IN 117 years, more than 200 Good Samaritan Sisters have served in the Charters Towers area.
On May 28, all this came to an end as the remaining three sisters departed the community with much sadness.
“It is sad that we are leaving,” Good Samaritan Sister Patricia Comerford said.
“But we are leaving the community knowing that the good works of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan will remain in the hearts of the people here.”
During the final Mass at the St Columba parish, Townsville Bishop Tim Harris said it was a ritual of leave-taking from the Good Samaritan convent.
“The sisters may no longer be physically with us in Charters Towers, but their legacy will last forever,” he said.
“No-one can easily erase 117 years of continuous presence.
“In 117 years from today, future generations will read about these amazing women, they will be inspired and their hearts will be lifted by what they read.
“I want to say to Marion, Ita and Patricia – you are in a long line of sisters who have given your all to this district.
“You have joined all the other ‘Good Samaritans’ who did ‘good’ things in this part of the world.
“You gave the Catholic Church a ‘good’ name because you have been living the Gospel and doing what needed to be done, not for yourselves, but always for others.
“You have been, and you are, an inspiration, and you are leaving something of yourselves behind.”
During the community celebrations after Mass, congregational leader Sr Clare Condon celebrated the wonderful contribution that the Charters Towers community had given to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, with at least 40 women from the area becoming sisters over the many years.
Local parishioner Diane Deneen said the sisters would be remembered in the hearts of everyone in Charters Towers and beyond.
“They gave us values of life, they taught us respect, to be kind, to be gentle and to always be a lady, that was very important,” she said.