Closing of the Provincial Assembly
And our final Assembly Mass together as a Province
8th Setember 2020 was a busy morning for the Assembly members as they voted for the two delegates, Sister Celine Quadros and Sister Theresa Tighe, who will attend the General Assembly in the Mother House from 14th May until 6th June 2021.
The mornings of the 9th, 10th and 11th September were spent in further honing and voting on our ideas and commitments to send to the General Council. These will be synthesised, along with the ideas from all the other provinces, to create a Working Document for the General Assembly. At the end of the GA , an Inter Assembly Document or plan is crafted which will shape our lives and action for the following 6 years.
The 12th September was a day to remember, as it brought to a close our Provincial Assembly. The Sisters from the whole of the Rosalie Rendu Province in Great Britain and Australia, (plus two Sisters currently located - one in Ireland and the other in Nigeria), united as one by participating through the medium of ZOOM. The atmosphere was electric. All our plans for our Provincial Assembly had been disrupted by the COVID -19 pandemic, and Zoom was the PLAN C that came to pass. This meant that the Assembly had to be preceded by two weeks of intense Zoom training as Sisters grappled with audio, video, screen sharing, white boards, chat, Break Out Rooms and links to Survey Monkey. It was a steep learning curve and the Sisters coped magnificently!
The Closing of the Assembly saw the witnessing, by all, of the Acts of the Assemby. Votes of thanks were also given to our facilitators - Cora, Ruth and Karon, who were brilliant, as well as to Fathers Paul and Phil, our Vincentian Directors; not forgetting the Council, the Provincial House Community, plus Riana, Bronte and the Social Communications Team who kept the technology up and running. The biggest thanks of all went to our Provincial, Sr Ellen Flynn, whose vision carried the whole process.
Throughout the Assembly a tree of light was part of the Prayer Corner in the Hub and during the prayer of each day, the name of a Sister was called out and her photo "bauble" was hung from the tree. As we closed the Assembly, the tree was a shimmering collection of all the Sisters in the Province - who had prayed daily to the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us.
Once the Assembly had been formally closed and Assembly Candle extinguished, we moved into our final Eucharist with Fr Paul Roche CM as the main celebrant, with Fr Phil Robson CM, some 10,553 miles away in Sydney, proclaiming the Gospel and giving us a final blessing. After the singing of our final hymn we watched a PowerPoint Collage of Photos taken by Sisters in their local communities throughout the Assembly. WOW and DEO GRATIAS! All that remained was to say THANKS and FAREWELL and move to the dining room for a celebratory meal.