Five Australian Jubilarians celebrate a total of 310 years of FCJ vowed life!
7th September 2014
An article by:
Geralyn Anderson (Mission and Identity Promoter for the FCJ Sisters, Province of Asia-Australia
With Faithfulness comes Joy
On the 7th of September 2014, five women from the Faithful Companions of Jesus celebrated their 60th and 65th anniversaries of religious profession. Held in the chapel of Genazzano FCJ College in Kew, the Jubilee Mass was celebrated by Fr David Tomlins OSCO, Fr Peter Taylor PP Benalla and Fr Bernard Buckley, a relative of one jubilarian.
Sisters Rosemary Crowe, Catherine Moore and Joyce Stewart marked sixty years of profession, while Sisters Catherine Flynn and Teresa Hennessy marked sixty-five. In opening his homily, Fr Tomlins described the mood so fittingly, “Can it be anything but a strengthening of our faith and a source of tremendous joy for each of us to be gathered here to celebrate the jubilees of these five sisters today?”
The entry way into the chapel was abuzz with people, from everyday companions to old friends and relatives. Inside, the glorious sound of the Marron Singers and members of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Choir under the professional guidance of Sr Rosemary’s niece, Judy, made it a family-affair.
A special performance by a student from Genazzano College brought it home that one’s vocation is a lifelong process of growth and change through time. In commemorating as we did, we collectively remembered the past: in the storytelling of the Spirit’s first promptings, the formation process, and the sisters’ first profession. We also honoured the present- in the vast number of ministries undertaken: in such various places-.as well as the future, in the ways that the sisters continue to live faithfully to the Gospel.
As the jubilarians renewed their vows it was evident that they were filled with joy and gratitude for their religious vocation. It was indeed a day of celebration and affirmation of faith, as Pope Francis teaches us in commemorating the values of a life dedicated to God through religious vocation: “Within the limits of our human condition and amid everyday concerns, when consecrated persons live with fidelity and express their joy, they offer luminous testimony, an effective message of accompaniment and closeness for women and men of our time looking to the Church as their proper home.” (Rejoice!, a Letter to Religious for Year of Consecrated Life, 2 February 2014)
Through God’s faithfulness to the sisters and especially to the jubilarians, it is with joyful celebration that we thank and honour these women for their fidelity in companionship, in their communities and in the wider Church.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam!