Sr Anne Turner on 170 years in TasmaniaPrint
Journey was the theme of our celebrations as twenty-one of our Sisters met for a liturgy at Hunter Street Wharf, directly above the site at which our three Pioneer Sisters disembarked from the Louisa 170 years ago.
In the presence of the magnificent Footsteps towards Freedom statues, which had been installed the previous day, we honoured, through tribute, prayer and song, Mother Mary John Cahill, Sister Mary de Sales O’Brien and Sister Mary Xavier Williams, as well as all the Sisters who have followed in their footsteps, keeping the charism of Mary Aikenhead alive and continuing and developing our ministries in today’s world.
At the conclusion of this liturgy, we continued in the footsteps of our Pioneer Sisters, travelling up to St Joseph’s Church, as they did, to celebrate the Eucharist with the parish congregation.
Each Sister had carried a rose from the ceremony at the wharf, and these were placed in vases in front of the altar as a symbol of our offering of ourselves to the service of God.
Taking our roses with us, we journeyed from St Joseph’s Church to Cornelian Bay, where we enjoyed a superb lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant while marvelling at the beauty of the scenery, watching families and dogs at play on the beach and chatting and catching up with each other – a very precious part of our celebrations.
Archbishop Adrian Doyle joined us for lunch and received a great welcome as a valued and dearly loved friend of many of our Sisters.
The final stage of our journey took us to Cornelian Bay where we prayed for the twenty-two Sisters of Charity buried there. Each Sister’s name was read out while a rose with a ribbon bearing her name was placed on the vault in her honour.
As the rose was presented, each Sister took a candle, symbolic of our continuing journey in the footsteps of these Sisters and our bearing of the light of Christ’s love into the lives of those to whom we minister.
Archbishop Adrian Doyle blessed the graves of all the Sisters of Charity buried in Tasmania, after which Clare exhorted us to, “Go in love and peace to continue serving our God.”
– by Anne Turner rsc, the last Sister of Charity in Tasmania
Image 1: Sr Deirdre Hickey at the Cornelian Bay liturgy
Image 2: Sr Josephine Cannell
Image 3: Sr Anne Turner