Philippine – Australia – Saipan Province



01-15 NOVEMBER 2009


The experience of the Canonical Visit made by Sr. Arsenia Estrada on behalf of the General Government from 01 to 15 November 2009 is still fresh in our minds and hearts. The communities of Bundoora, Thomastown (Victoria) and Payneham (South Australia) gathered together for a three day Assembly during which we reflected  on the theme chosen for the visit:


The encounter with Christ renews our pastoral care”, as well as delighting in the contemplation of the icon of the blind man, Bartimaeus  from Mark’s Gospel 10:46-52.
We were honoured to have the opening Eucharistic celebration in our chapel with Archbishop Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, as the principal celebrant



During this time we were also blessed to have with us Sr. Marita Siochi, Provincial of the Philippine-Australia-Saipan Province who presented the Acts from the Interchapter that was held in San Miguel, Buenos Aires, Argentina from 15-28 June 2009.



Before and after the Assembly, Sr. Arsenia and Sr. Marita visited each community and dedicated time to meeting the Sisters individually and as a community taking the opportunity to reflect together on the proposed topic “To Live Reconciled Relationships”. 



The visit to the parish priests and lay leaders with whom we cooperate in our ministry of pastoral care was very much appreciated by both the Sisters and the hosts. Meeting with benefactors, Pauline Cooperators and friends was also a highlight of the two weeks, as was also the participation of Sr. Arsenia and Sr. Marita in the one day workshop organised by the Intercongregational Group “Small is Beautiful” on Embracing Diversity and Cross-Cultural Sensitivity.



Throughout the visit, we made sure that our two special visitors had opportunities to relax and to see and enjoy the beauty of our country. And we also had the joy of celebrating Sr. Arsenia’s 6oth birthday together.


In the opening session of the first day of Assembly, having just prior renewed our Baptismal promises, Sr.  Arsenia reminded us that in the spirit of our Rule of Life, “the visit is to be considered as a period of spiritual renewal, reflection in common, sisterly dialogue and evaluation, with the objective of strengthening the unity among us, to deepen the pastoral vocation and to encourage personal and community responsibility in view of the apostolate and of our presence in the local Church” (n.129) and in the socio-cultural reality.



We are indeed grateful to God and to Sr. Arsenia and Sr. Marita for the generous way in which we were led to do all of these, with the encouraging outcome that we can look to the future with hope, placing our complete trust in Jesus the Good Shepherd who makes his voice heard in our hearts, just as he did in Fr. Alberione’s heart: “Do not be afraid. I am with you. From here I want to enlighten you. Have sorrow for your sins”.


Sr. Mary La Bruna