Good Samaritan Education, a new entity within the Australian Catholic Church established to oversee the canonical governance of the Good Samaritan Congregation’s ten colleges, was launched during a liturgy at St Scholastica’s Chapel, Glebe in Sydney on Sunday November 13.
During the launch the 15 inaugural members of Good Samaritan Education were also commissioned to oversee the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten colleges.
In her words of reflection, Congregational Superior Sister Clare Condon said “those who are called to be members of this ecclesial entity are invited into koinonia, that is, into communion; communion with God and with one another.
“Their first task is ‘to nurture this ecclesial communion especially through the promotion of a spirituality of communion in keeping with the Benedictine tradition’,” she said.
Clare reminded the new members of their task to ensure Good Samaritan Education faithfully accomplishes the mission entrusted to it by the Church.
“Service in love is the way the work is to be done; service which proclaims the Gospel message both in word and in deed. As members, you are called to give strong leadership ‘that listens, helps to form and express this vision, this charism and philosophy of education’ in the contemporary changing educational and cultural environment’,” she said.
Clare also assured the new members of the prayers and support of all Good Samaritan Sisters, both the living and those among the communion of saints.
“Today, as we celebrate the Feast of All Benedictine Saints, know that you are following those who have carried this tradition over some 1,500 years and as you put your trust and hope in God, you will not be disappointed.”
The new members of Good Samaritan Education are Pamela Betts, Theresa Creagh (chair), Gerard Dalton, Elizabeth Delaney SGS, John Driscoll, Maria Kirkwood, Catherine McCahill SGS, Lucy Molony, Ann-Maree Nicholls SGS, Peter Nicholson, Patricia O’Gorman, Virginia Ryan, Catherine Slattery SGS, Stephen Teulan and Graham West.
Theresa Creagh told The Good Oil she felt “very privileged” to be a founding member of Good Samaritan Education and “very surprised” to be appointed as the inaugural chair.
“[I] have been very moved by the confidence shown in me by Sister Clare, many of the sisters and others from the council and colleges,” she said.
“While I recognise the incredible responsibility, I know that the assembly members and the governing council will work collegially to ensure the partnerships with college communities remains strong and the life and spirit of Good Samaritan Education thrives.”
Theresa commended the sisters for ensuring that good governance structures were in place for the colleges and the new Church entity.
“Good Samaritan Education will be developed from very solid foundations. The continuity of members from the Good Samaritan Education Council, along with the leadership of Sister Catherine Slattery and the outstanding skill of Kay Herse, as Executive Officer, gives confidence to assembly members, and hopefully, to all who are looking to Good Samaritan Education for strong leadership,” she said.
Theresa also expressed her admiration for the sisters. “At the launch… I was impressed by the positive acceptance the sisters showed for this momentous change in their lives and that of the governance of the colleges.”
Recently retired from a lifetime of service to Catholic education in Queensland, Theresa brings a wealth of experience, skill and commitment to her new role. She began her career as a primary and then secondary school teacher, followed by numerous leadership positions in schools and later in senior administrative roles with the Queensland Catholic education system. For this service she received a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007. Since 2004 she has been a member of the Good Samaritan Education Council.
Among the 140-plus guests attending the launch were: then Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell; Bishop of Broken Bay, Most Reverend David Walker; former Good Samaritan Superior, Sister Sonia Wagner; many Good Samaritan Sisters; the principals, members and directors of the ten Good Samaritan Colleges; members of the Good Samaritan Education Council; and representatives of other religious congregations.
The ten Good Samaritan colleges will come under the jurisdiction of Good Samaritan Education on June 1, 2012 following their boards’ annual general meetings.
The ten Good Samaritan colleges are: Rosebank College, Five Dock, NSW and St Scholastica’s College, Glebe Point, NSW (Sydney Archdiocese); Stella Maris College, Manly, NSW and Mount St Benedict College, Pennant Hills, NSW (Broken Bay Diocese); St Mary Star of the Sea, Wollongong, NSW, St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown, NSW, and Mater Dei, Camden, NSW (Wollongong Diocese); Mater Christi College, Belgrave, VIC and Santa Maria College, Northcote, VIC (Melbourne Archdiocese); Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne, QLD (Brisbane Archdiocese).