The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, Holy Spirit Province got together in Baulkham Hills for the Annual Province meeting on 10-13 of November. Below are some of the responses to these questions:
1. What was most significant/meaningful for you? Can you explain why?
2. During our time together, what did you enjoy/appreciate the most? Why?
It is my privilege to share with you that our recent Province Gathering was the highlight for the whole year work for me and the new Provincial Administration. It is so good to be back together with all our Sisters from different communities and share the story of what had happened for the last few months in our lives, in our ministries and the people we meet on our way…
Personally, for me, the most significant time was Saturday afternoon the vocational/youth workshop. It was an amazing experience to see each local community gathered in different “corners” of our venue to make a plan for activities for the Year of Youth 2018. The fire of the Holy Spirit was burning in our hearts when we talked and discussed what can be done. It reminded me the story from Luke’s Gospel when the two of the apostles were walking to Emmaus.
During the recent gathering, I valued the presence of each Sister, and the presences of Bishop Columba OSPPE and Bishop Joseph OFM Cap. We all left our current ministry full of different responsibilities and came for this time to BE there, to pray, share our stories and dreams, listen and laugh. I am not sure but I think some of us were “crying in the heart” when we were watching and listening the lessons given by Kelly from Bp. Columba’s “Long Paddock”.
The most significant and meaningful for me was listening to Reverend Bishop Columba’s talks on “Mission”.
I think I enjoyed them because of the Bishop’s humility in his presentations and his love for God’s people and how he cares for those living in the outback of Australia and no matter what hardships he encounters along the way in reaching them, making sure they don’t miss out in hearing God’s love for them and ministering them.
What I enjoyed the most was being among my beautiful Sisters, sharing our stories and work. I appreciated how we all worked together to make our 3 days prayerful, respectful, comfortable and fun loving.
I love the time of celebrating the Eucharist together. The most significant for me was the closing Eucharist in which we renewed out vows. I feel very humbled by the fact that God found me in this special vocation and asked me to follow him.
I always feel a great sense of unity among sisters when we have an opportunity to stay and pray together. It is a time of God’s grace to be able to share our stories. It is God’s grace to be able to discuss the issues which are difficult and those which make us to find new enthusiasm. Community life is not easy but to share our love for Christ is the best gift in our vocation.
Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green was a sheer delight! His words spoken straight from the heart resonated through me. I wondered why they sounded so familiar. On reflection I realise that Bishop Columba has a heart for mission – a ‘Nazareth heart’ just like our foundress, Bl. Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd who said, “… and this is the way I envision the life of our Nazareth: a life of LOVE … externally a fulfillment of duty and giving of self for all, the fulfillment of all God may demand – and this with great cordiality, LOVE, joy and freedom in order to draw all to Jesus. But in our inmost soul, in our life of the spirit, the closest union with God… rooted in a relationship of deep intimacy with God. This is how Jesus must have lived in Nazareth …” Journal – January 12 1885.
The most significant thing for me was Bishop Joseph’s comment on Sister Death. He exuded peace, calm as he spoke. He also said we need to think more and talk more about heaven.
I suppose it was a comment from his heart. I have never heard someone speak as he did at that moment.
I appreciated the session on vocations and youth work. I really think that was a good way of handling the task.
The gathering was very meaningful for me. Coming together as a one group in one place was for me the epitome of unity in diversity. I experienced our uniqueness as a Province in our Congregation. Our varied countries of origin, cultures and life experiences challenges me to be open, understanding and appreciative of the beauty of one another. Bishop Columba’s conference about cultural difference was very uplifting.
Bishop is a perfect storyteller with an excellent sense of humour. He used these talents to share his vocation story, his spirituality and his role as a bishop. With a twinkle in his eye he disclosed that his diocese is his wife and he cares for her the best he can. I especially enjoyed his explanation of obedience as an opportunity to say YES to God.
For the movie from the event go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ5kakdetdo&t=227s