Home' The Southern Cross : April 2015 Contents Celebrating consecrated life
April 2015 Page 17
The Year of Consecrated
Life took on special
meaning for Luisa Ege last
month when she took her
final vows as a Sister of
St Joseph in the chapel
built by Australia’s first
saint, Mary of the Cross
MacKillop. Here is an edited
version of Sr Genevieve
Ryan’s reflection given at
the celebration which was
attended by members
of Luisa’s family from the
Pacific Island of Tokelau.
Luisa’s journey to this moment of
life commitment as a Sister of St
Joseph has been unique, faith-filled
and eventful. There have been times
along the way when Luisa has had
to take a risk, leave the known
for the unknown and push into
What are the odds that Luisa, born,
baptised and raised in tiny Tokelau,
would be making her profession
What’s the probability that having
entered the Sisters of Our Lady of
Nazareth as a young woman and
served in places like Samoa and
Fiji, Luisa would move beyond the
South Pacific islands, beyond the
Tasman and arrive on the banks of
the River Murray at Murray Bridge?
In consultation with maps, apps,
and GPS we might think she need
not have taken such a roundabout
Many of us reached Josephite
territory in much simpler fashion.
For me, the journey was from 372
Magill Rd Kensington Park with the
family squeezed into Uncle Bill’s
car. It took 25 minutes.
Luisa’s call was to an unfamiliar
place. Hungry for what she really
longed for, she pretty soon met our
Sisters Maria and Michele. Marg
Daly was there too and Yvonne
Slattery and other Associates.
By mirroring the spirit of Mary
MacKillop, they nourished her with
their version of tea and scones –
food and drink for her spirit. From
them she caught the spark of the
Josephite charism and spirit.
Luisa gave me a gift, a Tokelauan
fan. It’s woven with fine yet strong
strands of leaves and fibres from
pandanus trees that grow in those
islands. The fan is simple, strong
and supple and it is a treasure to
have in our summer heat. Weaving,
a creative traditional craft of her
people serves as a good metaphor
for Luisa’s journey. On this path to
consecration of her whole life as
a Sister of St Joseph, Luisa has
woven her dream into God’s dream,
and her desire into living her vowed
life according to the charism of our
There have been strands of
desolation interwoven into her
story – no surprise, as the journey
encompasses living, dying and
rising to new life, as Jesus did.
During the past three years we have
witnessed Luisa inserting strong
threads of discernment, discovery,
decision and service into the fabric
of her Josephite life and being.
As for all of us, Luisa’s journey of
consecration began at baptism.
Religious vows do not add to
or replace Luisa’s baptismal
commitment; but they do specify
it. Religious life has an identity that
makes it different from the call of
others who wish to live the gospel
call. It is an uncommon vocation
but no more or less important than
any other vocation to live as a
JOYFUL: Sr Luisa Ege (second from right) and members of her family demonstrated their
dancing skills after her final profession as a Sister of St Joseph at Kensington last month.
The Passionist Sisters of St Paul of the Cross
celebrated the bicentenary of their foundation at
a Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on March
This followed celebrations earlier in the month at
the Glen Osmond Monastery and the Parkside
residence of five Sisters working in Adelaide as
pastoral associates and school chaplains. They
were joined at the Mass on March 22 by Sr Daria
and Sr Elena from Sydney.
The Sisters paid tribute to their foundress Maria
Maddalena Frescobaldi – a married woman and
mother born in Florence, Italy.
The community she began was built on the
charism of the passion of Jesus and the sorrows
of his mother Mary.
The community she founded began with four
young converted prostitutes on March 17, 1815.
The mission of the Sisters broadened and they
are now spread across 27 countries assisting in
parishes, pastoral life, education, hospitals, half-
way houses and orphanages.
In Adelaide, the Passionist Sisters have had a
presence here for the past 13 years.
Sr Jasmine Lawrence cp, pastoral associate
at the Kingswood/Goodwood/Colonel Light
Gardens parish cluster, said Maria Maddalena’s
values of respect for all, God’s unconditional love
and forgiveness beyond measure remained an
inspiration to her.
“She was a very wise woman who remained
faithful to her vocation as wife and mother and
was able to balance married and family life with
her work with the fallen women and live her life to
the full,” she said.
“What really fascinated me (about the Order)
was that the first Sisters of the congregation
were prostitutes and the rule was not to talk
about their past lives because Maria Maddalena
wanted all the young women to start off on an
Adelaide Archdiocese networking breakfast
Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
Adelaide Oval (Ian McLachlan Room)
Friday April 24, 2015, 7.30am-9am
Cost: $65 p/h
Contact: Mary Coombe on 8210 8117
to purchase a ticket or to
book a table of 10.
Passionist nuns celebrate 200 years
BICENTERNARY: Passionist Sisters of St Paul of the Cross from Adelaide and Sydney with
seminarians and religious from St Paul’s Monastery, in Glen Osmond. Photo: Ben Macmahon
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