Golden Jubilarians gather at Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney.

Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, joined six fellow Sisters in January to celebrate their Golden Jubilee marking 50 years since their first profession.

The Sisters travelled from across Australia and Peru, gathering with family and friends, to acknowledge their religious life journeys and ministries in education and social justice, parish pastoral care, religious leadership, and working with rural communities.

Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader, Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart celebrating her Golden Jubilee.

On behalf of the Congregational Leadership Team, Sr Josephine Dubiel welcomed the Jubilarians, Sisters and guests to the Golden Jubilee celebration at Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel in North Sydney.

“In 1970, these young women responded to a call to serve God as Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart,” said Sr Josephine. “In 1973, after having followed a program of training, study and discernment, they chose to make a commitment which involved taking public vows. We give thanks to God for all their gifts and the generous manner they have placed those gifts in the service of others.

“In cities and country places across Australia and beyond there have been countless children, numerous people young and old, churched and unchurched, who were and continue to be the beneficiaries of these Sisters’ ministry. We are here today with grateful hearts, and so we will celebrate with joy and gratitude.”

Fr Mark McGuigan, as chief celebrant, congratulated the Jubilarians on their vowed commitment. The Sisters were invited to renew their vows and their renewed commitment was met with applause from the Congregation.

“I look back over 50 wonderful years of service to God and God’s people,” says Sr Monica. “Our Golden Jubilee celebration was one of gratitude. My religious journey has always been a joy, but what has made me grow the most is the people I have met along the way.

“Highlights over the past 50 years include big events like World Youth Day in 2008, the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop in 2010, the Sesquicentenary of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 2016, but also what meant a lot to me was working in rural communities.”

Golden Jubilarian, Sr Kath Hitchcock, expressed thanks for their many blessings over the past 50 years – from the guidance of mentors and teachers, the inspiration of fellow Sisters, words of wisdom and preparing for a brighter future.

“Amid the joys and strength of this journey we have been accompanied by you all.”

Encouraged and supported by God’s unconditional love, the Jubilarians continue in the footsteps of the co- founders of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, St Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods.