Celebrating 150 Years in Albury
On July 21 and 22, hundreds of people gathered in Albury to give thanks for 150 wonderful years of the Sisters of Mercy in the community.
On July 22 1868, eight women arrived in Albury after having made the journey from Goulburn.
Over the next 150 years, the Sisters have been involved in education, health, social services, as well as various roles supporting local Catholic parishes.
The commemorative activities included a thanksgiving liturgy in the former Sisters of Mercy Chapel on Olive Street, a historical exhibition in the Slattery Catholic Centre, Mass at St Patrick’s Church and a celebratory lunch.
More than 60 Sisters were present, which was also a wonderful opportunity to catchup with ‘old friends’. Former Sisters, civic leaders, former students, patients, ministry staff, family and friends also joined in the celebrations.
Sr Shirley Garland RSM, who was part of the organising committee, said the weekend’s activities highlighted the history of the Sisters over the past 150 years, as well as showcasing the vibrant and active ministries that continue today.
“We remembered the many remarkable women, both living and those no longer with us, who worked tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
“It is their legacy that we particularly honoured and celebrated.
“We also gave thanks to the local Albury Community, without whose support we would not have been able to achieve all that we have over the past 150 years.
The most significant event was Mass at St Patrick’s Church, where a large crowd included the Mayor of Albury, Cr Brian Mack; Former Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Tim Fischer, and eight concelebrating Priests.
In his homily, Fr John Frauenfelder said that in what the Sisters have and continue to be and do, we see a brilliant aspect of what it means to call the whole church ‘a priestly people’.
“This is why today we gather to offer to God thanks in abundance for all, as you have been called over time, the ‘walking nuns’, ‘the sacred ladies’, have given to the church of this region,” said Fr Frauenfelder.
“Nurturing God, in every age you have called a people to witness to your tender love of mercy for those who live in greatest need.
“We thank you for the gift of Catherine McAuley and the faithful witness of our pioneering Sisters who have inspired so many to follow in Catherine’s footsteps and to serve as did Catherine.
“Today in giving thanks we honour you, the Sisters of Mercy, faithful to that long tradition and we pray that you will continue to inspire us and enable us to walk with you in the footsteps that speak of the merciful love of our God whose life Catherine embraced,” Fr Frauenfelder said.
Following Mass, more than 200 people joined with the Sisters for lunch at the Albury Commercial Club, where they had a beautiful cake that was baked by Maria Assunta Roberts RSM from Goulburn.
Three of the senior Albury Sisters Patricia Osborne RSM, Augustine Ryan and Aileen Wailes cut the cake on behalf of all of the Sisters present and those on whose shoulders the Sisters continue the work of mercy today.
Messages to: Shirley Garland
Click on the gallery below to view some photos of the celebrations.
Below are three videos of the main celebrations (click on the arrow to play)