The Power of Togetherness - A reflection on Tertianship Immersion in Brisbane & Sydney
Written by three Indonesian Ursuline Sisters as part of their Tertianship Immersion to develop their English."I entreat you to be willing first of all to recognize what such a thing implies and what a new and astonishing dignity it is." (Prologue 8; St Angela's Rule)
On 12 April 2018, we arrived in Brisbane city. It was a lovely experience. We were picked up by Sr Mel and Sr Gabriel in the airport. Even though we had never met each other we could recognize each other easily because of Saint Angela’s spirit alive with us.
It’s amazing that the city is so clean, green and full of friendly people. We were grateful and admirable for the chance as Ursulines of the Roman Union. At the same time, we could improve our English language skills and learn by experience through community life in the Sunshine Coast community.
The Sunshine Coast communitiy welcomed us with a loving heart and directed us to take an English course at Griffith University (GELI). During the English course, we worked to develop our English skill in various ways. At GELI we met many students from other countries. It was helpful having time to study together. The teachers and staff considered the students' needs in all learning sections. In addition, we also learned both the education and teaching methods from the teachers during the learning process. The experience of being international students with different languages and cultures challenged us to be respectful to one another. Another experience that really built us up during the course was to practise very good habits of expressing greetings, asking about the situation even though we do not know each other. These are some of the most important values there are in having respect for each other.
Furthermore, living in Brisbane led us to know more deeply the Ursuline mission in proclaiming the faithfulness of God through pastoral ministry. It is truly that times are constantly changing but the spirit of the Ursulines in Australia is fully alive and active. They continue to renew themselves in openness to share the Spirit of the Gospel. Encountering Jesus through the spirit of Saint Angela leads them to new life and happiness. Although they do not live in a large community, they are always joyful and organize their lives really well. They have a commitment to have time for monthly meetings and prayers. We are grateful to have shared this with the sisters. We are absolutely more convinced by Angela's words..."That you strive with all your might to remain as you are called by God, and to seek and desire all the ways and means necessary to persevere and make progress to the very end" (Prologue 9,10; St Angela's Rule)
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Provincial of Australia and our beloved Ursuline Sisters in Brisbane for their support, love and kindness. Special thanks for the planning of the whole program which ran very well during the time we lived in Brisbane. Last but not least, thank you to the Sunshine Coast Community who have shown us God’s love and mercy. It was really very meaningful and enriching for us. We have experienced this time as a blessing for us all and together we are community. We are called to show God’s love and mercy because mercy was first shown to us.
We then travelled to Sydney for a very short time. The words which catch the experience of our presence of your communities in Sydney are: "Let Your Light Shine". We are inspired by your witness and hopefully we can do the same for every person we meet and serve. A special thanks to Carmele Nicolosi who guided us around the city of Sydney.
SOLI DEO GLORIA, May God Bless us all !
With love and prayer
Mery, Lena and Betty.