A journey to the beauty and diversity of creation at The Archer.

8 July 2014 | General Interest

 Three Sisters from the Australian leadership team joined with the four members of the Papua New Guinea leadership team for a time of reflection, formation, and enrichment. Sisters Rosella Lasi, Lorna Kawa, Jane Winobo, and Theresia Salatum made up the contingent from PNG.  Srs Pauline Robinson, Catherine White and Cecilia Prestashewsky were the Australian members of the group. The PNG Sisters all travelled from the Sepik Provinces while the Australians came from Brisbane and Woorabinda, west of Rockhampton.

The Archer is an earth centered spirituality centre which is a joint project of the Christian Brothers and the sisters of St Joseph. It sits beneath the towering Mt Archer and has magnificent views down the Stanley River Valley and across to the Glasshouse Mountains. It is a place of beauty and works to remind us of our responsibility to be careful stewards of the gifts of our earth.  Br Tony Hempenstall was our host for the time.  We enjoyed delicious evening meals each day from the catering group of St Michael's Parish in Kilcoy. 

The Sisters made good use of their time there with time set aside for prayer annd reflection; an exploration of midlife as a time of possibility and transition; some formation by Mercy Sister Margaret Endicott in planning for the congregational mandate; an input by Pam Sweeney, a guidance counsellor, on positive, non-violent communication for those in leadership; time set aside for the teams to do their own planning and meeting; as well as time for exercise and enjoyment.

The Australian Sisters first went on mission to Papua New Guinea in 1939.  After decades in schools, parishes and hospitals, they began their formation program.  The PNG Circle now consisters of only Melanesian women which is a source of great pride to the Australian Circle. We also take great pride in the fact that a number of our PNG Sisters have themselves travelled on mission to the South Sudan and Latin America. Naturally the bond between the two circles remains strong, and we always appreciate the opportunity to meet for mutual enrichment. Coincidentally, the three members of the Australian team have all spent some time on mission in PNG. Sr Cecilia who now ministers in Woorabinda, ministered in the Aitape Diocese for four decades, most of the time spent in health care.

The PNG Sisters will have a few days to visit some of the Sisters in Australia before travelling back to the warmth of their own country.