted of all our Year 12 students, Junior, Vice and Senior House Captains and our Beacon Leaders. Thirdly we unveiled our 2019 motto Love, Treasure and Acclaim. All are welcome.

Mass was led by Bishop Tomlinson, Father Des Welladsen, and Father John Tinkler and was celebrated by the whole school and parents were welcome to attend.


Brigidine College, St. Ives

Brigidine College, St. Ives held their opening school mass on St. Brigid's Day, the 1st of February.

Marian College, Sunshine West

On Friday 8 February Marian College celebrated the commencement of the 2019 academic year with a Mass held in the College Hall. It was a wonderful celebration with nearly one thousand participants comprising students, staff, high achievers from the class of 2018, their parents and special guests. The Mass commenced with a procession that involved students and staff presenting to our celebrant, Father Peter-Damian Mc Kinley, items that are involved in everyday school life. An example of the items were text books and sports items from the students, ipads from the IT department, financial journals from the office, work tools from our maintenance staff and books from Library staff.

Our College theme for 2019 is Hospitality - Welcoming all and all of the biblical readings, prayers and Fr. Mc Kinley's homily certainly acknowledged what we are all called to do as members of this wonderful community.


Kildare Education Ministries Board

The resignation of Michael Doyle as Board Chair

We are saddened by the news that Michael Doyle, has tended his resignation.  Apart from being a friend to and wise counsel for many of us, Michael was instrumental in the setting up of TKM and was appointed the foundational Chair of the KEM Board.  A friend of the Brigidines and Brigidine schools in Victoria and South Australia for many years, he will be greatly missed and the absence of his calm presence will be felt in many spheres.  You may be aware of the health realities that Michael Doyle is once again facing and while not an easy decision to leave the work he enjoys, Michael will now concentrate on his health and there are some significant family celebrations to enjoy too. We look forward to an occasion where we can truly pay tribute to the enormous contribution Michael has made to TKM, KEM and many Brigidine schools before Kildare Ministries’ inception.

The Trustees have begun the process of recruiting a new chair for the KEM Board.  In the interim, we welcome Louise Cleary csb as the Chair and wish her well as she begins this new role.  Louise is known to many of you and she will bring a comprehensive understanding of each of the schools and their unique communities. Further as the Chair of the Members’ Council, Louise has kept abreast of developments and is well placed to lead the Board in this transition.  Louise will remain the Chair of the Members’ Council.  Welcome to KEM Louise. 



Brigidine College,
Indooroopilly celebrate 90 years!

On the 8th of February, Brigidine College, Indooroopilly marked the beginning of their 90th Anniversary year with mass at the Cathedral of St Stephen.

The entire College community of over 800 students, as well as staff, Brigidine Sisters, Alumni and special guests travelled to Brisbane city, to celebrate the significant occasion together.

Brigidine College Principal, Brendan Cahill, said the milestone year brings more than just memories of a successful 90 years, but an exciting opportunity to give witness to the ongoing development for the College.

Celebrating our 90th Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of St Stephen was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the legacy bestowed upon us by the Brigidine Sisters and the generations of families, students and staff who have contributed to our wonderful community. This was an important and historic milestone for the College. I am touched by the words of Erin Ahern (past student), reflecting on her friendship with Mother Foley, first College Principal: Erin spoke about knowing “ the failures and successes, experience sorrow and joy, and realise that life is a great adventure - you can make it so, no matter what your destiny might be.”

Following the Anniversary Mass, the College community, Brigidine Sisters, Presentation Sisters and Kildare Ministries gathered to celebrate the Stewardship of Land Ceremony.

As a milestone and historical event for the Brigidine Sisters, the Liturgy identified the Stewardship of our College land to Kildare Ministries. Sr Chanel Sugden, Sr Patricia Buckley, Sr Margaret Daniels and Sr Jan O’Neill represented the Brigidine NSW Community in handing the Land of Brigidine College to Kildare Ministries.  This act of faith and care for our land is an important part of the unfolding journey as Brigidine College joins all Kildare Ministries schools and Community Works to the ongoing future.





Brendan Cahill

Principal - Brigidine College, Indooroopilly


Land Transfer Ritual, Presentation Family Centre

Presentation Family Centre's Land Transfer Ritual took place on 23 November 2018. Warm hospitality and lively chatter greeted the guests as they arrived for the land transfer liturgy at Presentation Family Centre, on Friday 23 November. Presentation Sisters and Brigidine Sisters gathered to witness the handing over of PFC to the Trustees of Kildare Ministries. It was also an opportunity to farewell Mary Keogh pbvm who not only served on the Board for the last 10 years but offered a calming and wise presence for the many guest who needed a listening ear and kind gesture.

After the formalities a very generous reception was enjoyed and as friends reconnected many stories were shared of the ‘good old days’.     



New Leaders Day 1

We have had a busy start to the year in the Brigidine Ministry Centre. 


On Friday 22 February we welcomed 17 new leaders from Kildare Ministries schools to a seminar exploring what leadership looks like through the lens of vision, mission and values of Kildare Ministries.  Brendan Cahill, Principal of Brigidine College Indooroopilly led an inspiring session on his own personal leadership journey and the way it has influenced his faith leadership.  We are looking forward to welcoming this vibrant group back for Day 2 in August.  Below is some of the feedback offered by our participants:


"The biggest learning for me was to cement ideas about how the values of Kildare Ministries influence my role as a leader and to make sure I allow time for the heart and quiet reflection."

"I felt very connected to the story and the core values."

"I valued the authentic voices the presenters all employed."

"There was space and time to reflect, network, dream, hope, imagine and recharge."

"Great to hear about how other leaders deal with the situations that happen at their schools."

"Hearing other people's journey to leadership was beneficial as it was relatable and enabled me to reflect on my journey."

"The presentations were well prepared and as a new leader gave me a new perspective on how I could better deal with certain aspects of my job."

"It was a good insight into the workings of the Kildare Ministries, it gave me context."

"I appreciated the frankness and depth of Brendan Cahill's presentation."

"I found the second session, regarding the structure of KM and the role of coaching very informative."



Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project (BASP) News

Generosity comes also from those seeking asylum. Two young men assisted by BASP on arrival in Australia are now working and living in private accommodation. In mid-January, 3 large boxes of non-perishable food arrived by mail- as contribution to our pantry for other asylum seekers and as thanks for the help they received when they needed it. Another young man, now settled and no longer in need of help from BASP, came to discuss what help could be given to women who were isolated in their homes in the Dandenong area. He was directed to Wellsprings also a part of Kildare Ministries and a multicultural neighbourhood house as a first point to pursue some solutions.

In 2014, a scared young woman came to BASP having fled the Taliban and needing housing. She had just completed her medical degree in Pakistan. BASP introduced her to a wonderful family who took her in, incorporated her into their family and supported her through the many hurdles of seeking asylum as well as meeting the Australian Medical standards. She and her Aussie mum came to celebrate with us in December. She has a permanent visa and she is a doctor at a Melbourne hospital. How fortunate she has been to have this family!


Christmas seems a while ago, but BASP was again heartened by the good will of many in the community.  The hamper preparation and delivery to over 90 households is always a busy time pre-Christmas.

St Finbar’s East Brighton arrived with 80 hampers ready to be distributed.



BASP also hosts a Christmas Party as a way of thanking their supporters and showing hospitality to some of the asylum seekers we house and assist. They are assisted in this endeavour by more goodwill. Drinks were supplied by Francis and Phil. Salads were prepared by staff of Clonard College and the bbq was run by some Afghani friends of BASP.

It was a happy occasion as usual and lovely to watch a newly arrived family from Nauru meeting up with people also from Nauru who have been here a couple of years - reducing their isolation to some degree.




Justice for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Kildare Ministries Petition - Please sign!

As part of our 5th Anniversary Celebrations, Kildare Ministries is harnessing the yearning for justice embedded in our ministries to stand in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers.  The mental health of people indefinitely detained in Australian immigration detention centres has deteriorated to a critical level.  Kildare Ministries is calling on the Australian Government for an immediate response to this humanitarian crisis. 


If you would like to sign our petition, click here and spread the word amongst your networks!


Fundraiser for the Palm Sunday Walk



2019 Calendar Dates

KEM Principals Meetings

13th March

30th May

2nd September


KM Principals and Leaders Meeting

12th March

31st May

14th November


KEM Business Managers

Monday 25th March (Killester College)

Friday 18th October


KM Chairs of the Board Network

2nd May (Wellsprings)

27th August (Star of the Sea)


Justice Coordinators

8th May (Online)

22nd August (Online)

8th November


Faith Leaders

10th May

8th November



Student Seminar 

28th February - 1st March (Amberley)

22nd May

30th October


KM Leaders and Faith Leaders Retreat

BCI & Ormiston (Brisbane)

7th-9th August


Kildare Ministries Pilgrimage

18th September - 3rd October


Student Leadership Retreat

4th-6th December


New Staff Induction

19th March

3rd September


New Leaders Seminar

30th August


Founding Grace Retreat

15th-17th May



For a full program of the Formation Events for 2019, please click here.

Keep updated!

Kildare Ministries Newsletter