Sister Suzette Clark, Councillor: A change of place and plansPrint
I flew into Brisbane on March 15 this year, booked to return to Sydney the following weekend for two days of Congregational Leader & Council planning. After all, we were having our Congregational Chapter in September and would be handing over to the newly elected CL&C on 8 December.
It was during that week that the closure of borders was mooted and the Queensland border closed on 25 March. So, I have now been in Brisbane for more than six months. But if I have to be stuck anywhere, this is the place to be.
I live in an ILU in St Vincent’s Care Services at Mitchelton. It is one of 16 stand-alone units so we have not been affected by the long periods of lockdown that have restricted life in the nursing home in this complex.
Like everyone else, initially we were in isolation, but gradually conditions have improved. Our chaplain now celebrates Eucharist with us on a Saturday and Tuesday afternoon, in the ILU community room.
For me, these months have been an opportunity to spend more time with our Sisters in Brisbane, at least via the phone or zoom.
Sr Jeannie Johnston celebrated her diamond jubilee in August. On the day, we gathered physically or via Zoom with a special prayer, then morning tea.
Congregationally, this has been a challenging time. CL&C and committee meetings have to continue. We have done this via Zoom.
On May 22, we launched our RSC On Line portal. What a blessing in the midst of the isolation and hardships of the pandemic. On Many Fridays, our Sisters have gathered, often as many as 65
Here in Brisbane, we have found it a great innovation. We are meeting with and having conversations with Sisters in other states whom we may not have seen for years.
The portal has also enabled us to be present at Amanda Nguyen’s perpetual profession and celebrate the lives of Sisters who have died during this time.