There is a time…
Manly, as Community House, Novitiate, Spirituality Centre with its adjoining Nagle House for our elderly sisters, has held a sacred space in the lives of our Queensland Sisters and many others who spent some time embraced by the beauty of its environment overlooking Moreton Bay. It is with a sense of gratitude and ‘right timing’ that we have had to ‘let it go’ of where we have been since 2014 because of our time in the life of our Congregation.
After much prayer and over a number of years we came to the decision that we had to relinquish the site and the ministry that has been provided there. Before the property could be offered for sale much work had to be done on the business side of things. One requirement was because of overlapping deeds, the chapel had to be demolished.
In 2013 we gathered as a group of Sisters to say farewell to this place of prayer. The ritual was very apt and it touched our hearts in such a way that we could say goodbye with gratitude for all that that part of the complex had meant to us.
Since then we have had to remove everything – and I mean everything – from the buildings. Again, this has been accomplished with a deep sense of satisfaction as we were able to share what we had with so many. It was wonderful to see the delight in the eyes of Sri Lankan Asylum seekers who could now as one said, “Have beds for their children’. The Spirituality Centre’s beds and bedding are being welcomed by these displaced people as well as those from the Multicultural Centre, a Family Support Centre where one of our Sister’s ministers and a number of families supported by the SVdP. Other articles of furniture, widow drapes, fans, pictures, kitchen ware and religious objects have been distributed to many. The local school also gained with the helping hands of the Yr 7 children.
On 9 November this year the Parish invited Sisters to join them for Eucharist and ‘cuppa’ so that they could give voice to their sense of gratitude for the presence and contribution of the Sisters over many years. The Parish has a window placed in the wall of the Church’s Blessed Sacrament chapel and it holds Presentation symobls. The plaque attached reads: Deeds not Words. In gratitude to God for the Religious Life and Ministry of the Presentation Sisters here in the parish of St John Vianney Manly. Some of the words used in the blessing were:
May the light that shines through this window be a blessing to us and remind us of your true light and the ministry of Nano Nagle and her Presentation Sisters.
Lord, keep us mindful of the innumerable treasures that have been handed to us from generations before especially today through the Presentation Sisters. Give us humility to serve as we’ve been served. May the love to which they testified in glass and stone live on in us so that, though we knew them not in our living, we may know them in our service to you. May the light that shone in them, shine through us. Amen.
The day ended with the Principal of the School saying, “Your story is now our story.”