Celebration of Gratitude for and Farewell to Stella Maris
6th August, 2012
Approximately sixty FCJs and some Companions in Mission gathered on the feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August, for a Eucharist of Gratitude and Farewell in Stella Maris Chapel. Newer members of the Society who had just finished the workshop on “Confidence to Dare” were joined by sisters from the Province of Europe.
Sr. Irene from Indonesia set the scene with a beautiful liturgical dance. Sr. Katherine Mary then welcomed all and shared briefly on the history of the FCJs at Stella Maris and on the special significance of Stella Maris for our Society over the years.
Fr. Jim Hurley the Vicar for Religious who has known the Stella Maris community since the 1960’s was the main celebrant. In his homily, Fr. Jim spoke enthusiastically of the contribution which the community had made to the people of this area. The Communion reflection called on Marie Madeleine and those who have gone before us to share their wisdom, dreams and hopes so that future generations may carry forward this timeless story.
Following the Eucharist, all enjoyed a meal while stories of experiences and memories of life on the Foreland were shared. Some availed of the opportunity to wander around and say “goodbye” to old haunts.
We were truly grateful for this opportunity to remember and give thanks for the many blessings given to our Society over 99 years on the Foreland and for the privilege of having had Marie Madeleine’s tomb in our chapel since 1980.
15th September, 2012
A ‘Thank you’ Celebration
The day dawned bright and sunny on 15 September as friends from the parish and from other Christian Churches in Thanet gathered on the lawn facing on to the lighthouse field. After a brief history of the FCJ presence in Thanet, and words of gratitude spoken by Katherine Mary fcJ, the assembly – some 175 people - prayed for God’s blessing on ‘all the journeys of life’.
This reflective moment was followed by tea and scones plus a great deal of conversation. The wonderful ‘mix’ of people was testimony to the extended influence of FCJs over the years.
We thank God for friendships that have flourished and for seeds of the Gospel that have been sown during this past almost 100 years of FCJ presence in Stella Maris.
We pray that we may always carry with us the beauty and serenity,
the blessings and joys of this special place.