As new members of the Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ team, Angela Thomas, Amy Pei and I were privileged to recently participate in the pilgrimage from Sydney to Parramatta which included visiting the significant sites of the Sisters of Charity, sent from Ireland; Mother Mary John Cahill, Sister Mary John Baptist De Lacy, Sister Mary Xavier Williams, Sister Mary Lawrence Cater and Sister Mary Francis de Sales O’Brien. The pilgrimage provided us with a deeper understanding of the life and hardships experienced by these 5 women. Particularly, their resilience and care of the female convicts at The Female Factory in Parramatta, evoking great respect and admiration.
In this journey the expression of faith and discipline are demonstrated within the sites established by the Sisters, such as St Vincent’s College and St Vincent’s Hospital, that we as pilgrims were honored to view and connect with, creating a greater awareness of their humble beginnings and achievements. The perseverance and willingness to embrace the discomforts and unfamiliar surroundings of Australia in the 1800’s and the passion to contribute and help the underprivileged, is truly inspiring. It was an experience that created an appreciation of our life today and gratitude for the determination of such admirable women.
We wish to convey our appreciation to Ms Rachel McLean and Sr Anne Taylor for leading the group with kindness, wisdom and energy on our first journey as Pilgrims together.
Ms Fiona Blajic
Office Administrator, Mary Aikenhead Ministries