Home' The Southern Cross : February 2015 Contents Jesuit priest Father Paul Gardiner, who
spent many years in Rome working on
the cause for the canonisation of Mary
MacKillop, celebrated 60 years in the
priesthood on Monday, January 5.
His diamond jubilee Mass was held in
Penola, the town where he has lived
since 1999 and the place where St Mary
MacKillop established her first school.
Fr Gardiner has been chaplain of the Mary
MacKillop Penola Centre for 16 years
and was postulator for the cause of Mary
MacKillop, studying her life in great detail
for more than 10 years. He also published a
book on her life called Mary MacKillop: An
Extraordinary Australian and was awarded
an Order of Australia Medal in 2012.
His work resulted in Mary MacKillop’s
beatification in 1995 and led to her
canonisation as Australia’s first saint
in 2010. Fr Gardiner attended the
canonisation ceremony in Rome.
Archbishop Philip Wilson was the main
celebrant at the Mass in St Joseph’s
Church, Penola. Fr Gardiner, Fr Peter
Fountain, Fr Dean Marin and Fr Michael
Romeo concelebrated the Mass. People
attended from the parishes of Penola,
Mount Gambier, Millicent and Naracoorte
along with other visitors.
At lunch in the Mary MacKillop Penola
Centre, Fr Gardiner spoke about his
vocation as a priest and especially his work
in connection with St Mary of the Cross
MacKillop. He said the past 16 years living
in Penola had been very satisfying to him.
A packed St Joseph’s Church at Brighton
celebrated the golden anniversary of five
Sisters of Mercy on Saturday, January 17.
Sisters Ilsa Neicinieks, Margie Abbott,
Daphne McKeough, Helen Owens and
Marie Ralph renewed their vows in front of
local parishioners as well as family, fellow
Sisters and friends from around Australia.
Archbishop Philip Wilson celebrated
the Mass which was also attended by
Monsignor Ian Dempsey and Fathers Sean
McGearty, Tony Densley, Tony Telford-
Sharp and Shymon Thekkekalathungal.
A highlight of the Mass was the singing of
the Suscipe, the lyrics of which are a prayer
to the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy,
Catherine McAuley and include the opening
words “My God, I am yours for time and
Sr Marie Ralph, who is Vicar for Religious
in the Adelaide Archdiocese, said the
celebration was one of thanksgiving for
God’s fidelity and love, and for the call to
join a community of religious women who
offer each other “inspiration, challenge,
support and love”.
“It was a celebration of profound joy,” she
Srs Ilsa and Margie have been friends since
school days and they entered the novitiate
of the Adelaide Congregation in 1962.
Srs Daphne, Helen and Marie have also
been friends since school days and they
entered the novitiate of the Wilcannia-
Forbes Congregation in 1962.
All five Sisters began their ministry as
teachers, all have Masters degrees in
various fields and all are now in a diverse
range of ministries in Adelaide and
In 2011, 15 Congregations of Sisters of
Mercy formed the Institute of Sisters of
Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Sr Marie said while the evening was a
celebration of 50 years of profession it had
the added dimension of celebrating the
new bonds of the Institute.
After Mass, formalities and refreshments
were held in the parish hall. Sr Kate Conley
made a speech and all five jubilarians
responded. Special gratitude was
expressed to the Archbishop and clergy;
Sr Margie Adams, events coordinator;
Mgr Ian Dempsey and the Brighton singing
teams and parishioners.
The Dominican Sisters of Holy Cross
Congregation celebrated the diamond
jubilees of three of their Sisters on January
They joined Sr Joan Murphy, Sr Bernadette
Wogan and Sr Cathryn Vowles at a
Eucharist celebrated by Frs George Nader,
Denis Edwards and Mgr Ian Dempsey in
the chapel of the cluster house at Cabra
Eucharist was followed by morning tea
during which the generous contribution of
each Sister to the Dominican community
and to the Adelaide Church was
Both Joan and Bernadette left their native
Ireland in 1952 to travel to Adelaide to join
the Sisters here.
Cathryn, born in the South Australian
Mallee at Wanbi, joined the Order with
them after spending several years as
a boarder at Cabra. All were teachers,
and each served with great distinction in
various Dominican schools in Adelaide and
also in Ringwood, Victoria.
Congregation leader Sr Bernadette Kiley
said the celebration was full of joy and lots
of laughter as the speech-makers recalled
not only the courage and dedication of
Joan, Bernadette and Cathryn, but also
recounted stories from the community’s
shared past that captured the individuality
and defining characteristics of each of
“In this Year of Consecrated Life it was a
fitting celebration of three such lives so
faithfully lived,” she said.
Page 20 February 2015
Celebrating consecrated life
As Archbishop Philip Wilson launches the Year of Consecrated Life in the Adelaide Archdiocese on
February 2, The Southern Cross marks the celebration of milestones for two groups of Religious Sisters
and Jesuit priest Father Paul Gardiner. Pope Francis announced last year that 2015 would be dedicated
to the consecrated life, referring to it as a “continuous call to follow Christ and to be made like him”.
For time and eternity
Back L-R – Sisters Ilsa, Daphne, Marie and (front L-R) Margie and Helen renewed
their vows after 50 years as Sisters of Mercy.
Photo: Nat Rogers
Faithful lives shine
Vocation closely connected to St Mary MacKillop
Fr Dean Marin, Fr Peter Fountain, Archbishop Wilson, Fr Paul Gardiner and
Fr Michael Romeo at the Diamond Jubilee Mass in Penola.
Sisters Bernadette, Joan and Cathryn cut their anniversary cake after Mass in the
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