OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - A young congregation helps revive consecrated life in Australia

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Perth (Agenzia Fides) – At 30 years of age, she is the youngest “Mother Superior” and “Foundress” of a religious institute on the continent: Sister Bernadette has an important responsibility, but she undertakes it with joy and serenity. She has founded the Congregation of the “Missionaries of the Gospel,” one of the new post-conciliar communities. Many young women have been inspired by her example to embrace the consecrated life on the continent.
Seven years ago, at 23 years of age, Bernadette, a brilliant lawyer left her career to dedicate herself to a life lived with vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She was soon joined by another two young women and the community gained diocesan approval from Archbishop Barry James Hickey of Perth, on June 23, 2007.
The community lives a life that is both active and contemplative and, in the future, hopes to become a family with religious, priests, and laity included. A constant reference point for the spirituality and lifestyle of the sisters is John Paul II, which is why they are also known as the “Sisters of John Paul II.” Their main apostolate is to “bring Christ to every person, above all by loving them and affirming their dignity.”
The community lives from Providence and wears a blue habit, making their vocation visible to those around them. Australian faithful hold special devotion to Sister Mary Mackillop, foundress of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, in 1866. Consecrated life in Australia has seen a renewal thanks to the activity and testimony of Sister Bernadette and her companions who gain great appreciation from the people and have given testimony of their story and their vocations in Australia's mass media, both Catholic and non-Catholic media alike. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/3/2009)