Uplifting our Spirits
It is always a good day to look forward to when once again we gather with our friends at the Queen of Poland Convent in Marayong for the get together of the Associates of the Sisters of the Holy family of Nazareth. On Saturday the 11th April 2015 it was time again for some reflection and prayer as we gathered at 10.00 am after a warm greeting by the Sisters in their home at Marayong. Our first half hour was an opportunity to meet and greet all associates who attend, some of who travel from Canberra each time we get together every two months or so. It is good to see members young and old together in our group enjoying a cuppa along with the lovely cakes the Sisters prepare for us. We all come from various backgrounds and lifestyles but we all share the same love for our families and pray for the work the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth do to enrich families in difficulty everywhere and at every opportunity.
Sister Maureen Joseph Stempko , who is based in Brisbane, was invited to join us as the Presenter for this meeting. She gave us a very interesting overview of her presentation at the Symposium held in Rome this year where she represented the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Australia. Apart from giving us a challenging task of drawing a small picture our family in no more than 10 minutes, colours and all, Sister Maureen proceeded to present us with a number of posters drawn by various people of all ages and cultures to illustrate how others perceive being part of a family reflecting their culture, background and their current environment. Sister Maureen also presented us with a visual presentation of statistics about the Australian population in regards to living standards, religion, beliefs and many more interesting facts about the country we live in. There was an overview of the Australian history since the First Fleet landed on Australian soil some 227 years ago. To international participants attending the Rome Symposium, this would have seemed a very young nation. Sister Maureen also talked about the Indigenous history of Australia where the native Aborigines lived since 40,000BC (no it is not a misprint!) We were given a handout listing the Australian Catholic Church history timeline. This illustrates the immense contribution of the Church in Australia in the last two centuries.
The Mass commenced at 12.00 pm with the celebrant being Father Jose Manjaly MS. who is currently Assistant Parish Priest at St Nicholas of Myra Parish in Penrith. This is always regarded as the highlight of our gathering and I personally always feel so blessed to be in the presence of around 12 nuns and other Associates as we pray and sing together during this celebration of the Eucharist. Father Jose expressed his delight in being in Marayong once again after his departure from St Andrew the Apostle Parish two years ago. He offered encouraging words to all present in keeping peace in our families and in joining the Sisters in praying for suffering families everywhere. We were reminded to follow the example of the Holy Family in their life journey of humility, gentleness and sacrifice.
After Mass, we all gathered again in the common room this time sharing a scrumptious lunch which was once again offered by the Sisters. All participants enjoyed each other’s company and we are grateful to the Sisters especially Sr Alicja Drabik, our Associate Director and the sisters for organising this meeting and welcoming us into their home. It was an uplifting experience and I would like to encourage other families to join us at our next meeting to be held on 6 June, 2015.
Contact the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth for more information on (02) 9626 9200.
Maria De Carlo