• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 00:28

Nuns celebrate 130 years of service

Rate this item
(0 votes)

 

She is the only religious woman of her order for hundreds of kilometres in outback South Australia. This month her unique commitment to the State’s remote desert communities is being celebrated as part of her 60th anniversary.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sister Patricia Hogan (pictured, right) joined the order as a 17 year old. Born in Sydney, she first moved to South Australia in 1969 for almost a decade. She returned in 1999, taking up a post at the mining town of Roxby Downs, where she has remained until now.

A Mass commemorating Sr Pat’s milestone is being celebrated by Port Pirie Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ at St Barbara’s Parish School, on July 3.

“I just love the place and I love the people,” said Sr Pat. “I think in the stillness and the silence of the desert there is a great presence of God and it is a really beautiful presence,” she said.

Sr Pat is involved in liturgy at the parish and St Barbara’s School. She prepares children from government schools for their sacraments and visits the area schools of Roxby Downs, Woomera and Andamooka. She is patron of the Red Sands Cancer Foundation, a multicultural group and visits the local hospital in Roxby and elderly in Andamooka.

Sr Pat has been working in multicultural communities since the 1970s.

She says her inspiration comes from the pioneering sisters and missionaries of her order who undertake to spread God’s love to everyone everywhere.

The Sisters of Mercy also recently celebrated the 70th jubilee of Sr Lucy Norma McConachie (pictured above left).

She joined the Sisters in 1940 and was professed on May 19, 1943, at the Mercy Convent in Angas Street, Adelaide. For the next 40 years she served Mercy communities at Angas Street, Parkside, Victor Harbor and Goodwood, caring for the Sisters and the student boarders of Saint Aloysius College.

A previous Mercy archivist, Sr Lucy said she became a Sister of Mercy to help “those who are teaching, and…help the Lord in that way”. 

Following Vatican II, Sr Lucy studied at the Theology Institute in North Adelaide and in the mid-70s cared for children as a house mother, which inspired her to study Child Care at the Department of Community Welfare. Sr Lucy was a founding member of the Christian Food Service, established in 1968 in Adelaide. This organisation was a meeting point for religious men and women who ministered in hospitality.

She also spent time in Port Augusta and in later years, as part of the North Adelaide community, joined the local Neighbourhood Watch and an art and craft group, the proceeds of which were donated to help educate disadvantaged children.

Sr Lucy also helped make ‘Trauma (teddy) Bears’ given by Police and Saint John’s Ambulance Services to children suffering from trauma and she spent many hours crocheting woollen squares together into blankets delivered to Ronald MacDonald House in Melbourne Street for young hospital patients and their families.

Photo Captions:

Above, right: Mercy Sister Lucy Norma McConachie celebrates her 70th jubilee. 

Above left, 60 years: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Sister Patricia Hogan (right) at Roxby Downs last month with St Barbara’s Parish School students (L-R rear) Alexandra, Lucas, Jack, Lincoln and Maddison and (L-R front) Matilda, Jonty, Will and Meg. 

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 edition of The Southern Cross, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.