MARCH marks a significant change in the Josephite presence at Annerley. From the end of March we will only have one sister, Sr Genevieve living there in the parish.
For the past 95 years Sisters of St Joseph have lived and ministered in Annerley.
It is hard to count how many have lived there because it has been a place from which sisters were sent off to schools in other places; sisters lived there in the convent and worked in ministries in the archdiocese; sisters, both from Queensland and interstate, lived there and went across the river to the university to study; sisters holidayed there; sisters made their retreats there; sisters from the country stayed there to go to doctors and hospital; sisters taught school and music; offered spiritual direction and retreat days; welcomed with love the Josephite associates; sisters offered pastoral care to the many who came to the door; and in recent times sisters have had the special ministry of the Mary MacKillop Centre, with thousands of adults and children coming to know more fully our Australian saint.
This month in a very special way we want to say thank-you to the generations of people of the Annerley parish who have loved, nurtured, cared for and ministered with the sisters.
Wherever we go, wherever we are sent as Josephites, we know that we are called to enter into the life of the local community and we know that it is only together that we can enable God’s mission to be carried out.
We can never do this alone.
There is that beautiful song, Standing on the Shoulders, and I quote some words from that song in acknowledging the people of Annerley, who we have walked with over these past 96 years.
“We stand strong today as Sisters because we stand on the shoulders of the generations who have been part of our lives here in Annerley.
“We are stronger because of your courage, wiser because of you words, ever grateful for all the hard work that enabled our living here.
We thank you and we ask our Good God to bless you abundantly.
We are not far away (Genevieve will be around as normal) and you are always welcome to join us whenever we can get together.
Today there are hundreds of people who are part of the Josephite homeland, and may the inspiration of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods who shared a vision and a dream continue to come and live in us so as to make this world a better place.
Fr Adrian Sharp, the Sisters of St Joseph wish you, Fr Paul Chandler and the other priests abundant blessings as you move into the residence that has been our convent in Ferndale Street.
You will stand on the shoulders of the dozens and dozens of sisters who have lived in that sacred place.
May they inspire you, give you hope, and may the inspiration of St Mary MacKillop encourage, challenge and bring you all life and hope in your ministry.
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