It was a joyous day for everyone as the Sisters of St Joseph celebrated four significant anniversaries at Sacred Heart Church in New Town. Sister Valerie Burns entered the order in 1941 and was professed in 1944; Sister Maria Goretti Smith entered ten years later in 1951 and was professed in 1954, while Sisters Joan Cowmeadow and Helen Hickey both entered in 1961 and were professed in 1964. They have all taught in Catholic schools around Tasmania as well as serving in other pastoral roles and are all still active in the Church today.
The sisters were joined by Archbishop Julian Porteous, priests of the Archdiocese and a church full of their supporters. The concelebrated Mass was a wonderful way to thank God for the many years of service of the faithful four who were celebrating fifty, sixty and seventy years since their profession.
In his homily, Archbishop Porteous thanked the sisters for their contribution:
“Your consecration to God has been the vehicle of touching and inspiring the lives of countless numbers of people. Many have been so influenced by you and your example that they have changed their lives – in great and in small ways.
“This is what we celebrate today: the spiritual influence you have been through your consecrated life.
“The Church here in Tasmania is indebted to you. You have made a singular contribution.”
After Mass most of the Mass - goers came over to MacKillop Court in Sacred Heart College to share stories, a cuppa and some lovely lunch with the sisters. The sisters cut a cake to mark the occasion and spent time with people who have journeyed with them over the decades. A large group from the Huon-Channel district was among those who gathered to celebrate the long connection with the sisters.
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