7 May 2020 | View in Browser
Thank you

Dear Colleagues and Friends

Thank you for all you are contributing, for your patience, for your creativity and for all that you are enduring.

Just a few months ago we were absorbed by the black summer fires which burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people. An estimated one billion animals were also killed.

Many of you were at the forefront as volunteers doing all that could be done to accompany those who lost everything. Others were dealing with the health impacts in our hospitals, aged care homes, and in the homes of people who entrust us with their community care.

Now, we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic which engulfs the entire world.

None of us expected to see disease of this magnitude ravage our world, our communities and our lives on such a scale in such a short period of time. None of us envisaged so many deaths, the millions of our compatriots without a job, industries and enterprise shut down and lifestyles disrupted.

This may be the first time in our lives that we have felt so little control over our own destiny and the destinies of those we love.

Our vocation is to heal the sick, to care for the dying, to care for each other and, in all these ways, to be for others. This is our purpose and our mission – to serve in more normal times and in such times as these.

In doing this we draw on 134 years’ experience.  The Sisters and their companions left us a rich heritage to guide and console us.

The photo which begins this message shows, on left, St Roch’s cottage (behind Lewisham Hospital), which was used to isolate patients during the Spanish Flu epidemic. The Sisters named the Cottage after St Roch, the thirteenth century patron saint for protection against Plague, at a time when the Spanish ’flu was raging and killed more people than had died in World War One.

The story of St Roch’s Cottage in the grounds of the former Calvary Hospital is a consoling light.

As the Sisters served then, so each of us serves now.

We draw on their experience and fashion heritage for another time – when people may look to us as a guiding light in their time of trouble.

We pray in gratitude for your gifts of care and we pray for your well-being.

Thank you for all you are enduring and for all you are doing.