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Sister Marcella celebrating 60 years as a Carmelite

Sister Marcella celebrates 60 years as a Carmelite with Archbishop Mark Coleridge, family and friends.

Jubilee joy: Sister Marcella celebrates 60 years as a Carmelite with Archbishop Mark Coleridge, family and friends.

CARMELITE Sister Marcella had an “over-whelming” celebration last weekend to mark her diamond jubilee of her profession in 1953.

Family and friends, including her “very best friend” from high school who she last saw 10 years ago, were there to celebrate with Sr Marcella.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge celebrated Mass in honour of Sr Marcella’s life in the Carmelites.

“I have been so happy all my life, even with its ups and downs,” she said.

Sr Marcella joined the Carmelites in April 1952, at 22, and celebrated the anniversary of her religious profession on October 25.

Before joining the Carmelites, Sr Marcella initially thought she was “not good enough” to consider a religious vocation.

“I just thought my vocation would be married life, until one girl asked if I would like to make a retreat,” she said.

The retreat master was a Carmelite friar who was one of the founding members of the Discalced Carmelite order in Brisbane.

“As soon as he gave the first lecture, I was so attracted by the Carmelite spirituality,” Sr Marcella said.

She was struck by his talk on the “divine in-dwelling”.

“I always thought the only time Jesus was in me was at Mass when I received him in Holy Communion, but, we always have Him within us,” she said.

The priest later asked Sr Marcella to help him with some typing.

On one occasion when she went to the monastery it was the friars’ prayer time, and seeing the three Carmelite priests kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament she knew she was called to this vocation.

The priest had been trying to direct her to an active religious order, knowing her to be full of life and out every night with her friends.

“But I said to Our Lord, ‘You have to tell him that I want to be a Carmelite’,” she said.

At her next meeting with the priest, he asked her if she would consider being a Carmelite sister.

“I was a very excitable person, so I was so excited because I knew it came from God,” she said.

Fellow Carmelite Sister Catherine Ann will make her solemn profession of vows on January 11.

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