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Celebrating the feast of Jesus Good Shepherd

It was a great joy for the Pastorelle Sisters to mark the feast of Jesus Good Shepherd and Word Day of Prayer for Vocations in our chapel in Bundoora last Sunday 21 April 2024.

The highlight of the afternoon was the celebration of the Eucharist with Fr Michael Goonan SSP from Sydney and the participation of several Daughters of St Paul and Sister Disciples of the Divine Master as well as many Pauline Cooperators and friends from different parts of Melbourne and a Good Samaritan Sister who is our neighbour.  It was wonderful to be able to meet again face-to-face after many years.


In his excellent homily, which you can read in full, Fr Michael recalled how “A significant moment for our Founder [Blessed James Alberione] occurred when he moved from Alba to the house of Rome in 1936. In some ways it marked a new beginning for him – a breathing of fresh air – and one of the fruits was a growing appreciation of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.” and “on 7 October 1938, he founded a new community of Sisters whom he called the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd (Pastorelle) to collaborate with priests in pastoral ministry in parishes.

Homily-Good Shepherd Sunday 2024-Fr Michael Goonan SSP
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He also highlighted the two images of Christ presented in the liturgy as shepherd and cornerstone. He pointed out that the two have much in common. Both emphasize the centrality of Christ for survival. It is the shepherd who protects the sheep and keeps the flock together. It is the cornerstone that keeps the whole building intact. Both images contain references to Christ’s death for us – the stone is rejected, and the shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. And both speak of victory over death – the good shepherd takes up his life again, and the stone rejected becomes the keystone.

 

These and more inspiring thoughts struck a chord in our hearts and will sustain us in our spiritual journey as we grow in our life in Christ, Master-Shepherd, and share the good news with all we meet.

 

The assembled offered prayers that more young men and women may answer the call to follow Jesus in the priestly and religious life, and aware of the suffering of people around the world, prayed for peace and an end to all violence and wars.

 

At the end of Mass, refreshments provided a welcome time for conversation and sharing life experiences. We parted with the hope of being able to come together again next year for the celebration of the feast.

Sr Mary La Bruna, sjbp


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