Celebrating 125 years since Sisters of St Joseph arrived in Wanganui - Apr 2005

Saturday 23 April 2005 was the day chosen to mark 125 years of Service to Education by the Sisters of St Joseph.

The day was commemorating the arrival in Wanganui in 1880, of the first four Sisters – Hyacinth Quinlan, Joseph Kinsella, Clare Rubie, and Teresa Schmitt. These sisters came from Perthville, a settlement near Bathurst in New South Wales.

In response to their Vision Statement “Fullness of life for the earth and its peoples”, the Congregation chose to have Sister Ann Gilroy of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Auckland, lead a day’s reflection on “Our Land, Our Place”.

In Ann’s own words, “The shapes, colours and smells of our land, landscapes and sea not only become the place of home for us, but also form our imagination and spirituality”. The assembled group readily became involved in the various activities, encouraged and challenged by the clarity and beauty of her presentation.

Approximately 80 people gathered for the day at Villa Maria Hostel in Wanganui. Seven Australian Sisters of St Joseph also joined the celebrations, representing other Federation groups from Goulburn, Lochinvar and Perthville.

The day began with a powhiri to welcome our Australian Sisters, and this was greatly enhanced by the singing of members of Te Matapihi from Kaiwhaiki. Tributes were paid to the Sisters’ ministry in Wanganui by kaumatua Morvin Simon and Wipaki Peeti.

The day concluded with expressions of thanks to Ann Gilroy and the Central Josephites. This was followed by a prayer centring us in ‘our’ place by acknowledging God’s presence in the earth and in each direction of the land. The day concluded with afternoon tea.

Click to view full-size image
Photo courtesy of Wanganui Chronicle 25/4/05

The cutting of a centennial cake was jointly performed by Sisters Janine Keatinge of Perthville Australia, Justin of Nazareth Rest Home Wanganui, and “Sister Hyacinth Quinlan” aka Catherine Woodcock, Wanganui.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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