Sisters from the first religious institute founded in Australia, known affectionately as the Good Sams, recently celebrated 25, 50, 60 and 70 years of religious life.
About 90 Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict gathered at St Scholastica’s in Glebe on Saturday 9 December to renew their religious vows.
The Sisters came together again the following day for Mass celebrated by Bishop Anthony Randazzo at the Mount St Benedict Centre in Pennant Hills.
Sr Mary Joy Edwards SGS was celebrating 70 years of religious life. Another ten sisters were celebrating 60 years of religious profession, eight were celebrating 50 years and one sister, 25 years of religious life.
Also present was Sr Hiro Kageyama SGS, the order’s first sister from Japan, who took her religious vows 60 years ago. Sr Hiro travelled all the way from the Philippines for the anniversary celebrations.
Bishop Randazzo told the Sisters that if they added together each Sister’s time in religious life, the total of nearly 1100 years would stretch all the way back to the time of St Benedict.
Sr Elizabeth Delaney SGS, who is Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life in the Sydney Archdiocese, said the weekend with her fellow sisters was “wonderful”. In particular, she said, “receiving the affirmation and the congratulations of all the sisters” made the occasion very special.
Hearing Sr Mary Joy Edwards quote co-founder of their order, Mother Scholastica, in her address to the Sisters was also very moving, Sr Delaney said.
“It was lovely to have that reminder.”
The Good Sams were founded in 1857 by Archbishop Polding, the first Archbishop of Sydney. The Sisters are primarily devoted to education and care of the sick. They follow the Rule of St Benedict.