September 27, 2012
On Saturday 15 September 2012, Fr Michael Whelan sm presided at Margaret Paton’s First Profession Mass at the Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney.
|Margaret Paton rsj and Anne Derwin rsj|
It was an intimate gathering to which, along with the CLT and PLT, members of Margaret’s local community were invited, as well as others who have been significant companions to Margaret as she has walked the journey leading to her profession as a full member of the Congregation. What a beautiful celebration we had! It was a most happy and friendly event – a Profession long awaited and heartily embraced by all. We felt a sense of privilege to celebrate with her and represent the Province in witnessing the signing of the vows, the receiving of the emblem, the Constitutions and the pashmina.
Sisters who had been part of Margaret’s journey contributed to the ministerial roles in the liturgy in various ways. Maureen O’Halloran was the Cross bearer, Mary Baker acknowledged country, Joan Goodwin and Elaine Ridgewell were the lectors, Colleen O’Sullivan gave a most inspiring reflection, Intercessory Prayers were read by Marie Carson and Margaret herself along with Christine Rowan presented the Eucharistic Gifts.
The Eucharistic ministers were Sisters Connie Cummings, Christina Dinh, Marie Dowling and Benedetta Bennett. Sisters Katie Carroll, Jeanette Foxe, Brigette Sipa, Margaret Kealy, Monica Barlow, Philomena O’Halloran, Jean Dunkin, Joan Goodwin and Connie Cummings provided the music.
Following the Mass all gathered enjoyed a beautiful dinner at Anderledy Lodge. Sisters Anne Derwin and Katrina Brill gave us some background on the story of Margaret’s experience before deciding to enter, during her Novitiate canonical year, her recovery from her stroke and the Congregation’s response, at that time, to her request for profession. The poignancy of the difficulty in seeking a solution on a path not previously negotiated was given a context that showed us yet again that the Mystery of God continues to direct our paths and calls from each of us patience, understanding and faithfulness. Margaret’s response to being called as a Sister of St Joseph had more twists and turns than most and yet her ongoing desire to be one with us underpinned the renewed request by Sr Anne Derwin to the Vatican for full membership for Margaret. Sr Judy Sippel, as past Provincial and Sr Mary Quinlan, Provincial both affirmed and welcomed Margaret into the NSW Province.
The Mary MacKillop quote for Margaret’s Profession day was “I cannot forget that there is a dear good God watching over us.” 3.4.1871. These words certainly anchored the sentiment and gratitude felt by and for you Margaret on your day.
Jeanette Foxe rsj