Honouring Our Past. Embracing The New
On Saturday 15th October, feast of St Teresa of Avila, we celebrated the Jubilee of Profession of thirteen sisters, eight of whom were present – 70 years for Sisters Ruth Long, Therese Connolly, Lesley Curran, Agnes Bourke, Florence Tobin (RIP) and Clare Tobin (RIP); 60 years for Sisters Patricia McCarthy, Jeannine French, Marie Jones, Patricia Boland, Beverley Zimmerman (RIP) and Kathleen Luchetti; 50 years for Sister Annette Laurie.
The Jubilee Eucharist, presided over by local Josephite ex-student, Bishop Brian Mascord, in our 100-year-old chapel was an opportunity for looking back with gratitude and forward with hope. Together we sang, ‘Lord, I thank you for your faithfulness and love … You increased the strength of my soul’, to the melody composed by Sister Clare Tobin.
In the sparkling morning sunshine, we all went 200 metres along the New England Highway to gather again with Bishop Brian to bless a new complex with the new name of Tenison Court.
As Sister Lauretta Baker, our Congregational Leader, explained, Tenison Court, a step into The New, was being blessed as accommodation for the local Sisters and a place of faithfulness, mission, prayer and hospitality.
There are individual units, gathering spaces for prayer and hospitality, and surrounding areas for quiet reflection and study. It was a happy surprise to see a vegetable garden already well-established onsite. The aim to live simply and sustainably was visible in the buildings and surroundings.
Although our Father Founder, Julian Tenison Woods, died 133 years ago, his mission and spirit were alive in the hope of the day, evident in the extraordinary beauty of the fields and trees, in the breezes refreshing our hearts and minds, and in the prayer of blessing:
May the blessing of Joseph dwell here:
Trust in Providence
May all who live here stand for the Gospel,
always choosing and cherishing life
The day was an experience of welcome and solidarity with the Jubilarians and all our Sisters. The note of the day was joy: bringing together gratitude for the years of faithful service of the Jubilarians, relief in reaching the opening of Tenison Court after COVID and so many rain delays, and relaxation during a celebratory luncheon at Lorn Bowling Club.
Carmel Moore rsj and Jan Tranter rsj