September 24th, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham brought us together as the Province of Rosalie Rendu for the very special occasion of the Installation of the two new members of our Provincial Council, Sister Kathleen Page, and Sister Ruth O’Neill.
Courtesy of our Vincentian brothers and Parishioners of the Church of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate, Mill Hill, Sisters from all over the Province gathered there including many sisters watching online We were also delighted to welcome, in person, Sr. Marie Raw, General Councillor.
All took place around the altar beautifully decorated in blue and white, with the Province Candle and image of Blessed Rosalie Rendu. The whole ceremony centered around the Celebration of the Eucharist, the celebrants being Fr. Paul Roche CM, Provincial Director, and Fr. Ray Armstrong CM of the Sacred Heart Parish.
After the Gospel Sr. Marie and Councillors, incoming and outgoing, assembled on the sanctuary where the Installation took place. Sr. Marie thanked Sr. Ellen and the outgoing Council for their availability and generosity over the past 6 years. She also mentioned and thanked 3 people who served the Council by their own special contribution, namely Fr. Paul, Fr. Phil, and Sr. Kay.
Marie recalled that the last time we had gathered in this Church was on the occasion of the coming together of Australia and Great Britain as one Province in March 2020, just a few days before the lockdown due to Covid 19. Marie thanked Ellen and Celine for their skillful leadership, energy, and enthusiasm at this time.
Fr. Paul Roche, Director, reminded us that leadership in the Company was not inherited but was discovering the choice of the Almighty, following a careful process of prayer, reflection, and discernment. Each member of the team possesses their own special gifts which they put at the service of the Province and where the Leader’s role is to” adjust the sails”.
In her words to the outgoing Council members, Kathleen and Moira, Ellen thanked them both for all that they had done and more importantly all that they had been over the past six years.
Ellen asked each of us to support her and the Council as they live out their truth in the love and service of others, doing their best inclusively. She asked for our patience pointing out that transition takes time.
She spoke of the very significant gift which Marie gave to the two new Councillors namely a relic of Blessed Rosalie Rendu – a piece of the habit she wore and urged us to go forward as one Province wearing the habit of Rosalie.
Our celebrations were greatly enhanced by the beautiful singing of the choir ably directed by Sr. Maria Robb.
Back at the Provincial House, we all enjoyed a delicious Buffet Lunch prepared by our very competent staff. This was also a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and greet each other after many months of lockdown.