Letter from Australia
Dear Sister Theresians,
Greetings from Down Under! It is my turn to write to you from Sunraysia Theresians in Australia!
Our Sunraysia Theresians met up for our monthly meeting last week at the home of Theresian Frances. We are very blessed that Frances leads our group, and we love sharing her home with her and her very quirky cat. He’s not that keen that we take up his mum’s time and is often very vocal about it. He sometimes even plonks himself in the middle of the table to ensure he is noticed.
Val led us in prayer as we focused on “Community,” one of the Theresians Five Dimensions. We reflected on the qualities that we admire, respect, and cherish in our own community.
As our planned speaker was unavailable, it was fitting with our theme of Community to hear from Frances about her migration to Australia as a child from her homeland – Scotland, and of her faith journey along the way. Frances came to Australia by boat at a time when the Australia government was encouraging Europeans to migrate to our beautiful country and help increase our workforce. The travel cost of ten pounds under the assisted passage program saw many take up the offer and migrant hostels were set up to house our “new Australians” until they moved into the community.
In Scotland, Frances had attended the Church of Scotland and enjoyed the social side of attending services. In Australia, she attended several different denominational churches before she met her soon to be husband, Karl, who was a Catholic. Frances’ family was concerned that she might become a Catholic – which was quite normal during those times when even Christian churches were not inclusive. (Thankfully those days are a thing of the past here in Australia).
There was no expectation that Frances convert to Catholicism but it was something she chose to do just before her marriage. She has had a very interesting journey from a young girl in chilly Scotland, to living in the city in Melbourne, to marrying Karl Sabo (whose family had come from Yugoslavia) and living and working on a dried fruit property in the Mallee, one of the hottest parts of Northwest Victoria. Frances’ husband passed away in 2015 and she continues to be a great support for her son Paul who has significant injuries as the result of a severe car accident which happened over 30 years ago.
It was lovely to listen to the life journeys of our sister Theresian and we are very grateful to be a small part of it!
Sending all our love from your Aussie Theresian sisters!