Sister Inacia Mafalda, a Carmelite Sister, arrived in Sydney in October 2016 as a guest of ATLAS. The primary purpose of her visit was to attend and speak at the Timor Time 2016 Luncheon as well as to make contact with friends and supporters. While in Sydney, Sister stayed with the Josephite Community at Lakemba and, during her stay, visited a number of organisations, schools and parish groups who support the Carmelite Orphanage at Maubara.
She visited St Joseph’s Parish, Moorebank and spoke at all parish Masses, receiving a big welcome from Father Graham McIntyre and parishioners. After the morning Mass on Sunday, Chris Scharf took her to the Blue Mountains where she had the pleasure of meeting the Three Sisters! Chris provided much of the transport during the visit, making everything easy and pleasant.
Sister gave great joy to Father António Alves when she visited him in the Scalabrini Village at Chipping Norton He was delighted to meet her and share some news from his home country.
On 11 October Inacia travelled to Canberra with Susan Connelly to attend the launch of the video “Time to Draw the Line” which took place at Parliament House. She stayed with Sister Joan Westblade and met with other Canberra friends and supporters.
Sister Inacia, Mrs Rayella Haines and Sister Josephine Mitchell attended Mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, where hundreds of Secondary School students from the Diocese of Parramatta were celebrating Mission week. There was a lot of interest from students and teachers and many took the opportunity to meet and chat with Sister about the care and education of the children at the orphanage. Sister attended and spoke at ATLAS luncheon, Timor Time. She visited a medical clinic and TB clinic with Ms Jenny Shepherd, and had the opportunity to visit St Mary MacKillop’s shrine in North Sydney.
On Tuesday 18th October ATLAS members with Sister Inacia and Vitál de Jesus spent a wonderful day of relaxation together. We travelled by River Cat down the Parramatta River to Circular Quay, spent almost an hour walking the harbour foreshores and viewing the mighty Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We then boarded a ferry for Watson’s Bay where we enjoyed lunch and conversation. The weather was perfect and it was a joy to share the day with our two Timorese visitors.
Another special day was spent on the Wednesday with school children, at Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School, St Marys. St Mary MacKillop began the School at St Marys in 1880 so they have a very special claim on her. The school has supported the people and children of East Timor for many years and we were assured by the Principal and REC that they would continue to give their support to the orphanage. Inacia also gathered with a small group of friends & supporters at St Marys, and later had a lovely time with a craft group, ladies who have supported the Orphanage for years.
Sister visited Mount St Joseph Secondary School Milperra, meeting with the class leaders and thanking them for their generous donation towards the education of the senior girls at Fatuhada. The students were very interested and asked good questions.
She then met with Ms Trish Amichi who gathers artwork from children all round the world and concentrates on the links between art, literacy and human development. As previously arranged, Sister Inacia brought with her 12 pieces of art done by the orphanage children.
Sisters Josephine and Inacia visited the Bowral Parish and joined parishioners for morning tea after 9 a.m. Mass. Inacia was welcomed with open arms and the people were pleased to hear what she had to say about the care and education of the children. The Parish has supported the orphanage for many years and Sister was able to thank donors in person.
It was a delight to have Sister with us. She was, in all respects, a wonderful ambassador for her country and a committed advocate for the children in the Sisters’ care. As Sister Inacia would say “We give thanks”!
Compiled by Josephine Mitchell
25 October 2016