Diamond Jubilarians: 60 Years as Sisters of Saint Joseph

On Tuesday 9 January 2024, twenty Josephite women arrived at Mount Street, North Sydney where we were warmly welcomed, given space to rest and be with each other.

We travelled from Aotearoa New Zealand, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales to gather for this special occasion. We celebrated with story-telling, listening, walking, talking, a group outing, being still and being amazed at God’s goodness and love over the last 60 years.

When we gathered around the tomb of Saint Mary MacKillop for a special prayer of thanksgiving, we remembered in particular the eight Sisters in our group who had gone to God.

Another separation here and the happy hope of an eternal meeting.
Mary MacKillop 10.11.1888

We were delighted that we could use technology to link in with and pray with those not able to be present with us over these days.

Our Eucharistic Liturgy on 12 January was presided over by Bishop Terry Brady, to whom we are most grateful. Our theme, We Are Companions on the Journey and We are but Travellers Here (Mary MacKillop 1866), were reflected in the Readings.

Give thanks to God; Sing to God; Sing praises to God.
Tell of all God’s wonderful works – rejoice!
1 Chronicle 16:8

As a Response, our Cantor sang –

 With one voice, O people rejoice in our God,
Who hears the cry of all in need.

and all present, Sisters, friends, family and visitors with one voice proclaimed –

O taste and see the goodness of God.

Sr Katrina Brill, one of our Jubilarians, when reflecting on the Readings summed up with the words:

To relate is to love.
Love changes everything.

Over the days we became ever more conscious of those who had enabled us to celebrate God’s faithful love for over 60 years. We have many people to thank: our family, friends and companions, our Congregational Leader Sr Monica Cavanagh and her Team, General Manager Mrs Carmel Yahl and staff at Mary MacKillop Place, and all those who were involved in preparing the Chapel so beautifully for our Jubilee Mass.

With deep gratitude we each returned home refreshed, inspired and committed to continue our life as Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, in the spirit of our founders, Saint Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods.

Sr Elaine Walker