Home' The Southern Cross : February 2016 Contents Page 10 February 2016
Every fortnight for the past two years a
group of 12 women have gathered at Holy
Cross Church in Goodwood to knit for the
They say they’re close to reaching their
1000th woollen garment or blanket.
“You name it, we knit it,” says 89-year-old
Kingswood parishioner Geraldine Curry
started the ‘Knitting for the Needy’ group
Women from across the Emmaus parish,
which includes Kingswood, Goodwood
and Clarence Gardens parishes,
responded to her call and hundreds and
hundreds of hats, scarves, beanies, baby
clothing and blankets have been knitted
Geraldine says the group’s knitted wares
have been donated to the St Vincent de
Paul Society, the Adelaide Day Centre,
the Noarlunga Parish, the Refugee
Association, parish families in need, and
the Women’s and Children’s hospital (for
Last year they knitted baby blankets and
clothes for asylum seekers at the now
closed Inverbrackie detention facility in the
Adelaide Hills and scarves for orphans in
“At the moment our biggest need is
blankets for women affected by domestic
violence and for homeless people sleeping
in their cars,” says Sue Brooks.
The wool is predominantly donated by the
women, however op shops and generous
parishioners, friends and family have also
offered balls of yarn to help out.
“We all pitch in a bit,” says Sue.
Family and friends of the knitting group
have also begun to knit for the poor and
Some of the knitting group members are
cousins, others have known each other
as former school mums, and some have
even been boarders together in secondary
Geraldine says the idea of a knitting group
had been part of her retirement plan in a
bid to create a greater sense of fellowship
within the parish.
“I decided that my goal after retirement
was to knit and sew for the poor.”
So she contacted Sue (the pair were
boarders at Mercedes College from 1961).
Despite having very few knitting skills, Sue
agreed to help out. She says she’s rarely
missed a knitting session.
While the women are happy their
handiwork is helping others, they say the
pastime is serving them well too.
“I’m a heart patient and I find it quite
therapeutic to sit quietly and do some
knitting,” says Mary.
“If I don’t knit, I’ll have withdrawal
symptoms," says Josie Verrusio. A
long-time sufferer of arthritis, Josie says
knitting has alleviated much of her pain
to the point that she no longer requires
She says the women have also learnt new
knitting and sewing skills from each other.
“Even though some of us have been
knitters all our lives we are still learning.”
Anyone wanting to donate wool to
the group can leave their donations
on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the
parish office located behind the Holy
Cross Church, 31 Angus St, Goodwood.
Anyone interested in joining the knitting
group can contact Geraldine Curry on
The Otherway Centre’s St Martin de Porres
Chapel received an early Christmas gift recently
after statues of Our Lord and Our Lady were
donated by Adelaide parishioner Teresa Hartley.
Teresa, a member of the Order of Consecrated
Virgins, has been involved with the Aboriginal
Catholic Ministry (ACM) for the past decade and
thought the chapel – built more than five years
ago – was in need of religious icons.
“It is with great pleasure and ongoing prayer
that I donate these statues to a beautiful
community who deserves support for their efforts
in assisting their own and others in a history of
circumstances that has been tainted with tragedy
and injustice and has never been easy,” said
She was praying in the chapel when the need for
the statues “gently” came to her.
“The St Martin de Porres Chapel, while beautiful
in itself, seemed to be missing something,” she
said. “The statues of Our Lady and Our Lord
were needed to complete it.”
The Otherway Centre’s June Romeo said: “We
are very, very grateful for the beautiful statues
that have been given to us.”
Teresa has been a volunteer at the Otherway
Centre since it was located in Pirie St.
Her compassion for Indigenous Australians
comes from gaining early insight to Aboriginal
life as a child during family road trips throughout
remote Australia in the 1960s.
In 1983, Teresa worked as a registered nurse
in an Alice Springs child health unit where she
helped Indigenous mothers and their children,
many of whom had come from the remote
communities of the Northern Territory and South
She also visited the Santa Teresa Catholic
Mission, about 85kms south east of Alice
“I learnt a lot during my Alice Springs
experiences and continued to reflect and pray for
Aboriginal Australia,” said Teresa.
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Teresa continued
to take regular trips across outback Australia
witnessing the many pressing needs confronting
Indigenous people. “I felt that prayer was the
best way I could contribute to a situation which
was deep, wide and complex.”
In the 2000s, Teresa began volunteering with
St Vincent de Paul and the Otherway Centre and
also began discerning a consecrated life.
In 2007, she was consecrated into the Order of
Consecrated Virgins by Adelaide Archbishop
The international order is a group of about 5000
individual women who have never married and
live in chastity in the service of the Church.
Teresa prays the Office of Readings every
day and attends daily Mass at St Francis
Xavier’s Cathedral where she is a reader and
extraordinary minister. She supports herself as a
When she’s not nursing, she is at the Otherway
Centre supporting staff and clients or helping out
in the kitchen of the Vincentian Centre, a men’s
shelter run by Vinnies in Whitmore Square.
Fr James McEvoy is the chaplain to the ACM.
Mass is held at the Otherway Centre in the
St Martin de Porres Chapel on Sundays at 11am.
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often go unnoticed but make a big difference to people’s lives and to the community.
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To be invited into a family circle at such a time
is a privilege and a trust without equal.
Nothing matters at such a time,
but the wishes of those we serve.
Stitching more than time together
By Rebecca DiGirolamo
An early Christmas gift
GENEROUS SPIRIT: Teresa Hartley in the Otherway Centre’s St Martin
de Porres Chapel with one of the two statues she donated.
KNITTERS WITH HEART: Emmaus parish’s ‘Knitting for the Needy’ group are: (L-R
front) Sue Brooks and Geraldine Curry, and (L-R rear) Anne Russo, Josie Alfonsi,
Josie Verrusio, Mary Young, Margaret Harvey and Kris Boyle. Absent: Taisella
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