• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 13:40

Half a century of service

Rate this item
(0 votes)

 

After eight years of working on the St Vincent de Paul Society’s NSW State Council as Spiritual Advisor, our Provincial asked me if there was anything I would like to do I said “I entered the Daughters of Charity to work with people who were homeless and if it would be possible I would like to do that” So now I am the Pastoral Care worker for the Daughters of Charity service to the homeless people here in Hutt Street, Adelaide. 

As I enter my 50th year as a Daughter of Charity the words that have supported me and I have tried to live by are from St. Luke’s Gospel 4: 18

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor”

Looking back on the eight years and prior to that six years working with the state youth committee there were many good news stories especially with the young people.

I felt to be a Spiritual Advisor one needed to be at the coal face. When I first went to Ashfield the then Parish Priest invited me to start a youth conference. These were young people were either studying or had degrees. We did some home visitation, but our main work was with the boarding houses. Often on a Sunday we would provide a barbeque lunch for the residents. Some of these people we got to know fairly well most were trying to get their lives together having been on drugs. Some people we invited to join the Mary MacKillop program at Lewisham. There one of the people from the boarding house met a lady; they became engaged and were married at St Vincent de Paul Society’s Ashfield. Our youth conference organised the wedding and the reception afterwards. Two of that state youth committee are now priests and the others are all happily married.

Looking back to my time on State Council there are also many happy memories. 

Firstly the wonderful conference people who had little but were deeply concerned about their neighbour and would give the ‘widows mite’. This was so apparent out in the country, especially places like Broken Hill, Bourke and many of the small country towns.

Working with the National Formation Committee on joint projects and meeting other people who were passionate about our Vincentian heritage.

When I first started working on State Council I was concerned about the Spiritual Reflections at Conferences. As the Society has much to learn from Saints Vincent, Saint Louise, Blessed Frederic and Blessed Rosalie Rendu. With the support of the NSW Formation Committee we undertook the task of writing these reflections marrying them with the Sunday gospel could enrich conference meetings.

Over the years since I left NSW I have kept up the friendship with many people namely John and Imelda O’Neil, Pat and Marion Lenard to name a few. 

As the big day approached on the 15, December 2012, the words of the Magnificat keep coming to mind:

“The Almighty has done great things for me” Luke 1:49

To be able to live this life and remain faithful is perhaps one of the greatest blessings one could experience and with this comes peace, joy and happiness. 

This article, reprinted with permission, was first published in the Autumn 2013 edition of The Record, a publication of the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia.