An Historic Occasion

The 17th of January marked a significant day in our Congregation’s history, as we, the sisters remaining at St Dominic’s Convent, Wanganui, farewelled a courageous contingent of fellow sisters bound for Our Lady of the Rosary Convent, the new foundation and motherhouse in Tynong, Australia.

The contingent, which consisted of three novices (S.M. Louise, S.M. Johanna and S.M. Thomas) and one newly temporarily-professed sister (S.M. Raymond O.P.), was headed by our Foundress and Mother Prioress General, Mother Mary Micaela O.P. They would be joined in Tynong very shortly by S.M. Catherine O.P. and the new postulants from America and Australia; other postulants from Singapore and the Philippines would likewise come later, once their visas were approved.

For weeks in advance, we had been awaiting the day with trepidation, wondering how convent (and even school-) life would fare in the absence of our Foundress, Mother Micaela. Conversely, there had also been many humorous moments, as the Australians amongst us took great delight in describing to the departing sisters (with only a little exaggeration, to be sure) the huge spiders, poisonous snakes and other deadly animals that they were sure to encounter in their new surroundings.

At last, the day dawned. We all gathered at the airport, lugging the (rather overweight-looking) bags and suitcases of the travellers.

Sister Margaret made acquaintances with one
of the travellers bound for Auckland.
And then, after some last words of encouragement between the “stayers” and the “goers”, the shedding of an odd tear, and a final cry of “Goodbye everybody!” from Mother Micaela, we watched them mount the steps of the plane and leave us for the distant shores of Oz. We also farewelled our Mexican postulant, Maria Beatriz, who, after much deliberation, had decided to enter the Franciscan Minims in Mexico.

What are we to think of it all? As our Mother Prioress General herself stated, the new foundation is a step forward, and we should rejoice at the growth and expansion of our congregation. Deo Gratias.