Platinum Jubilee of Final Profession of Sr Judith ClarkPrint
Tribute given at the Mass of Thanksgiving – St Ambrose Concord West 28.8.2021
Sr Judith – Each one of us sends our heartfelt greetings to you as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of your Final Profession as a Religious Sister of Charity.
Fr Chaminda has offered this Mass for you and in thanksgiving for your dedicated contribution to our parish. As we cannot be together to celebrate with you, our Parish joins you spiritually this evening.
Tonight, we thank you for your 70 Years of dedicated service to your Religious Community as well as your life with us in the community of St. Ambrose Parish over the past 28 years.
Joan Clark, you worked in an office in Brisbane after you left School and later answered God’s call to enter the novitiate in Potts Point, Sydney in 1949. On 28th August 1951 you made your final profession as a Sister of Charity, taking the name Judith.
“The love of Christ urges us”. This is the motto of the Sisters of Charity.
Sr Judith, you have been listening to what Christ urged you to do for the past 70 years. When your pathway was not clear, you spent time in prayer asking Jesus to help you. You are always sure He is with you and leading you. Sometimes the path has been very rocky!
When you first came to the Parish in 1954 to 1955, St Ambrose School had classes up to the third year of High School, and these were your students. Your talents were revealed and you became a much-loved teacher and principal at schools in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland.
When it came time to retire in 1993 you returned to live in Concord West again. Of course, “retirement” for you was really a career change!
Only you know the full extent of your work in our Parish as each of us has a different connection with you. I will share how integral to many aspects of our Parish Life Sr Judith has been and I apologise for anything I leave out.
- A Member of St Vincent de Paul, you held roles such as treasurer, and coordinator of the Mini Vinnies at St Ambrose School.
- As a Catechist, you taught hundreds of students at our state schools and were the Parish Catechist coordinator for some years.
- A member of Catholic Women’s League, you received the Jean Arnott Award.
- You are a valued member of VASA, a group who follow the footsteps of those Sisters of Charity who taught in our Parish school by carrying on pastoral care in the wider community. Your pumpkin scones you brought to our monthly Morning Teas were a tribute to your Queensland heritage.
- You are a much loved member of Passionist Parish Family Group, “Seekers.”
- You coordinated The Children’s Liturgy Group.
- The RCIA program was held in your home. You journeyed with so many as they came to learn about your Catholic Faith.
- Recently you took on the role of Parish Safeguarding Support Officer
- Each week you hung the banners in the Church and displayed on them the key words for reflection on the readings. You also sewed some of the banners yourself.
- The choir welcomed you to sing with them for Christmas and Easter.
- You provided training and formation sessions for Lectors, Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. You organised special liturgical celebrations such as Stations of the Cross during Lent as well as Lenten programs.
- You promoted and encouraged the Parish to contribute to the Annual Christmas Shoebox appeal.
- You were always a great supporter of the Parish Monthly Morning Teas.
When families in the Parish who experienced stresses in their lives had no one else to turn to, you provided both material and spiritual help, sometimes doing childminding when Parents needed it.
You visited many people in hospital and at home. You reached out to anyone in need.
We all enjoyed sharing meals and your baked goodies and some were recipients of decorated cakes for special celebrations.
Your green thumb enabled us to share the bountiful cumquats from your garden and we could always stop for a chat when you were out pruning your plants.
We appreciate your involvement in so many Ministries and you have given us a legacy to maintain. You are much loved and remembered by each one of us. We are so fortunate that you retired to live with us in Concord West.
Sr Judith, not only do we pay tribute to you, but we acknowledge and thank you for your 30 years of service to St Ambrose Parish.
Your faith enabled you to reach out to our Parish community through the various ministries and you encouraged us to be the face of Christ to each other. Scripture tells us “The harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few.” You encouraged us all to be labourers to bring life to our Parish.
The digital presentation this evening reminds us of your valued contribution to the Parish. We are all the richer for your presence in our lives. You have encouraged us by your example to listen to Christ when he urges us.
Thank you for your faithfulness, love and dedication.
It is with great joy that we celebrate your Platinum Jubilee. Congratulations and thank you Sr Judith.
May God carry you gently in the palm of His hand.
- Kerry Wijngaarden on behalf of all the Parish Community of St Ambrose Concord West.