175 Years in AustraliaPrint
Celebration of 175 years of service in Australia
In 2014, the Sisters of Charity celebrated 175 years of service in Australia, impelled by the Love of Christ. The actual anniversary of the arrival of the five Sisters was 31 December, 1838. On that day, four professed Sisters of Charity and one novice arrived in Sydney Harbour on the Francis Spaight after a journey of almost four months.
These were the first women Religious to come to these shores and the story of these years is one that truly reflects our motto, Caritas Christi Urget Nos. This can be translated “The love of Christ impels us” or “urges us on.”
Truly, only that love and the power of the Spirit of love, the Spirit of Jesus, could have achieved the wonderful service that has been accomplished through those five women and those who have succeeded them. Very nearly one thousand in all, including those who served for a time, then left religious life, those who have died, and the current Congregational members. The work of the sisters has been achieved in spite of momentous challenges and even opposition.
The desire to help those in need still burns in the heart of each Sister of Charity and those who share our charism and continue the ministries begun by us.
On the special Feast of our Patron, Mary of the Angels, we launched the book, Impelled by Christ’s Love: 175 Years Serving in Australia and also began our year of celebration of this milestone in our history and that of Australia. This celebration was an opportunity to thank God and the wonderful women and men who support and have supported us and to look to the future with hope and trust.
Brisbane celebrated the 175th anniversary with Mass live-streamed from St Stephen’s Cathedral on May 31.
The event was celebrated in Melbourne at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 22 March 2014. Grey skies, misty rain and the stiff breeze of a Melbourne morning could do nothing to curb the sense of excitement and expectation as the crowds gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 10.00am. Delighted calls of recognition and reunions, the greeting of old friends and colleagues rose to a crescendo as all flocked into the Cathedral. Inside all was in readiness for the Eucharist of Thanksgiving as the combined choirs of St Columba’s and Catholic Ladies College were perfecting their notes, backed by Kevin Meese on the organ…”
Katoomba celebrated on May 3, 2014… The St Canice’s Parish and School community joined the Sisters of Charity in a moving liturgy to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of their work in Australia. It was a wonderful celebration of history, tradition, and mission. The Sisters, along with former Principals, staff, students, parents, clergy, fellow Sisters and friends gathered to give thanks and reflect on the many years of dedicated service given by the Sisters of Charity in the Upper Blue Mountains.