Ministry News

Trustee Reflections One Year On

“It matters not what we are doing for God provided we are doing it in the best possible way.”
Venerable Mary Aikenhead

This saying of Mary Aikenhead often comes to mind for me. How true when I began my role as a Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries in May 2019. I previously had a role of Governance within our Congregation so had some sense of what to expect. As I adjusted to this new Trustee role, I quickly realised that preparing for our monthly meetings required much dedicated time to absorb and understand the challenges and issues being presented to us.

The first few months brought many challenges to the Trustee group given the changes in personnel and the subsequent adaptations.

Now in 2020, the changes and demands have escalated with the threat of COVID-19. I stand in awe of everyone in all our ministries as they so generously respond to the challenges of this dreadful virus on a day by day basis. I feel confident that Mary Aikenhead would be very proud as she sees the values of Love, Justice, Compassion and Hope given a deeper expression in the ministries which bear her name.

It is with pride that I thank and congratulate everyone for a superb effort and assure you that you are prayed for daily.

Let these words of Mary Aikenhead continue to inspire you:
“How truly it is by miracles of Almighty Providence that our endeavours have always been blessed.”

Laureen Dixon rsc
Trustee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries

“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6)

To arrive at this time and place in my life’s journey… Trustee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries, a time to pause and consider. The meeting of new people, praying together, sharing in time and conversation, being in each other’s presence, having a meal and a cuppa, learning more about myself, discerning on decisions to be made and actions taken, and, now, entering a deepening time of love and care for one another. There have been many meetings timetabled, events attended and the organisational complexity appreciated. BUT always the people, the Spirit, faith, humour, being Australian and Baptism are present in this journey – in my ongoing Formation with Mission. In quiet times and in prayer we are guided by a Spirit, we are Australian in the ways we support one other – as mates – and with Baptism we take on a personal responsibility to accompany the sick, poor and vulnerable.

To be wrapped in an explicit value-based and faith- based community, to be part of a rich heritage and tradition evolving to meet peoples’ needs in this time is a gift of grace.

Thanks to all for your kindness as the journey continues. As a dear Sister said, “I keep you all in my prayer list.”

Assoc. Prof. Peter Howard
Trustee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries

There are two conversations over the past year that have proved particularly formative given the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that we face today.

When the Sisters of Charity extended an invitation to join Mary Aikenhead Ministries as a trustee, Sr Clare Nolan challenged us to always respond to the needs of the times. And, at our ten year conference, Sr Elizabeth Dodds reminded with me that while trustees must rush to be with Our Lord’s poor, marginalised, and vulnerable; we should also pray for the grace to sit quietly and listen to their wisdom. So why are these two conversations so important for us today? High levels of unemployment, outbreaks of cholera, and the great famine were the prevailing headwinds facing Venerable Mary Aikenhead as she founded her new Congregation.

Mother Mary saw the needs of her time; she listened; she prayed, and she, with her Sisters, acted. The times in which we find ourselves compel us to witness the Gospel in a most practical way, through our commitment to the values of Love, Justice, Compassion and Hope.

Today, perhaps more than any other time this century, requires our ministries to be places of loving care, where the dignity of all is recognised and where the human spirit is nurtured. And, finally, to all those who serve in our various ministries, we offer our heartfelt thanks, prayers, and admiration every day, but especially during these difficult days. You are the best of Mary Aikenhead Ministries.

Prof. Michael Drew
Trustee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries

1 May 2019 looked nothing like 1 May 2020 on many levels.

In being asked to reflect on my first twelve months as a Trustee, I could say it has been a journey – a journey of acquiring knowledge and understanding. However, this only touches the surface of my experience. While I may have undertaken a big journey, what I have seen over the past year shows that the change in times wrought by COVID-19 is a short journey for all the people spread throughout our Ministries. Every visit I have made to work over the last 12 months provides endless evidence of deeply genuine and caring people inspired by the history and works of the Sisters of Charity and their faith.

What our faith shows us matters in times of challenge – where there is uncertainty, change and limits all around us – is that our essential character will be revealed. And here we see that our character is our shared mission, starting right from Mary Aikenhead herself, to see with love the dignity of each human person.

So my answer is 1 May 2020 brought me to a place of awe, deep respect and honour for all the people in our Ministries. This admiration grows as I see our people demonstrate every day, as they have always done, that they bring the love of God to all.

Ms Penelope Wright
Trustee, Mary Aikenhead Ministries

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