Philippines-Australia-Saipan Province

Australia: Pastorelle Sisters gather for their annual Assembly


The Pastorelle Sisters from Melbourne and Adelaide gathered for their annual Assembly at Bundoora from 23-25, 2011.



Central to the three day meeting was the sharing by Sr Rita Ruzzene and Sr Maria Veronica Gungon who is presently visiting us, of the celebration of the first phase of the 3rd Provincial Chapter held in Manila from 2-4 January 2011. This has been an historic Chapter in that for the first time it has included the participation of the Leader of the Australian communities who is also a member of the Philippines-Australia-Saipan Provincial Council. Our Provincial, Sr Brenda Balingasa, sent her best wishes and prayer for the occasion.


The Assembly was also an opportunity for Sr Doreen Bentley and Sr Estelita Mañabo to share the highlights of the Renewal Course they attended at Marymount, Castle Hill (Sydney) from September to December 2010.



Ample time was given to personal prayer as well as prayer in common. Sr Marta’s letter to the Province, “Who is my heart beating for” was the object of our reflection in our quiet time and that will continue throughout the year.

Other important matters of reflection were issues pending from the September 2010 Assembly, mainly the care of self and care of others; the implications emerging from the international seminar on the ‘Care of Souls’ for our ministry in Australia and revisiting the document ‘To become poor in order to evangelize’ in order to refer to it in our monthly retreats and community projects. Vocation ministry was another topic of discussion and a small committee was formed for further reflection and planning in collaboration with the Diocesan Vocation Committee. We also looked at dates of important coming events that concern all the Sisters and finalised our Spirituality programme for the year.


The care of self and the care of others was a theme that ran through our prayer from the opening session to the concluding session on the third day. Each Sister was symbolised by a small earthen jar which was presented to her during the final Eucharistic celebration. In an earlier session, each Sister was invited to affirm the Sisters in her community by sharing with the whole group two qualities that she admires in them, and then to name one area in which she herself hopes to grow in during the year. These were placed at the foot of the altar and handed to each community as well as the jars. It was a moment of renewed awareness of the gift of each person in our communities.




We were privileged to have two wonderful pastors celebrate the Eucharist with us; Fr. Ferruccio Romanin SJ who spent many years in Rome and is now on the parish team at St Ignatius Church, Richmond, and Fr. Vincent Le, our parish priest at Bundoora. On both occasions we shared a meal together and told many wonderful stories of grace and blessing experienced in pastoral ministry.


Eucharist with Fr Ferruccio Romanin SJ


Eucharist with Fr. Vincent Le


Sr Mary La Bruna sjbp