3 September Celebration
The Mary MacKillop Centre at Charlestown was the venue for the dual celebrations of our Congregation’s Foundation Day and our Sisters’ golden jubilees. The Sisters of St Joseph came to the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese in 1883, so 3rd September this year was our 134th anniversary - a cause for giving thanks and rejoicing. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the profession of Sisters Megan, June and Carmel as Sisters of St Joseph – another reason for giving thanks and celebrating.
The day’s Prayer included the singing of “Standing on the Shoulders” accompanied by a visual presentation of aspects of our Congregational history and the faces of many of our Sisters who have gone before us. This moving tribute was followed by the recounting of the journey of the first four Sisters travelling from Perthville to Lochinvar as recorded by Sr Anne Cavanagh in her Lochinvar Story. We then listened to the reading from John’s Gospel where Jesus proclaims that he is the vine and we are the branches, chosen to bear fruit that will last. After prayers of intercession for our jubilarians, we all raised our hands in blessing on our Sisters before singing our Lochinvar Hymn.
All enjoyed the meal, drinks and conversation before gifts were presented to the jubilarians. In keeping with the theme of our Josephite celebrations, the Sisters from the Lochinvar community offered each Sister a booklet with photos of the artwork prepared for the feast of St Mary MacKillop by Year 9 art students at St Joseph’s College in response to the questions: What is the Josephite charism and how is it related to you? Included were their artists’ statements which gave a window into the thinking that went into their works and into their depth of faith.
The day moved from a tribute to the Sisters who had gone before us to an appreciation of our Sisters now and ended with a look into how the Josephite way of living of the Gospel will continue into the future.