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Four Sisters celebrate 60 years of religious life

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The Congregational Leader, Sr Clare Nolan, offered four Sisters celebrating their 60th Jubilees of profession her love and congratulations on their very special occasions.

Sr Anne Turner

Motto: Seeing me, may they recognise Thee

Your life began in Tasmania as a teacher and in 1958 you entered the Sisters of Charity and following your Profession you continued in the ministry of Education. You qualified yourself to meet education needs. You had great respect for young women and prepared them well for the challenges of the times before them.

A lot has passed, Anne, since 1958 but I see you as carrier of a very precious gift to others – the carrier of our charism and our story in Tasmania.  I am so proud of how you do that and how you get involved.

You are always there for anything Congregational on the mainland and you are always graciously joyful in greeting your Sisters.

In 1993 your ministry at Liverpool changed to Library Assistant and from there back “home” to Tasmania as Library Assistant – but I know it was and has been so much more.

The religious, priests, and people respect and value your presence in sharing the Gospel in Tasmania. You are alone but not isolated.

On your profession day you chose a personal motto “Seeing me, may they recognise Thee.”  I think the Congregation would offer a resounding yes to that.

You are loved and appreciated!

Pope Francis says to us: Do not be sad men and women. A Christian can never be sad! Our joy springs from our having encountered Jesus Christ!

Gospel joy! That is what we celebrate with you today.

Sr Jeannie Johnston

Motto: “Take Lord, receive

As I reflect on your life in ministry, I see a gifted, creative woman religious who is also an historian, educator, liturgist, author, so blessed by God with many talents to share. You have an extraordinary memory for so many things.

You are a well of information to tap into. You immersed yourself in the education ministry down the east coast even as far as Townsville and Toowoomba. You were alive with passing on knowledge. The girls you taught were blessed by you.

You are a great storyteller, especially stories of Mary Aikenhead and our Charism.  Among your greatest gifts is preparing and celebrating liturgy, and the Word of God.

You took as your personal motto on your Profession day “Take Lord, receive.” And what a great way to celebrate this time in your life by producing the story of one of Mary Aikenhead’s most iconic sayings ”Being Extensively Useful…. in the service of the poor” as lived by the rural community of Downs West. Your life reflects the words of Pope Francis about the poor: “Move forward each day with our eyes fixed on what does not pass away: The Lord and our neighbour.”

I rejoice with you, Jeannie, and give thanks to God for your 60 years.

Sr Kerry Barrass

Motto: “To love You, Jesu, and to make you loved.” 

On your profession day you were given a blank sheet with only these words on it – Caritas Christi Urget Nos – go Kerry and do likewise with the gifts God has already given you.

As I reflected on your life and ministry what came to me first was your practical care of the ‘strugglers’.  It didn’t matter who they were – priest, bishop, parishioners, aged care workers or families in distress, if you felt you could do something you were there…

Your hospitality is extraordinary and first on the list is keeping sisters in touch through a monthly get together. You are definitely a people person and your care extends far and wide. Your care of those in rural areas lights up many a smile when you come bearing gifts…  And the Shellharbour Parish is blessed to have your ministry there which includes doing home visitation, care of priests and Parish and care of those in Nursing Homes.

You chose for your personal motto on this day 60 years ago: “To love You, Jesu, and to make you loved.”

You have done this Kerry and I am so proud of you.  I think that blank page you were given 60 years ago is getting very full!

I conclude with these words of Pope Francis: “Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ.” (EG 49). Just like your motto.

And of Mary Aikenhead with those words we have heard so often: “We require more hands, but these should have heads and more than all, hearts as single as to seek God alone.”

Sr Francis Graham

Motto: “The servant is not greater than his Master.”

As I reflected on your life and ministry as a Sister of Charity, I saw a generous woman totally dedicated to the education of young children. Your first appointment was St Mary’s Hurstville in 1961 and those children were your joy and delight over many years.  They have given you life and you have given them heaps of love.

In 1988, you had some time of Renewal and returned to the Western Suburbs of Sydney Sacred Heart Cabramatta. You became Library Assistant there offering Pastoral Care to Parish, School and all who needed a listening ear.

Your roots were well and truly down in the Western Suburbs of Sydney – a place of great need where your gentleness and kindness were most needed.  Your total devotion to the Liverpool school community is wonderful.

And in the words of Mary Aikenhead: “May you keep your lamp ever filled and ready lighted. Humility must be the vessel; charity the spark.”

And Pope Francis: “We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life, which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness.” EG42

THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
When we have so much to praise the Lord for, we must not complain.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
True affection is to rejoice in the happiness of our dear ones. Never allow a sentiment of resentment to enter into our hearts.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
Pray, reflect and consult – and may the divine spirit direct all to God’s greater glory.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
May our dear Lord Jesus fill your hearts with His own love. Amen!
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
We must have patience with others as He has patience with us.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
Under every difficulty try to pray fervently.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
We have much to thank Him for, even for those little drawbacks on our comforts and conveniences.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
Do pray that justice may be accomplished in peace and that truth may prevail.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
Go on now as steadily as you can, relying on the Divine assistance and fear not.
THE WISDOM OF MARY AIKENHEAD
What we do ought to be done well.

The Sisters of Charity acknowledge the First Peoples and traditional custodians of this land where we live. We respect, value and honour their history, culture and spirituality. We are committed to standing in solidarity and to actively working for justice, peace and harmony in this land.

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