Three ‘retired’ sisters live in the Holy Faith Community in Downey, California. Retired means just that they have passed the age of sixty five but in this week when we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is safe to say that a woman’s (sister’s) work is never done! The sisters live in community, have daily prayer in their chapel and attend Mass in the parish or in the parish where they minister which is what our Foundress, Margaret Aylward, wanted for her sisters.
One sister has recently retired as principal of a primary school. This year she volunteers every day in a neighbouring school to help children improve their literacy skills. One of the inspiring quotes for International Woman’s Day came from Mahala, the teenager who was shot for attending school in Pakistan. She said that the terrorists have shown what they really fear – a girl with a book. Improving the literacy of all students – girls and boys – is a great contribution to a peaceful and democratic society. Another sister tutors people for citizenship classes, and what a wonderful privilege it is to help people gain citizenship in the country in which they live so that they may participate fully in civic life and ensure a better future for their children.
Two sisters are volunteer catechists in the parish CCD program which is directed by another Holy Faith sister from a different convent and one has special care of a ninety-year old sister in an aged care facility. All participate in the life of the parish through adult faith groups, care for the poor, and liturgy. They are involved with the groups known as Holy Faith Associates. A full life in the service of others!
The images are of the tabernacle and window panel in the chapel and the beautiful jacaranda tree outside the house.