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Over 400 people packed Sacred Heart Church, Addington, Christchurch, New Zealand for the jubilee celebration on Saturday 7 January. We marked 450 years of RNDM missionary life. Sister Barbara Hurley celebrated 70 years, Sister Margarite Elliott and Sister Mary Peter Hoban both celebrated 60 years of profession. Cynthia Kearney, Maria Josef Park, Dorothy Dickson and Leone McIndoe celebrated 50 years of life as RNDMs. We also remembered Marie Andre McDonald who celebrated 60 years of Profession but was not able to be with her companions that day.
On Friday evening before the main celebration the sisters gathered for vigil prayer of blessings for the jubilarians followed by a meal. We prayed in thanks, lighting three candles recalling our Trinitarian spirit, lighting a candle for each jubilarian and anointing each one while asking blessings on their lives.
Fr Paulo Filoiali’i, the Samoan Chaplain, was the main celebrant and Fr Anton McLean preached the homily, speaking personally to each of the sisters. The Samoan Choir sang Barbara’s favourite hymn, “How Great Thy Art” as we left the church in recognition of her wonderful work with the Samoan community over many years.