Holy Family Long Day Care today provides long day care for children 0-6 years old on a day-to-day basis as their parents need to know that their children are cared for in a professional and loving environment. As changes occur in needs associated with child care, the Sisters, together with ministry managers and staff, continue to assess how to best cater for the expressed needs of the people of the area.
As those who immigrated to Australia after World War II began to suffer from the effects of age, with limited family support or extended family resources available to them, the need for aged care services to the Polish community was recognised and the building of aged care facilities initiated. In the 1980’s Brother Albert's Home was opened in response to the expressed need of the Polish Catholic Community. Over the following decades, Holy Family Nursing Home was built and units for independent living.
Brother Albert's Home currently integrates ministry to the elderly and severely incapacitated through providing independent living opportunities at Blessed Frances Independent Living Units; lower level direct care for those who retain capacity for some independence at Brother Alberts Wing; and high level care for those who are more dependent on full time care at Brother Albert's Nursing Home. The need for quality aged care has become so pressing in recent years that this ministry has now become a major focus of ministry for the Sisters at Marayong. As needs in the area of Aged Care continue to evolve, the Sisters have moved to meet the needs of the residents of all facilities, establishing a Board of Directors and employing a Chief Executive Officer for Holy Family Services. Through working together with others committed to care of the elderly, the Sisters remain faithful to their commitment to provide quality care for the aging and vulnerable members of the Polish Community and of our society.
Sisters remain involved in direct ministry to the broader Polish Catholic Community through service to those who worship at Our Lady of Czestochowa War Memorial Chapel, through pastoral ministry to the older members of the community still living independently at home, and through education of children in their native language and culture during weekly classes at Polish language school.
Sisters currently minister in parishes of the Diocese of Parramatta and Sydney. The sisters integrate their involvement in education with direct pastoral care for those in particular need in the school community, ministering with and to students, parents, teachers and other members of the broader school community(Good Shepherd Parish Plumpton). Sisters work with families as the Sacramental Coordinators (Mary Queen of the Family Parish in Blacktown) and (Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Fairfield NSW).
Our Vocation Director is a member of the Vocation Team in the Broken Bay Diocese.
Sisters who are no longer able to be involved in full time ministry due to sickness or age, remain actively involved in ministry through their ministry of prayer. Sisters involved in full time ministry depend greatly on the support of their fellow Sisters who support them at all times. The Sisters are also committed to prayer for the needs of those who request prayer and to the unspoken needs of all families.
Several Sisters at any one time may be involved in the ministry of study. As Sisters equip themselves with skills to improve their effectiveness and professionalism in their chosen field of expertise, they also minister to those with whom they come into contact through their studies. Ministry for the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth is about allowing the presence of God to be tangibly realised by those with whom and to whom we minister through our conscious and active intent to foster such awareness. This remains an important focus of ministry for our Sisters who are engaged in educational and vocational studies.
The Chisolm region in the diocese of Maitland consists of five neighbouring parishes under the guidance of a Ministry team consisting of a moderator and four priests, religious lay ministers. As in so many dioceses across Australia, priests are aging and vocations are few. The challenge to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of families continues to confront the Church in the Diocese of Maitland/Newcastle.
It is for this reason that Father Brian Mascord the former moderator of the Chisolm Region approached several congregations to assist in the pastoral care needs of the children and families in four school communities. His patience and perseverance were rewarded on 8 January 2007 when Sister Anita Litwin and Sister Christine set up residence in the suburb of Ashtonfield in East Maitland to begin their ministry of pastoral care to families. Today four sisters live in Thornton and service Maitland/Newcastle diocesan schools. Three minister as pastoral carers and one as a Provisional Psychologist.
Our ministry is very much in keeping with our charism and mission since it is directly focussed on the family. It appears that no matter where one finds oneself today families are faced with numerous challenges within society and within the Church.
Sisters in Perth live and minister in the Parish of Our Lady of Grace, North Beach, continuing a tradition that dates back to the early 1960’s. As in Sydney and Maitland, Sisters have become involved in pastoral care the school and parish, according to current needs.
In all our various ministries, across several States and diocese in Australia, we, as Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, focus on creating community together and on supporting the integrity of family life by the way in which we minister to all whom we encounter in and through those ministries.
Our nearest congregational neighbours are our Sisters in the Philippines. In recent years movement has taken place towards collaboration between our Australian Province and the Filipino Region, as an initiative of our present General Leadership Team, in answer to discussions that took place during our General Chapter Meeting in 2001. Two young members of the Filipino Region are currently living in community with our Sisters. Both completed studies. One ministers as Chaplain in Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals and the other is a Provisional Psychologist in Thornton NSW. Further initiatives to foster on-going collaboration between our Filipino Sisters and our Sisters in Australia are being planned.
One of the Sisters from our Province joined the Sisters in the Phillippines (2007 -2009) in the ministry of formation to the temporary professed Sisters.