February 18, 1871 saw 10 Dominican Sisters and Bishop Moran arrive in Dunedin. February 18, 2021 saw the jubilee being celebrated quietly as the country was affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Finally from 24-27 March, 2021 fitting celebrations were held at Burns Lodge, Mosgiel. Twenty Sisters gathered from around the country, joined in spirit by those in Ireland and New Zealand Sisters who were unable to be present. Peaceful, quiet reflection time enabled us to draw together memories and hopes. Stories of Sisters throughout the 150 years were revisited; joys, sorrows, achievements and disappointments were recalled and woven onto the tapestry of our lives. The support of many, many people was gratefully noted. The shape of the church in this country has been greatly enriched by the interaction of Sisters, families, pupils, friends, benefactors and even those who challenged us from time to time.
Saturday brought us the opportunity to acknowledge this wider picture as we celebrated Mass with all who were able to attend. The Mosgiel Parish Church was crowded with many friends covering several decades. The oldest participant was 99 years old and the youngest generation was represented by three pupils from Kavanagh College. We were also surrounded by those who were unable to attend this postponed celebration. Messages from many other groups also reminded us of the support we have had over all these years.
From the beginning there was a strong link between Bishop Moran, the first bishop of Dunedin, and the Dominican Sisters. This continuing link was represented by the presence of Bishop Michael Dooley as the principal celebrant at Mass.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . to preach the Good News to the poor. The call and mission of Jesus, and of us, was the enriching theme of the Mass. Sr Sandra’s homily encouraged, enlightened and invited us all to continue spreading the Gospel The text of her homily can be found on the website (www.dominicans.org.nz).
After Mass as we gathered for refreshments there was a chorus of “Is that Mary, or Susan, or . . . ‘ Then other voices could be heard, ‘I haven’t seen you for years.’ The large gathering was representative of the many generations of men and women, particularly from Otago and Southland, who had shared in the Dominican experience in some ways. While these people and their families live on the Dominican spirit will be alive and well.
Click the link below to download a PDF document with more photos:
Jub photos for website 1