Quality Living Groups (Abridged version)
Recently I have volunteered to be part of a Quality Living Group at Vision Australia. People who have lost significant amounts of sight are invited to come together to share their stories, explore their reactions to sight loss and gain information on how to do things differently. A staff member who has a severe vision impairment facilitates the group, supported by a peer volunteer and another sighted volunteer who opens up and provides tea and coffee, welcomes participants and generally supports the program.
I have acted in the role of peer volunteer for a group of seven clients, and we meet for six weeks on a Saturday morning.
Sharing information on eye conditions and their impact on daily living was the agenda for the first meeting. Often other members can offer solutions to problems, empowering members to move forward, to think creatively and thus to overcome much of the depression which can accompany severe disability.
It is wonderful to see the difference in participants as they begin to experience hope in their ability to live a meaningful life. These groups are a blessing for both participants and supporters.
Mary O'Shannessy fcJ
Justice and Peace
In the past few months there have been several justice issues that give us great cause for concern; the extra-judicial killing of suspected drug users and dealers (nearly 8,000 since July 2016), and the plan to restore the death penalty. Religious and some Bishops are speaking out in protest and are trying to emphasize the need to respect human rights and to honour the rule of law. In our small way we have joined in this endeavor whenever we could. We joined the “Walk for Life” which was held at 4 am on 18th February and on 25th February we took part in the Mass and celebration of EDSA Day which commemorates People Power which overthrew the Marcos Regime in 1986.
Ciony takes an active part in the JPICC – AMRSP Group. It was the FCJs turn to host the meeting on 14th March. Ciony and Afra presented a power point showing our efforts as a community to promote Justice and Peace.
FCJ Manila Community
Rubbish into useful products
Caring for the environment is a practical way in which we can and ought to work for justice. Maria, one of our novices in Myanmar, is doing just that in a creative and inventive way. Here is what she says to say about that:
I am collecting plastics which come from our rubbish and creating useful products for our community. I am also designing different products for our neighbours so that when we visit we can leave the products as gifts. While sewing is not my passion, this helps me to develop my creativity and gives me an opportunity to help save the environment. I hope that through giving away my products, I can raise awareness about recycling plastic and encourage others to care for the environment.
Maria Khaing Nyein Aye (novice fcJ)
Mass for Religious, Family and Friends
On Saturday, 4 February, Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, celebrated the annual Mass for Religious. A small choir conducted by Sr Denise Mulcahy fcJ led the singing throughout the Mass. Many religious orders of men and women were represented, including fifteen fcJs. It was well timed for our visiting members from the Generalate, Srs Claire Sykes and Trish Binchy fcj, who were able to attend before leaving to begin the visitation in Benalla. The Archbishop was very encouraging and supportive of the contribution of the religious orders to the archdiocese of Melbourne, but also asked for prayerful support as the Catholic Wrap up begins next week. This is the final stage of the Royal Commission into the abuse of children in the church’s institutions. Sr Veronica Hoey sgs gave a vote of thanks to many people at the end of Mass, and then we all made our way to the Hall for light refreshments and a chance to catch up with old friends.
Mary O’Shannessy fcJ