In our previous post on the anniversary of the birth of Marie Madeleine d’Houët, I mentioned that I proceeded to join the FCJ Sisters at their newest community in Epping North, but had to leave due to a family situation. What I had omitted to say was that what I did see from the car across the street was an array of colour through the windows of the Farmhouse. An intimate community had gathered for Mass, with the light of the near-setting sun washing through the glass.
Supplementing this transient comment is something more substantial, offered in the few lines by Sr Margaret Claver Hayes FCJ (Epping North). It is with thanks and delight that I share the following:
Our Foundress, Marie Madeleine d’Houët, born on 21st September 1781, a few years before the French Revolution, grew up in turbulent times, not too unlike what we watch on our TV each night. Her vision has motivated and captured the spiritual imagination of countless people over five continents for over a hundred and ninety years. As a wife, mother, grandmother as well as a religious, she really is a woman for our time, too.
So we were especially grateful to be able to share something of our FCJ Foundress’ life on the actual day of Marie Madeleine’s birthday, the 21st of September at the Farmhouse in Epping North with Fr. Maurie Cooney our Parish Priest and some of our parishioners after 5.30 Eucharist, where the many families and different cultures of Epping North gather each week at our lovely Sacred Space at St Mary of the Cross MacKillop School.
Sr Margaret Claver is active on various administrative councils within the FCJ community as well as a member of the outreach team at the Campion Centre for Ignatian Spirituality in Kew, Victoria. Alongside her, are Sr Margaret Maher FCJ (who recently celebrated her 50th anniversary as a Faithful Companion of Jesus) and Sr Ann Connolly FCJ, who make up the community in Epping North, Victoria.
Thank you, Sisters, for welcoming us so warmly into your community and home. And thank you for sharing the spirit of Marie Madeleine in your various ministries.