MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT THE MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY
CONVENT, FITZROY,ON TUESDAY, 25TH MARCH 2014 AT 9.00
dear Sisters and Brothers,
Today we remember that the Solemnity
of the Annunciation celebrates the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin
Mary, announcing that Mary has been chosen to be the Mother of the Lord. Her willing acceptance of God’s plan, which
we see in reflection with all its uncertainties and complications borne with
firm faith, spells out for us the total openness of Our Lady to the plan that
God had for her and to being the woman by whom the Saviour is brought to us.
This same invitation given by Gabriel
to Mary is given above all to the consecrated religious, who in humility and
unworthiness accepts God’s plan for her to be the one who would bring the
thirst and love and knowledge of the Lord to the people of her time.
Sister Fidelis made her 1st Profession
of Vows in Calcutta in April 1964. In
1970 she came from India with Mother Teresa to the newly-established convent in
Melbourne. Sister Fidelis, apart from
brief visits to her family, has been in Australia ever since. She has served Jesus in the poor here in
Melbourne, as well as Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek in the Northern
Territory, and for many years at outback Bourke and Dareton in New South
Wales. For some years she ran the Soup
Kitchen here in Fitzroy and is presently a member of the Missionaries of
Charity community in Fitzroy.
The particular vocation of the
Missionary of Charity is to see the face of Christ shining strongly in the poor
and through a deep union with Christ in prayer, responding to his thirst for
love, to be the instrument of love in the world of our time.
I have always admired the capacity of
Our Lord to enlarge the soul and make us ready and gifted for love. In a world which is filled with hatred and
contradiction, selfishness, anger and revenge, we see Mary’s openness to be
like putty in the hands of the Lord, to be shaped and formed by him, to be an
instrument of bringing the world to his destiny, is the great mystery of
The vocation to prayer, to love and to
witness carried forward with faith and generosity for so many years is a source
of great blessing to the Church and to the world.
We, as friends, are united with Sister
in thanking God that she has been the handmaid of the Lord, has been faithful
to the commitment that she has made and that she has entered into the mystery
of transformation which comes from Jesus Christ, abandoning herself to love and
We, as the Church, thank God for
Sister Mary Fidelis and for her life, for the grace which she has been given
and for the public witness of her consecration, which has been shared in a
number of different cities and parts of the world.
Above all, religious life invites us
to share in the mystery of Christian rebirth and to be confident and sure that
when we abandon ourselves to the Lord he will bear us up no matter what trials
and challenges, difficulties and struggles we may have.
Sister, we offer our prayers and
congratulations; thank you for your love and self-giving. May Jesus live in your heart and our hearts
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.