Hospitality, hope and new life the hallmarks of ministry

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Hospitality, hope and new life the hallmarks of ministry
Sisters of St Joseph, from Tasmania & interstate, gather to celebrate 30 years of ministry at the Emmanuel Centre in Launceston


A time of prayer, reflection and thanksgiving marked the end of one era and the dawning of another at the Emmanuel Centre in Launceston.

About 100 people filled the Josephite Hall at St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School at Newstead to celebrate 80 years at the site, including 30 years of the Sisters of St Joseph’s ministry at the adjacent Emmanuel Centre.

Sr Carmel Jones, of Devonport, reflected on the past 80 years.

“We walk in the footstep of Sisters who taught students in primary and secondary school here and who provided boarding facilities for students considering entering the congregation – women who were about God’s mission, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Sr Carmel said.

“That commitment took a new turn in 1987 when the Sisters responded to the need expressed by our Archbishop and the priests for adult faith formation in Tasmania by offering to establish the Emmanuel Centre,” she said.”

The director of the centre, Sr Jenny Scally, explained that the name Emmanuel was chosen for the community because it spoke deeply of the mystery of the compassion of God.

“Today we celebrate the life of this Emmanuel community and of the many people who have come to experience the loving and compassionate God through this community,” Sr Jenny said.

Archbishop Julian, Launceston parish priest Fr Mark Freeman, Sisters of St Joseph, as well as friends and supporters of the centre, were among those who attended the reflection and dinner on November 25.

Sr Jenny Scally and Sr Caroline Duggan will stay on at the Emmanuel Centre during the transition to the Palavra Viva community, a group of Brazilian consecrated women who are taking over the running of the centre.