Sister Leone Wittmack reflects on visiting the Heritage Centre for the first timePrint
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