This month sees the close, with a Mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, of the 175th anniversary year of the Sisters of Charity in Australia. Sr Annette Cunliffe, Sisters of Charity Congregational Leader, reflects on the past year.
From August 15, 2013 to August 14, 2014, the Sisters of Charity of Australia have been celebrating a year of thanksgiving for the 175th Anniversary of the arrival of five Sisters of Charity from Ireland on 31st December 1838.
We published a book and DVD to mark the occasion, and celebrated together (with the help of a web-cast) on the actual day and with many others around the country in formal and informal settings.
Some celebrations, such as the solemn Eucharistic celebrations in the Cathedrals in Melbourne, Parramatta and Brisbane and in St Joseph's Church, Hobart and the forthcoming final Eucharist in St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney next weekend, have been public ones.
Others have been a series of smaller events, such as a gathering of Sisters, past pupils and colleagues from many of the schools and colleges where Sisters have ministered, and in health and aged care facilities connected with the Sisters.
The Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, who now govern many of our former ministries, have also marked the year by commissioning plaques to mark up to 80 sites where Sisters have ministered in Australia. The Sisters of Charity Foundation has marked the year by forming a partnership with the Asylum Seekers Centre to provide transitional housing for asylum seekers, recently purchasing a property that will house up to twenty asylum seekers under the care of the Asylum Seeker Centre.
Read Sr Annette's complete Reflection here.
The closing events in the celebrations fo the Sisters of Charity 175th anniversary are:
9 Aug (Sat) All Saints, Liverpool. High Afternoon Tea, guest speakers, opportunity to reconnect with ex-students, Sisters, families, friends
14 Aug (Thur) 10.00am St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney NSW National Celebration – Mass and Morning Tea