Here it is, Holy Saturday night and the Sisters are busy preparing the Convent for the celebration of Easter Sunday. They are doing flowers for the Chapel and greenery and lights for the refectory, where we will celebrate our “Gaudeamus”, or party after the Vigil and Midnight Mass. There have also been singing practices and much cleaning. We are nearly ready.
After Easter we have two weeks’ holiday. Because of the lateness of Easter this year our May holidays have been joined to our Easter Break. Easter Monday is also Anzac Day, so we are getting all our holidays rolled into one.
It has been a good term at St Dominic’s College and Convent. Sister Mary Madeleine has been Head of the School and she has helped the girls, already very good, to shape up their efforts even more. The emphasis this term has been on wearing their uniform and hair properly and on playing together at lunch-time and leaving no-one out. They can sit in groups while they eat their lunches but then it’s everybody on her feet with bat and ball. It’s good for them.
The girls’ work is going well. One of our Seventh Formers, Nicola Bjerga, got a top place in the Latin IGCSE Examination last year and went to Auckland earlier this year to collect her award. The school also got a “Top Centre” award which we’ve been able to add to the ones from previous years on the staff-room wall.
The personnel of our convent at this stage of 2011 consists of five finally professed Sisters, three junior professed Sisters, four novices and one postulant. Late last year we received a Sister from India and we also received a Postulant this March. We have had to take the door off the chapel so that we can fit in. The door took up too much wall-space!
The trouble is, if you can call it trouble, that we have other postulants due to arrive during the year and only one more free cell. Our temporary solution to this “problem” will be to rent a little house directly over the road from the Church and Convent. It’s resourceful owner says he can make it sleep four people, which I suppose could mean sleeping in the kitchen or breakfast nook! However, this is only a short-term solution. Sister Rose is collecting money, and she is a great fundraiser, for an extension to our Convent along the York Street frontage. There are two problems with this, though. One is that we have not yet got even half the money we need to start work and the other is that other rooms will need to be enlarged too, particularly the refectory which is also pretty full.
In view of all the above, and on the advice of Bishop Fellay, I have decided that we ought to accept Father Delsorte’s invitation to make a foundation in Tynong, near Melbourne, Australia. I think it would be nice to send a group of professed Sisters there but alas that’s not to be at the moment. Because the numbers lie, and will lie, in the Novitiate, that is what will have to move. We also will take, as the plans stand this early, two professed Sisters who will do some study to complete their degrees and to do their teacher-training. The other Sisters will need to stay in Wanganui for the time being to run the school.
Of course, all this may be changed by the hand of God, but this is how it looks at the moment. Please pray for us that we do the right thing. And all the young ladies who said they would join us if we come to Australia – your time has come.