Sea Sunday – Seafarers

Sr Mary with seafarers.

To commemorate Sea Sunday 2024 on Sunday 21 July and Sunday 28 July, we reshare an article (first published in Tui Motu Magazine) written by Sr Mary Leahy, a Sister of Saint Joseph and Chaplain to Seafarers in Sydney.

Sr Mary writes of the exploitation of seafarers in the global shipping industry and the support needed to keep them safe.

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Pastoral Care at Mary MacKillop Place

In July, we pray with Pope Francis for pastoral care of the sick:

Let us pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick grant the Lord’s strength to those who receive it and to their loved ones, and that it may become for everyone an ever more visible sign of compassion and hope.

The Mission Statement of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart says that they “continue God’s mission by immersing themselves in the midst of life to empower others and bring hope”.

At Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney, it is incumbent on leaders, staff and volunteers to action that statement daily with all who work on or visit the site. One way of doing so is through pastoral care.

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Being a Josephite Action Group volunteer

A day in the life of a Josephite Action Group (JAG) volunteer.

Dedicating a weekend, JAG helped deep clean and spruce up a House of Welcome apartment, ready to be a home for a family who have recently sought refuge. It was a weekend full of hard work, fun, dancing and lots of laughter!

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AJASS Principals Lochinvar Pilgrimage

AJASS Principals (pilgrims) with Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar and Sr Monica Cavanagh.
We are but instruments in the hand of God.
Father Julian Tenison Woods 1870

In mid-June, Principals of the Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools (AJASS) completed a pilgrimage to learn more about the history and charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, with a focus on the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar and Father Julian Tenison Woods (the co-founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph). Congregational Leader of Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Sr Monica Cavanagh also joined for part of the pilgrimage.

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NAIDOC Week 2024

2024 NAIDOC Week artwork by Deb Belyea.

NAIDOC Week 2024: KEEP THE FIRE BURNING! BLAK, LOUD AND PROUD, is a celebration of the strength and vitality of Australia’s First Nations People and an opportunity to honour the ancient spirituality and culture embedded in the heart of this nation for over 65,000 years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have experienced and graciously shared with us sacred creation stories, songlines and profound wisdom that reveal an ancient spirit of God. God who is near us, above us, below us, in us, and with us always.

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The spirit of Mary MacKillop burns strongly in Timor-Leste

Learning literacy by parent/grandparent.

If one was to try to summarise the spirit of Mary MacKillop, we could possibly say that it is a spirit that is compassionate, one that uses education to “heal, include, untether, set right and serve”, one that loves not only those being ministered to, but also those who work beside us, and one that automatically acts on seen needs. This spirit is alive and pumping in Mary MacKillop Today (MMT), especially in the Timor-Leste region.

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Returning to Rome, 150 Years Later

Sr Annette with the self-guided pilgrimage booklet ‘Mary MacKillop’s Rome’.

Mary MacKillop left Rome in 1874 and I returned there 150 years later in 2024. I had only visited Rome once in 2010 for Mary’s Canonisation and was unable at that time to make the pilgrimage of her travels in Rome. I had Mary and her journey in my consciousness as I navigated modern day Rome.

So many times during my 15-day visit, I drew comparisons between Mary’s Rome and my Rome experience. So many things would have looked pretty much the same and so many other things, no doubt, unrecognisable to Mary. I was sitting on a train from Florence that was doing 250km an hour remembering that it took Mary 45 days by boat and then train to even get to Rome. I had gone and come back home in less than that time frame!

On arriving in Rome, I had a data pack on my phone to use Google Maps to get me to the Metro, to get to the monastery which I had pre-booked online and had used WhatsApp to communicate about my arrival time! And if all that had failed, I had a credit card and Uber account to get wherever I wanted to go. And of course, the greatest asset when not being able to speak other languages – Google translate on my phone! Seemingly all too easy in contrast to Mary’s journey.

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The Archer Letters – Letter Thirty-Three

The last letter in this series was dictated by Fr Julian Tenison Woods on 13 March 1889. It reads as if maybe he knew it would probably be his last effort to his dear friend, William Archer.

The tone of the letter is one of resignation to his state of health with little hope of relief, but he remains cheerful and happy and expresses his determination to continue as such to the end. His work of dictating notes for publication has ceased – even letter writing is trying, although he is still eager to receive letters!

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