The nine Sisters in our International Community at Bentleigh are now into their final weeks of their 3 month program. At the moment they are on an 8 day retreat ‘Life’s Healing Journey’ with Fr Chris Chaplin msc. After this we have a trip to Werribee Zoo, compliments of Mick Renwick… chair of Board at the College.
Their normal programme includes one day a week with Chris doing human/personal development. Each Monday is a day for ‘developing one’s talents’. This has included music (keyboard, guitar, singing) with Sr Robyn and Sr Megan, English with Sr Elaine, computer, public speaking with Sr Elizabeth, cooking and various other odds and ends.
Early on the Sisters had an opportunity to visit Healesville Sanctuary. Lee Toll looked after the Sisters on that occasion. Another special day was with Delia, when she led a craft workshop. Last week Catherine McAleer was here and also did craft and sewing. The sisters all made an apron and were very pleased with their efforts.
Another important part of the program is the weekly ‘Outreach’ when the Sisters have had opportunity to visit the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry here in Melbourne, the ministry of the Brigidine Sisters with the Asylum Seekers and helping with Rosie’s Soup Van in the City
On-going Spiritual Direction is provided for each Sister, which of course is an essential part of the program. Also journaling is an important part of the programme and time is given to this each day.
A highlight of the time was the visit to Sydney. All the Sisters spoke of the wonderful welcome they received from the Kensington community. And of course the program Philippa and Lorraine organised for the week was ‘tip top’.
We were very happy to have Fr Hans Kwarkman, to add to our weekly input on our Congregation and Charism. The sisters have also been looking at recent Church publications, especially the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ and information about the year of Consecrated Life.
Another topic for study has been conflict resolution and everyone seems to have found this most helpful.
The IC have prepared powerpoints about their mission and countries and presented these to the girls at Bentleigh College.
St Catherine’s Moorabbin were happy to welcome us to sing at their Christmas Mass (where the primary school put on a Christmas pageant). The PA mentioned that the OLSH began the primary school. Another Christmas pageant we attended was at Bairnsdale. Baby Jesus was a twin! Jeanette organized a very interesting couple of days for us, and Fr Peter Bickley also invited us to sing at the Sunday Mass.
For Liz and Elaine, especially, and for the Bentleigh community generally, the enterprise has certainly been a demanding one. But we trust has been a time of grace, transforming grace, for all of us involved. We thank each of you for your interest, support and prayers.
Sr Robyn Reynolds
Please click on the thumbnail images below to enlarge the photo gallery