A TIME OF JUBILEE
Saturday, the second of May was a day of great celebration and joy for the one hundred and thirty five Sisters of Mercy from various parts of Australia, who gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Rosary, Waitara, for the jubilee celebrations of those whose years of service and commitment as Sisters of Mercy ranged from twenty five to seventy years.
The beautiful Mass was concelebrated by Fathers Robert Borg Adm. and Claude Mostowik MSC. In his homily, Fr. Claude expressed the significance of the occasion thus: “Today as we remember so many Mercy Sisters celebrating different jubilees, longer and shorter periods of time within the Congregation, there is an awareness that for whatever period of time of service there has been an engagement in a dialogue of invitation and response, repeated over and over again, in prayer and in service to God’s people the good news of God’s mercy.” And he goes on to say “It is difficult to do justice to the years of commitment but jubilee celebrations are an opportunity to reflect on where we have been and then to take a long view of where we are and where we are going. Indeed “We are prophets of a future not our own” as Oscar Romero said. And the church, religious life and our world have changed so much. Most religious today are in ministries that they would not have dreamt of when they entered.”
After the dinner celebration Sister Carolyn Ryan RSM gave the congratulatory address to the Sisters recognising “…what for each one is surely among the most compelling, most defining, most precious dynamics in her life. And this is the commitment made 25, 40, 50, 60, 70 years ago to respond with all the gifts and graces of her womanhood, to God who invites her “day in and day out” to participate in the divine work in creating a world that thrives on mercy. And of course, it is this mercy which is at the heart of our sisterhood – the beautiful enduring gift, with all its delights and all its challenges that we have inherited from Catherine McAuley.” (Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy)
Carolyn continued: “And among our Jubilarians we see a bounty of gifts differing as we reflect on their various ministries in areas such as education, health care, community development and welfare, hospitality, administration, pastoral care in schools, hospitals, parishes, universities and spiritual formation. I note too that a number of the Jubilarians have carried the ministry of leadership at critical times in the evolution of religious life, and more recently, in the restructuring of our own Mercy religious life for Australia and Papua New Guinea.”
There was a felt expression of joy and commitment throughout the day among all the sisters present, even though for some it was their first connection with one another since the reconfiguring of the Institute. Unfortunately five of the sisters were unable to attend.
The names of the Jubilarians and the number of years of commitment are as follows:
Judy Quirk (25), Elizabeth Jabour (40), Helen Baguley, Patricia Davidson, Daphne McKeough,
Pauline Murray, Helen Owens, (50), Dorothy Campion, Rita Casey, Gladys Gardiner, Monica Hogan,
Monica Sinclair, Patricia Whitten, Patricia Wagner CSJ, (60) Sybil Colborne, Bonnie Daly, Mavis Dick and Patricia Smith (70) with guest Jubilarians Faith Jones and Marie Ralph (50) from the South.
Photo: Jubilarians renewing their vows at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral Waitara.
Messages to: Jacqueline Ford rsm