A heart felt farewell to Western Australia….

Around twenty four years ago, Sister Bozena, the Provincial of the Name of Mary Province, Krakow, asked me if I would go to Australia, adding ”Please do not say no!” There was a need for Sisters to come and support our mission in Perth Western Australia. At that time, we knew a lot about Melbourne and Sydney but not as much about Perth. Nevertheless, I started to get excited about travelling “Down Under” to Western Australia. Three of our Sisters left Warsaw in the depths of winter and arrived in sunny-Sydney. We stopped in Sydney for a few days as part of induction to the country. Sister Josita, the Provincial of the Australian Province warmly welcomed us with the other Sisters from the Holy Spirit Province. Within a week, I had arrived in Perth and was working fulltime as a “Teacher Assistant” at Our Lady of Grace, our private school in North Beach, Western Australia. The beginning was challenging as I was immersed in a new language, surroundings, culture and people. There was even the practicalities of learning to drive.

With God’s grace and the support of the community including Sisters, Parish and School; I undertook further study and achieved all required qualifications that prepared me for teaching and later counselling at Our Lady of Grace. Over the years, In addition to my full time work within the school, I was involved in other ministries such as teaching Confirmation classes and singing as part of the choir in the Our Lady of Grace Parish; working with Youth from the Holy Spirit Parish and on many Saturdays teaching Religious Education within the Polish Ethnic Community. One of the greatest privileges was to prepare and lead retreats before Sacraments for our school and a few other schools. I was also honoured to serve on the school board. In 2018, I followed the Lord’s call presented through Sister Lucyna, the Provincial of the Holy Spirit Province to come to New South Wales. Before leaving Western Australia, I was warmly and gratefully farewelled by my Sisters, staff members, parents, students, choir and all those I worked with and ministered to. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have served the Lord and his people in Western Australia and they will always have a special place in my heart and prayers. In January, I arrived in Maitland, New South Wales with an open heart to my new posting at St Paul’s Primary School, trusting that this is where God’s abundance of grace is waiting for me here and now.

By Sister Joseph of Mary

 

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