Sister Colleen Noonan
To-day, with declining health, I live the mission of the Sisters of Charity in simple ways mainly by my response to the various individuals I meet each day.
Regular volunteering at the Come-In Centre on a Tuesday, at Paddington, for the young mother’s group and, at St Francis School Paddington, some occasional work with a slow reader fill part of my time.
My incidental role is chatting with the mums and listening to their fears and concerns. A question such as “How do I make someone love me?” gives me an opportunity to encourage them in finding better solutions and keep their lives on track.
I also work with Volunteers in Isolated Students Education (VISE), teaching isolated children in their homes. The placements are for six weeks. One placement was on a 30,000 acre cattle property at Winton. Now, I have just returned from Mt Hope on Kidman Way assisting the parents, who run the roadhouse there, to give their five year old child a good start with Distance Education.
Other incidental expressions of ministry in recent times include: contact with a group from which one member recently suicided, visiting a long-serving prisoner in Victoria, taking home an elderly lady who fell, contacting people who are grieving the loss of a spouse or child, catching up on my own family and the issues in their lives, supporting a religious who has recently returned from the missions; chatting with people on the ferry (my favourite recreation!)
It is amazing how many want to tell you their stories.
My days are full and I sometimes wonder how I found time for “work”. I have enjoyed celebrating my two big events this year, the Golden Jubilee of my Religious Profession and my 70th birthday and am sure that the prayers of so many have enabled me to get to this point.
Sr Colleen Noonan, RSC