Sister Nancy to leave Diocese after three years of service.
It was 2014 when Bishop Gregory O’Kelly SJ, reached out to the Congregation of the Society of Sisters of St Anne, Madras (ssam), India, specifically asking them to join us in Australia to work for the welfare of the Aboriginal community. The congregation responded by sending two of their finest.
And so it began, on October 21, 2014 the first two Sisters arrived in Port Augusta.
By 2019, Sisters Elizabeth Royan and Nancy Ulahannan had joined their counterparts in Australia where their congregation of two became a congregation of four and were now ministering in both Port Augusta and Ceduna, which is where Srs Nancy and Elizabeth resided.
January 16, 2022 was however, tinged with some sadness and a deep sense of gratitude as the Our Lady, Star of the Sea faith community at Ceduna farewelled Sisters Nancy and Elizabeth who have lived and ministered amongst us these past three years.
Like St Mary of the Cross and the Irish missionary priests and the religious whose presence in our Diocese is imbedded in the story of the Port Pirie Church, Sister Nancy and Elizabeth have come from far away to serve in one of the most remote communities in our Diocese and nation.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated in Our Lady, Star of the Sea Church to mark the Sisters’ departure followed by a COVID-safe Pizza Tea in the Church grounds. Shirley Mahar and Vijesh Mathew spoke with gratitude, on behalf of our Parish Family, for the vibrant presence and ministry of Sister Nancy and Sister Elizabeth. A presentation was made to thank them for all they have given to our community.
As they prepare to begin new chapters in their religious lives (Sister Nancy in India and Sister Elizabeth in Port Augusta) may they be blessed by our Lord, protected by our Blessed Mother and supported by the prayers of our faith communities and the prayerful intercession of their Patron, St. Anne.
Parish Priest, Fr Steve Ardill had these words to say; “On behalf of our diocese, I would like to express sincere thanks to Sisters Nancy and Elizabeth for their wholehearted commitment in supporting, not only Catholics, but the wider community in Ceduna.”
“Your presence in this community could be compared to the story of the Good Samaritan – after noticing the need you have responded with your commitment to people in need, fulfilling the mission of your Congregation, given to you by your Foundress Thatipathri Gnanamma.”
“You have fulfilled your mission by working with Centacare, the Early Learning Centre, the Health and Aged Care Community and through your wholehearted commitment to the Church community in Ceduna.”
“Expressing sincere thanks on behalf of our diocese, as you are ending your commitment in Ceduna, I would like also to wish you and your Congregation God’s many blessings.”
“Sr Nancy – may God’s blessing be upon you on your journey back to your home country to continue your ministry to the people in need to whom God calls you.”
“Sr Elizabeth – thanking you for your ministry in Ceduna I ask for God’s blessing upon you and your community in Port Augusta.”
Bishop Karol said “May your personal gifts and talents be use for the service of God and his people. Entrust yourselves and your future ministry to Jesus and His Mother. This way God can work in you and with you for the salvation of his people.”
“Thank you again and may God bless you.”