The spirit of the Institute requires that Sisters never see an evil without trying to remedy it; and this will lead to many undertakings requiring great zeal and a humble confidence in God. (JT Woods, 1870)
Through social ministries our Sisters seek to meet “present and emerging needs in order to serve among God’s people”. Over the years as Sisters have relinquished responsibilities for the staffing of schools, they have moved into a variety of ministries in response to those needs. Sisters have lived in housing estates and in refuges serving those on “the edge”, as well as supporting those living with HIV; have been involved in group homes and have conducted a No Interest Loan Scheme to assist those in financial difficulties. Today they continue to serve in collaboration with others who have the same desire “to empower those who have few choices to claim their dignity and to assume responsibility for their own lives.”
These ministries to “the deprived, degraded and disadvantaged” include assisting:
- refugees and asylum seekers;
- our Indigenous brothers and sisters;
- families in need of accommodation and food;
- women living in abusive situations;
- people with disabilities;
- isolated rural women.
Sisters serve in St Joseph’s House of Hospitality in Newcastle, a soup kitchen in Port Macquarie, Zara’s House Refugee Women and Children’s Centre at Jesmond and Mums’ Cottage in Holmesville offering companionship, guidance, education and assistance to all members of the family unit.
In these and other ways the Sisters strive “to incarnate God’s love and faithfulness in our times ... by giving witness to the reality that Christ our hope is among us” while remembering the words of Father Woods that “we are but instruments in the hands of God.”
Reference: Our Constitutions, A Future and a Hope.