As Sr Helen, Gabrielle and myself complete our terms as Trustees of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, we reflect on the special privilege afforded us over the last years.
We responded to the call to stewardship of the Ministries created by the Sisters of Charity of Australia and inspired by Venerable Mary Aikenhead. In their discernment to sponsor the creation of Mary Aikenhead Ministries and transfer responsibilities of their Ministries, the Congregation continued the tradition of partnership and relationship with the laity and the wider church.
In accepting this invitation we have received many blessings. We have witnessed the growth and development of the health, aged care, research, education and community care works which are inspired by a deep commitment to the needs of the most marginalised and forgotten. These works are carried on daily by skilled and creative people who have open and generous hearts.
In establishing any new enterprise there are many challenges and there is much change. This can be especially challenging where the community is passionate and long committed to the cause. Many difficult decisions, guided by the Spirit, must be made by those in leadership. It will only be looking back in retrospect that will determine if they were the “right” decisions for the Ministries. But it has been the strength of the relationships at all levels that has allowed proper discernment and then implementation.
In this respect I would refer to the major restructures that have taken place in both the health and education ministries. While those in the Ministries continue to respond to the signs of the times, we observe the creative responses to the needs of the poor and vulnerable, the ongoing commitment to personal formation opportunities, and the overall sustainability of the Ministries despite the challenge of ever-changing funding arrangements from those who control such matters.
On a personal level, the past years as a Trustee have been an opportunity for deepening of faith and spirituality. The Trustees are continually inspired by the commitment of our leaders and all who serve.
Our values of Hope, Compassion, Justice and Love are our bedrock. As the departing Trustees move to the next the phase of their lives, we leave our love and fondest best wishes to those Trustees who continue and our deep appreciation to the Congregation and all in the Ministries.