• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Thursday, 13 October 2011 14:34

Congratulating the House of Hospitality

Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Lochinvar (Josephites) are known for their outward looking generosity and commitment in assisting people wherever they can, whatever the need. This year marks the celebration of 20 significant years of Josephite Hospitality at the House of Hospitality in Newcastle.

In 1991 Sr Carmel Hanson recognised an urgent need for alcohol and drug-free accommodation for men returning to the community from detoxification units. Thus was born the House of Hospitality which over the past 20 years has responded to emerging accommodation needs: men with children, single women, asylum seekers, women with older children and East Timorese students studying at the University of Newcastle. To date the House of Hospitality has housed 969 residents.

A small faith community meets each week to pray, discern, challenge and support the ministry.

The House too is a community where residents support and encourage each other, not only to regain confidence but to take control of their lives and move on to independent living.

Sister Carmel, who lives in and facilitates the House community, is constantly amazed and humbled by the hope and courage of the homeless.

“These people who have so little are inherently generous, and witness to the gospel,” she says.

Many of the residents have kept in contact and become real friends of the House.

Cheryl, such a friend, writes, “Home. I was given one when I needed somewhere to go. I was pregnant and had a young child with me. I had nowhere to go.  I was made to feel welcome and while at the House I gave birth to a baby girl who is now a young adult. I have always felt and still feel that the House is my home. I was given shelter, love and support when I most needed it.  I am just so grateful that it was there for me and my little ones.”

Currently situated in the grounds of St Pius X High School at Adamstown, the celebration of 20 years of this ministry will also mark the transition to a new location at the Catholic Presbytery in Broadmeadow.

Sister Carmel Hanson is a member of CRA’s Justice Network Reference Group.

This story by Natalee Multari was first published in Aurora, October 2011 edition, the magazine of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.