The Pastorelle Sisters in Australia had the joy of welcoming our Provincial, Sr Purisima Tañedo, from the Philippines for her fraternal visit from the 18th of January to the 3rd of February 2024. The community of Australia belongs to the Philippine-Australia-Saipan-Taiwan Province. It comprises sisters from Italy, Australia, and the Philippines, a rich combination of intergenerational and intercultural reality.
The visit aimed at strengthening our sense of belonging to the Province, providing a time for sharing our life as Pastorelle, our joys and concerns for the future, and an opportunity for Sr Purisima to share some reflections on our Spiritual Itinerary as expressed in Psalm 23. Scheduled moments of prayer together were special times.
We looked at the Provincial Programmation 2024-2029 and the General Plan of Formation. One of the underlined points was the ongoing formation and support of our Pauline Cooperators and the need to seek new ones
A moving experience, in gratitude for some of the sisters who have served in Australia, was paying a visit to the cemetery where four Pastorelle are buried, Sr Teresa Ragusa, Sr Alberta Scalet, Sr Cesarina Paolini and Sr Estelita Mañabo who was our first Filipina sister to die in Australia.
Following the days in Bundoora, Sr Purisima went to Adelaide as the sisters, Rita, Josie and Brenda, began the new apostolic year in their respective parishes of Our Lady Queen of Peace parish in Payneham South and St Martins’s parish in Greenacres Walkerville.
The parish priest of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Fr Michael Romeo, surprised Sr Purisima and the sisters during the celebration of the Eucharist by presenting them with a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis for the 40 years of pastoral presence of the Pastorelle Sisters in the parish. It was a beautiful gesture on his part and an expression of the appreciation of the people for the sisters.
While in Adelaide, Sr Purisima also met with the Vicar for Religious, Sr Elizabeth Morris RSJ, a group of our Pauline Cooperators, Fr Allan Winter, the former parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace parish, with whom the sisters collaborated for thirty-seven years, and also with the Pastoral Coordinator, Deacon Andrew Kirkbride and Fr David Thoroughwood of Greenacres Walkerville parish where Sr Rita Ruzzene is currently the Pastoral Associate.
On her return from Adelaide, on 2nd February, we celebrated Sr Nelia’s birthday. In the morning Sr Purisima met with the acting Principal of Loyola College, Mrs Alison Leutchford, and Mr Adam Calderone, Deputy Principal (Ignatian Mission and Identity), both keen supporters of the Immersion Programme between Loyola College and our schools in the Philippines. In the afternoon we welcomed the visit of Sr Veronica Hoey SGS, the Vicar for Religious in Melbourne and in the evening, Sr Purisima, Sr Delia and Sr Candida attended the celebration of St Nino and Candelaria at Loyola College organized by Sr Nelia in her role as School Home Liaison Person in the College.
It has been a very enriching and grace-filled time and we look forward to Sr Purisima's next fraternal visit!
Sr Mary La Bruna, sjbp