We are deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific bombings that took place in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April. In response to these tragic events, a letter of condolence from our Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) President, Monica Cavanagh rsj, has been sent to the Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Ranjith. A similar letter has also been sent to the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, along with messages of condolence being sent to five Sri Lankan communities in different states in Australia. We will continue to lift you all up in prayer.
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. Continue reading Commemorative Cookbook
Victorian launch of Food for the Highways and Byways, our commemorative cookbook: 287 Smiths Road, Toolangi, Victoria, 2pm-4pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9837 5520.
MSS 75-Year Anniversary Celebrations, Melbourne: Sunday 7 July, 10.30am, St Thomas the Apostle Church, Central Road, Blackburn, Victoria, followed by lunch in the parish hall.
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: email@example.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.
July 2018 marked the beginning of the 75th year since the beginning of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS). The celebrations began in November with a pilgrimage to Bruny Island where it all began. A busload of pilgrims, thirteen Sisters and fifteen friends and associates, gathered in Launceston where the founding members of the community first came together in July 1944. Their house, loaned to them by St Vincent’s Hospital, has gone. In its place are extensions to the Hospital.
While the original house has long gone, the oak trees along the street front still harbour that early history. The Pilgrims gathered under its branches for a photo.
The group was welcomed to Calvary St Vincent’s by Ed van Galen, Director of Mission. After celebrating a ritual in the chapel, we were treated to a delicious morning tea and met a number of other staff members.
The pilgrims then journeyed to Scottsdale and Derby, the first parish visited by our early sisters. The parish priest, Fr Edwin, celebrated Mass, which was followed by a lunch of hot soup and finger food, all lovingly prepared by the small parish community. Much meeting and greeting and renewing of old friendships accompanied the meal.
Over the following days the pilgrim bus worked its way south, via Longford, Oatlands, Richmond and Hobart. In each place Pilgrims were welcomed by people among whom the sisters had lived and worked. After a brief ritual in the parish church, they were treated to a home-cooked lunch or a cuppa, according to the time of day. It was heart-warming to experience the love people retain for the Sisters they had known over the years. Each place evoked treasured memories and stories of the years the Sisters worked there.
On Sunday 25th November the pilgrims journeyed to Alonnah, Bruny Island, joined by another busload and many others who came in their own vehicles. After a meet and greet opportunity, they were treated to lunch, prepared by the local CWA.
The climax of the pilgrimage came when everyone gathered outside St Brendan’s church for the blessing and dedication of a memorial to Father John Wallis, the Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service, the women who came together in 1944 to begin what became the MSS community, and those who followed them into the highways and byway of Australia and beyond, seeking out people on the margins, whether geographically, socially, economically, culturally or because of their faith, sharing their lives in love, friendship, support and hope.
The memorial situated in the grounds of St Brendan’s church, comprises two interpretative panels (pictured below) telling the story of the beginnings and development of the Missionary Sisters of Service. Between them is a sandstone feature with a silhouette of Father John on his bicycle visiting people on Bruny Island, as he first did in 1933. On one of those visits – to the Hawkins family – the mother, Kit, challenged Father John with a question that started it all: Why can’t we have Sisters to help us…..