By Josh Low
Love as ‘not simply words or mere talk, but something living and active’ was the focus of Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton at the home of the Little Sisters of the Poor on 19 October.
The Little Sisters of the Poor last week celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the birth of their foundress, Saint Jeanne Jugan and the laying of the foundation stone of their new home in Glendalough, blessed by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton.
In his homily for the occasion, Bishop Sproxton praised the life of St Jeanne Jugan and the work of the Sisters today in caring for the elderly.
“When people see us; when they observe the things we do; when they see this love of Christ operating in us, that’s when our words then receive a truth,” Bishop Sproxton said.
“The offering of our soul, of our heart and of our desires to serve and to respond to the needs of the hungry and the poor is a way of summarising and enabling us to understand much more clearly, the inspiration behind St Jeanne’s life and her mission, and what she has given to the Church consequently,” he said.
“We see these amazing qualities within this person, the foundress of the Little Sisters and in the charism that they continue to carry today, and it is something we thank God for,” he said.
The Little Sisters, who have been caring for the elderly in Perth since 1920, were visited from France by their Mother General, Maria del Monte Auxiliadora and her assistant, Sister Joseph Christine for the celebrations, which included the addition of a ‘time capsule’ to the foundations of the new building.
Mother Superior of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Perth, Sister Marie Bernard explained that the Sisters hoped to reflect the face of Christ in the world by continuing the mission and work of St Jeanne Jugan.
“Our charism involves looking after the elderly people who are financially struggling and to walk with them on their journey until their death.
“What attracted most of us to this vocation was to serve by caring for the elderly and to uphold the dignity of those coming to the end of their life, ensuring they are respected all the way until their natural death,” she said.
“There are many people in our city who are in need of our help, so our hope for the future for the Little Sisters is to be able to stay on here as long as God wills. There’s a lot to do and there is always work to be done in service of others.
“We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in helping us to continue the charism of St Jeanne Jugan,” she concluded.