Planning is in full swing for the Good Samaritan Partnership Gathering which will be held in Sydney in early October. Organisers say that participants are coming from nearly every state and territory in Australia, and internationally, from the Philippines.
This third Good Samaritan Partnership Gathering (October 5-7) will bring together Good Samaritan Sisters, oblates and associates, partners in mission, colleagues and friends to explore how the Good Samaritan charism can best be carried into the future.
Marie Milne, a Good Samaritan oblate from Kiama on the NSW south coast, attended the last gathering in 2010 and is “eagerly anticipating” this next one.
“My spiritual journey as an oblate is at once deeply personal and communal – a work in progress that requires good companions! I draw upon the strength and wisdom of my fellow oblates and gain inspiration from the wider Good Samaritan community,” she told The Good Oil.
“In addition to providing a unique time for prayer and discernment, I know for me [the gathering] will offer further opportunity to absorb the diverse gifts of the people who make up the rich tapestry of Good Samaritan ministry.”
Marie first encountered the Good Samaritan Sisters at a faith formation course about 12 years ago. She found “the lived witness of these women a profound source of guidance and strength” and accepted an invitation to explore the Rule of St Benedict further.
“The words of the Rule resonated strongly within me, providing both great comfort and immense challenge in my daily life. I became an oblate in 2006 and we have since formed an oblate group at Wollongong.”
Marie has also had opportunities to work with Sister Anna Warlow and the Good Samaritan Rural Outreach in Western Australia.
“Integral to this has been the privilege of working with Indigenous women to create art that reflects aspects of their spirituality,” said Marie.
“In working together as partners in ministry strong bonds of friendship have formed and I am delighted that Elaine Wally and Ivy Dalgety will again be attending the conference along with many others from different and distant backgrounds and communities. What a wealth of spiritual conversation is waiting to be had!”
For Catherine Rae, Acting Assistant Principal of Mater Maria College, Warriewood in Sydney, a school established by the Good Samaritan Sisters in 1961 and now operated by the Broken Bay Diocese, being faithful to the tradition of the school’s founders is important.
“Having a close contact with the Good Samaritan community and spirituality enriches the work we do as a college,” she said.
As such, Catherine has encouraged a few college staff to attend the partnership gathering.
“I see the conference as another way to expand the link between the Good Samaritan Sisters who began the college and the present college community who have not had a close contact with the Good Samaritan past,” she said.
“There are several members of staff who were taught at Mater Maria by the Sisters and many more who were here when the Sisters ran the college.
“For the younger and newer staff members who have not experienced these opportunities, the conference is yet another way to link our college with our Good Samaritan tradition.”
Organisers say the program for the gathering will include a variety of experiences, including prayer and reflection, plenary sessions, small group workshops, as well as sharing at table and experiencing aspects of community life.
Facilitator of the weekend-long experience will be Penny Carroll, a Good Samaritan oblate from Brisbane, and the presenters include Good Samaritan Sisters Jill O’Brien, Pam Grey and Catherine McCahill.
Anyone interested in experiencing the Good Samaritan Benedictine way of life is warmly invited to attend the gathering from October 5 to 7, 2013 at St Scholastica’s College, 2-4 Avenue Road Glebe Point.
Please note: Vacancies are still available and late registrations are being accepted up to midday September, 20, 2013.