Federation Meeting and Pilgrimage 4/5 April 2011

The 2011 Meeting of the Australian - Aotearoa New Zealand Federation of the Sisters of St Joseph was hosted by the Perthville Sisters and held in nearby Bathurst on 4/5 April. 
Sisters arriving from Goulburn, Lochinvar, Tasmania and New Zealand were warmly welcomed at Perthville, by the Perthville Sisters, on the evening preceding the meeting. 
The formal meeting with the theme “Following in the Footsteps..”, was held at Charles Sturt University campus in Bathurst.  The discussions centred on strengthening the existing close bonds which link all the groups to St Mary MacKillop and Fr Julian Tenison Woods.  Issues of mutual concern, especially in relation to the Josephite response to the needs around us – included people in rural areas, people who are refugees and the care of the environment.  Also discussed was  the recent move to make connections with all Josephite Sisters who were founded from Le Puy in France. Fr Woods was influenced by this community when he founded the Sisters of St Joseph at Penola.

Elections were held and resulted in the following taking responsibilities  - Sr Catherine Shelton of Whanganui (President), Sr Therese McGarry of Perthville (Vice President), and Sr Jo Brady of Tasmania (Treasurer).
Once again the second day was one of pilgrimage.  Gathering in the Sisters Cemetery at Perthville, the group remembered and reflected on those who had gone before, mindful of the significance of this foundation to all Josephites. With a cheery farewell from the senior Sisters, the pilgrimage led by historian Dr Marie Crowley,  began travelling to many of the small country settlements around the area.  Many of these settlements were out in the bush and only remained while the people were there needing a school, and one sensed the isolation the early Sisters lived in. There were still some original buildings and churches, and we recalled Fr Julian’s visit to many of these.

At German Hill, renamed Lidster during WW 1, the group are shown paused among many old and still fruiting  trees, as well as a large pine that was growing near where  the original convent had been sited.
Lunch was at the refurbished convent and church buildings at Borenore, now a B&B - and then all gathered for a final prayer under the trees.   The reflection gave thanks for the lives of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods who began our Josephite story and journey.

Further photos:   and click on Notice Board.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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