Dear Mother Dear Father

Dear Mother Dear Father

Letters Home from John Corcoran Wallis 1927-1949

Edited and compiled by Bernadette T Wallis

We are excited that this new book, published by Coventry Press, is now available (see Melbourne launch photos below).   In it, ‘Bernadette Wallis has provided the contemporary reader with a lovingly familiar insight into the development and vision of one of Australia’s great pioneer priests…’ (Fr Frank Brennan SJ).
Born in Victoria, Fr John Wallis (1910-2001), Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Hobart, founded the  Australian Religious Order, the Missionary Sisters of Service, in Tasmania, in 1944. The Sisters were to be available to go into the highways and byways; and flexible to meet the pastoral needs of isolated communities throughout Australia.

This series of letters to John’s parents and family gives us a rare and precious insight into his life as a seminarian and young priest. They also reflect the growing development of his piety and spirituality, the seeds that would develop into his deep concern for people, especially the poor and the  marginalised in rural and outback areas of Australia, and for ways to meet their pastoral and social needs.

The letters have been arranged in ten chapters, with a general introduction about that period in John’s life. Each letter itself has a commentary that contextualises the letter, providing biographical and other details that make the entire series come to life, tracing his experiences, development, misgivings and plans. They anticipate his enthusiasm for the changes that followed the Second Vatican Council and played such a part in his priestly ministry.

The series of letters in each chapter close with insightful reflections from eminent Australians who consider John’s character and spiritual growth as well as applying his insights into contemporary Church life in Australia.

Bernadette Therese Wallis MSS, was born in Melbourne. She joined the Missionary Sisters of Service in 1965 and worked pastorally in rural and outback parish settings of Tasmania and New South Wales before commencing ministry with the Catholic Deaf organisation in Victoria.

Dear Mother Dear Father is available from the Missionary Sisters of Service, Coventry Press, Garratt Publishing and other bookshops. Download the order form here for Dear Mother Dear Father.

 

Bernadette is the author of The Silent Book:  A Deaf Family and the Disappearing Australian-Irish Sign Language, the engrossing story, both deeply personal and historical, of the disappearing Australian-Irish sign language told through the experience of Bernadette’s own Deaf family. The story is embedded in the Australian landscape and its Aboriginal past. In writing this multi-layered story, Bernadette invites the reader into the vibrantly alert and alive silent world of her Deaf parents.  Click here for The Silent Book order form.

Commemorative Cookbook

In 2019 we celebrate our 75-year anniversary! To mark this special year, we have a number of events throughout the year. We have also released a special commemorative cookbook that contains photos and stories of the MSS over 75 years, plus more than 30 recipes.

MSS Cookbook_Cover

Food for the Highways and Byways is our brand new commemorative cookbook that celebrates 75 years of the Missionary Sisters of Service.

It’s full of recipes – 35 in total – that range from soups and starters, to main dishes and desserts. However, it’s more than a cookbook! It contains an array of photographs showcasing our work over 75 years. There is a page dedicated to prayers, which can be shared around the dinner table, a map of Australia that marks out where we’ve lived and worked. We share with you our milestones, we remember our Sisters who’ve died, and take you through the evolving nature of our mission in Australia and beyond. Each of the recipes, which have been provided by the Sisters and friends of the congregation, have an accompanying story as well! This really is a collector’s item, and would be an ideal gift for anyone you hold dear to your heart.

The Launch of Food for the Highways and Byways was a wonderful celebration of friendship and food.   Our  hosts, Edwina and Brendan Ricci, welcomed more than 80 guests to their property set high in the hills of Toolangi.   Brendan had built a huge campfire to warm us on the chilly day and Edwina made lots of pizzas baked in the spot in their woodfired pizza oven.

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The book was launched by Marcus Godinho, CEO of Fair Share, an organisation that annually provides two million freshly cooked meals to homeless people in Melbourne and Brisbane, and also sent truckloads of meals to the Townsville area during their flood disaster earlier this year.   He was an appropriate choice for launching the Cookbook and made new Fare Share fans among his audience.

 

Continue reading Commemorative Cookbook

Upcoming Events

 

Throughout 2019 we are celebrating our 75-year anniversary! There are a range of upcoming events in honour of this special milestone.

Melbourne 75th Anniversary Invite

MSS 75-Year Anniversary Celebrations, Melbourne.

All are warmly invited to join in our 75-year anniversary celebrations on Sunday 7 July at the 10.30am Mass (with Archbishop Peter A Comensoli presiding) at St Thomas the Apostle Church, 57 Central Road, Blackburn, Victoria. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the parish hall.  For catering purposes, PLEASE RSVP by 28 June 2019. Call (03) 9873 5520 or email mssadmin@missionarysisters.org.au

 

MSS Rosary House Day: Monday 8 July, with celebrations taking place locally, with scones!

 

MSS Consultations, Toowoomba: Thursday 1 August.

 

MSS 75-Year Anniversary Mass, Toowoomba: Sunday 4 August, St Anthony’s Church, 3 Memory St, Harristown, 2pm. Celebrant: Bishop Bill Morris. Afternoon tea will follow in the community centre.

 

MSS Graveside Celebrations: Monday 5 August, Drayton Toowoomba Cemetery; Saturday 26 October, Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Melbourne; Monday 25 November, Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart.

John Wallis Memorial Lecture and Cookbook Launch, Melbourne: Tuesday 13 August, Genazzano FCJ College, 301 Cotham Road, Kew, 7pm, featuring renowned journalist and broadcaster, Geraldine Doogue.

MSS Consultations, Melbourne: Thursday 22 August.

John Wallis Memorial Lecture and Cookbook Launch, Hobart: Thursday 12 September, Guilford Young College, 94 Barrack St, Hobart, Tasmania, at 7pm.

MSS Consultations, Hobart: Saturday 14 September.

MSS Chapter /Assembly: Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 October, Holy Cross Templestowe.

Victorian Yarck To Yea Walk Run Event: Saturday 12 October. Find out more here.

Walking Pilgrimage, Bruny Island Tasmania: Thurs 21 November – Sun 24 November 2019. Enquiries / expressions of Interest by 18 April 2019 to Bernadette Madden: bernden16@gmail.com or call 0408 505 387.

If you have any enquiries about any of these events, please email mssadmin@missionarysisters or call (03) 9837 5520.