By Robin Williams
NERANG woman Tamara Gillies has embarked on the next step in her journey to consecrated life with the Verbum Dei Missionary Sisters.
The 28-year-old left Australia on June 5 to spend the next two years of her religious formation in a novitiate in San Francisco.
Verbum Dei Missionary Sisters are celibate women consecrated to God by public profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
They live in community with a total missionary availability.
Ms Gillies has worked in pastoral care for five years and has been discerning her vocation for the past two years.
She has lived full-time with the Brisbane Verbum Dei Sisters for more than a year as part of that discernment.
During farewell Masses at her Nerang parish and with the Brisbane Verbum Dei community at Bardon, Ms Gillies shared her joy, anticipation and excitement for her vocation.
“One of the first steps that helped me discover God’s will was learning how to pray with the Word of God with the Verbum Dei Missionary Community. Jesus became very real for me,” she said.
“God wants us to be happy, free, joyful, fulfilled and this is why he wants us to discover our vocation.”
Nerang parish priest Fr Rafal Rucinski said the prayers of the community would be with Ms Gillies every day of her journey.
“I was the 46th priest following the Second World War to be ordained from my parish and I wake up every day knowing that even though I may not know them, someone from that parish is praying for me,” he said.
“It is the same for you Tamara; we will be praying for you every day.”
A farewell Mass was also held in Bardon for Tamara on June 1. Verbum Dei Missionary priest Fr Gregory Morgan, who is administrator of St Joseph’s Parish, Rosebery, Sydney, concelebrated with Fr Peter Brannelly, Fr Bavin Clarke, Fr Josen Antony, Fr Stanley Orji and Fr Rucinski.
Fr Morgan wished Ms Gillies well, calling on the community to pray for her, and her family and friends.
“When one realises their life has been touched by Christ there is a huge adventure before one,” he said.
“We all have a mission in this world and we wish Tamara well and I say to you, Tamara, ‘let your light shine’.”