Australia

Australia! This Great Land of the Southern Cross opened its arms to welcome the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres on 22nd October, 1984 when Mother Lucie Ko, the Provincial of Hong Kong sent Sr. Miriam Estelle Da Luz, Sr. Mary Joseph Sze and Sr. Yolanda Chan to establish our first Australian mission in New South Wales.

We came in response to the invitation of a Franciscan priest, Rev. Fr. Paschal Chang, to start a Boarding School at Moss Vale for senior boys and girls intending to study in the universities of Australia. In year 2009, the Sisters celebrated with joy and gratitude the 25th Anniversary of their service amongst these people of great ethnic diversity whom they have come to love, cherish and appreciate.

Today, 18 Sisters from Hong Kong and 3 student Sisters from other Provinces are present in three States along the eastern coast of Australia: New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Find out where the Sisters of St Paul de Chartres live and minister internationally
 

In 1999, our first group of the Friends of St. Paul in Australia made their promise at Brisbane. Today we have 13 members. The second group of the Friends of St. Paul was formed in 2007 in Melbourne and 7 of them made their first promise in February 2009.

Though a young nation with only 222 years of history behind, Australia has developed so rapidly since World War II and especially during the last two decades that it has made an important impact on the world stage of politics, economics, religion and environment. Being graced by God through migration, Australia has also become one of the world’s most diverse nations where peoples of multicultural backgrounds and religious faiths are learning to live harmoniously together, building up and enriching the nation.

When our pioneer Sisters have arrived Australia 26 years ago, they had a limited knowledge of the Country and its People. Luckily, we were blessed with wonderful neighbours and parishioners who accepted us kindly and graciously. Most of all, Fr. Clement Hill, the Parish Priest at that time and the Dominican Sisters who resided in Moss Vale helped us a great deal in initiating us into the local community, giving us some tips on Aussie slangs, local customs and its traditional country-town social etiquette. We gradually adapted ourselves to the Australian way of life and culture. 

Today, our services in Australia have expended to include an international college, aged care, pastoral ministry, youth ministry, and vocation promotion.

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Like most of the developed countries, to accompany young people to discern their vocations to priesthood or religious life is a slow and difficult process. Indeed many are called, but few have chosen to respond to our Lord’s invitation! May be our young people in Australia have too many options and opportunities in life to distract them; may be life in Australia is too comfortable and easy, so that the need for God is minimum; but most of all, like most secular societies in the post modern world, individualism, consumerism and materialism are having very firm hold on people and dragging them away from God. To commit oneself for short-term voluntary service is appreciated and often welcomed and embraced by young men and women today, but for long-term service and life-long commitment in the gift of oneself to God is too demanding for most young people and many find it hard to decide and to embrace.

Despite our unworthiness and our society’s indifference to things divine and spiritual, God has given us our first Saint, Mary Mackillop, who was canonized last year in 2010. May she intercede for us and pray for our young people to have courage and a generous heart to respond to God’s call.


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