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Sr Leone Wittmack reflects on the Sisters of Charity Heritage Centre and Archives

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Having lived in our Convent at No 1 Rockwall Crescent, Potts Point for several years, I was amazed to see the transformation of our Convent into a stunning and informative Heritage Centre outlining our proud history since our arrival in Australia in 1838.

It is a showcase of all the works we have been involved in not only here in Australia but our overseas mission as well.  Usually when you visit heritage centres, you are given a feast of information of the history of an organisation or group.

The thing that delighted me about our Heritage Centre is the focus that has been given to our current ministries.

  

Walking into our Heritage Centre, the first thing you are greeted with is the wonderful painting by Indigenous artist, Lisa Buxton, depicting our relationship with our First Australians and the work of the Sisters shown from an Aboriginal perspective.

As I currently work in the Northern Territory and am now familiar with authentic Aboriginal art, this painting made my heart sing.

This heritage centre is very modern with opportunities for interactive viewing as well as a theatre for movies and other displays.

The other important thing about this centre is that houses our Archives.  Our Archives are extremely important not only to us as Sisters of Charity but to historians and others who often request information and artifacts from our Archives for research and historical displays.

This access I am sure will now be easier not only for our staff who work there but for those requesting the information.

Our Heritage centre and Archives are certainly a great testament to the Sisters of Charity and our work with the poor and disadvantaged since 1838.

It also shows how the vision of the Sisters have enabled the governance of our ministries to thrive into the future through the Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries.  I am sure it will be visited often by the staff and students from the hospitals, schools and colleges now under the governance of the Trustees, giving them the opportunity to learn about the history and roots of the institutions where they now work.

However, it is also important to remember that our mission and ministry continues.  It has always been, and will continue to be, the work and face of Jesus today.

It is God’s work, and the spirit of Mary Aikenhead  is truly seen through the Sisters today and we continue to take up her challenge to us to walk with and advocate for people who have only faint or no voices in our society and “to give to the poor what the rich can afford with money.”

I would like to urge everyone, if you are visiting Sydney to make your way to No 1 Rockwall Crescent, Potts Point to the Sisters of Charity Heritage Centre and be taken on a journey with the Sisters and be inspired at what can be done when 5 women from Ireland and England have the courage to get on a ship, to leave their countries to do God’s work in another land, transmitting the spirit of Mary Aikenhead, our Foundress, from generation to generation.

  • Sr Leone Wittmack
Image 1: The painting at the entrance of the Heritage Centre; 2: Lisa Buxton, the artist; 3: Sr Leone in the Congregational Archives with Sr Cate O’Brien
Read more impressions of the Heritage Centre on the Sisters at the official launch in September’s Stay in Touch magazine. To subscribe to the magazine, please contact James at the Congregational Office:  james.griffiths@rscoffice.com

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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