Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Congratulations Anne

Congratulations to Anne Bond rsj who has just finished her doctorate in the States. Anne will soon be returning as Director of Baulkham Hills.

Some links that might interest you.
St. Joseph's Spirituality Centre Baulkham Hills
St Joseph's Spirituality and Education Centre Kincumber
Mary MacKillop Foundation
Mary MacKillop Place
World Youth Day
Josephite Dreaming CD

Sunday, May 25, 2008

JAN Fundraising - Silver Circle

The Week 10 draw of our Silver Circle Series 001 was held on Saturday, 24 May in conjunction with an enjoyable wine and cheese afternoon attended by about 15 people.

The winners were:

1st prize - $300 - No 13 - K.Mulcahy
2nd prize - $200 - No 32 - L.Schell
3rd prize - $100 - No 36 - D. Hector

If any members wish to subscribe to Series 002, which we hope to get under way in mid-June, please contact me by return email. Depending on how may current subscribers renew, we may have only a limited number of places available. If you have been a subscriber to Series 001 and wish to renew, please contact Brian Sullivan. The cost is $20 for the 10 weeks. Please make cheques or money orders payable to JAN Qld Inc and send them to our mailing address at P O Box 59, Moorooka, Qld, 4105.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Youngest Professed Nun in Australia

Photo by Ben Ruston
From Sydney Morning Herald
Andrew West
May 24, 2008

ANNE-MARIE GALLAGHER was in her final year at Domremy College in Sydney's inner west when the assistant principal suggested, "you would make a good nun".

"I just laughed it off," she said. "I thought of myself as a normal teenager and, like most of my peers, [at one stage] I even questioned my faith. I just thought it was normal."

Tomorrow, however, Sister Gallagher will do something rare for a 24-year-old woman, when she takes her vows as a Josephite nun in the Mary MacKillop Chapel in North Sydney.

She has been a novice for two years and can already be called "Sister" but after tomorrow's ceremony the letters "RSJ", or Religious Sisters of St Joseph, will be added after her name.

Sister Sheila McCreanor, a Josephite leader, believes Sister Gallagher will become the youngest professed nun in Australia. "It is more common for women to enter the order in their 30s, 40s or even 50s," she said. "But someone of Anne-Marie's age is very unusual, and very exciting, for us." The average age of her fellow sisters was in the 60s.

Sister Gallagher' religious community is almost 150 years old, founded in 1866 by MacKillop, but she found her vocation on the internet.

While studying education and theology at Australian Catholic University as a 19-year-old, she came across the website for Catholic Vocations Ministry Australia. "I couldn't believe that I was [looking] there," she laughed. "Me, of all people. But for a while this feeling of being unsettled had niggled at me.

"I had dated some guys but something else, involving a deeper commitment to God, was demanding my attention."

For five years, as an "enquirer", then in the novitiate, she lived in a Kimberley Aboriginal community where her late father was a lay missionary, and worked with the aged. She wants to teach.

Professor Neil Ormerod, a theologian at Australian Catholic University, said that after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, Catholics asked, "what can I do in religious life that I can't do as a layperson?"

Now, older women entered orders. "It is part of re-evaluating their own spiritual direction," he said. "That's what makes Anne-Marie's case quite unusual."

But Sister Gallagher insists tomorrow's commitment, a "vow to God, chastity, poverty and obedience", will not mean a cloistered life. "I still call myself a social butterfly," she laughed