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.
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.
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.
Throughout 2019 we are celebrating our 75-year anniversary! There are a range of upcoming events in honour of this special milestone.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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…..