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New chapel for missionaries

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge blesses the altar in Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity chapel at Bardon.

Saintly help: Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge blesses the altar in Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity chapel at Bardon.

VERBUM Dei Brisbane missionary sisters now have the protection of St Pio of Pietrelcina, St Therese of Lisieux, and three Carmelite martyrs from Guadalajara, Mex-ico, at their new home in Bardon.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge chose to give relics of these five saints, which now remain under their newly blessed altar in Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity chapel.

He also celebrated the first Mass in the new chapel.

Verbum Dei missionary sisters are active contemplative religious women, whose charism is to pray and preach the Word of God.

Verbum Dei missionary Sister Fran-ces Drum said the newly blessed chapel was a “great gift” because with it they could have Mass celebrated more often.

 “We have four fountains of spirituality, and one of them is the Eucharist,” she said.

“While we have a tabernacle in the chapel, to be able to celebrate the Eucharist is very special.

“Being contemplative, the Mass is the highest form of prayer for us, so it’s a great gift.”

Sr Drum said having the five relics was a reminder that we lived in the communion of saints.

“I feel like we’re participating in a very old tradition, which began during the persecution of Catholics in the catacombs,” she said.

“It reminds me of specific saints and their presence with us in a special way.”

Sr Drum said the five saints’ relics were an “encouragement of the specific calling and charism” of Verbum Dei missionaries.

“Four of the saints were Carmelites who are contemplatives, and being partially contemplative, I’m very much encouraged to be faithful to that charism,” she said.

“We live in a time where prayer and taking time out is not highly encouraged.

“Padre Pio, too, as a Franciscan is very special, and being a modern-day saint, is an encouragement to be faithful to our vocations.”

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