AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE with the Missionary Sisters of Service
Around the Kitchen Table with the Missionary Sisters of Service by Penelope Edman (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
Around the Kitchen Table with the Missionary Sisters of Service is a portrait of the spirit and the heart of this Tasmanian-bred (Launceston 1944) and Australian-grown congregation of religious women.
In 2008, I wrote, in part, in the author’s note for this book:
… I began to realise that they are special women in a changing and often difficult Church… Their welcome and openness to my being there (2004 Chapter, 2007 mid-term Assembly) was quite extraordinary. Their generosity of spirit was embracing…
There are two “unholy” characteristics that mark the Missionary Sisters of Service regardless of whether they together as a congregation or in a smaller group. As soon as two or three of them come together, they tell their stories – they remember – and they laugh – they laugh a lot.
Around the Kitchen Table emerged effortlessly as the title for this book: the kitchen’s centrality; the place where the rural day begins and often ends, especially for the woman of the house; the place of nurture and warmth. And the hub of the kitchen is the table: the heart of informality and hospitality and a symbol of service. Even today there is a natural gravity towards the table, often at kitchen table, when the Sisters minister, visit socially or gather as a congregation. And as Catholic women, the call of their mission spirituality, indeed their lives, is nourished at the tables of the Eucharist and the Word.
My fledgling relationship with the Missionary Sisters of Service has blossom into one grounded in great admiration and esteem for these women who remain as visionary as their Founder, going into the highways and byways of this last country to meet the needs of the people. They are ordinary women Live our birthday in about four God in ordinary lives that with extra ordinary perfect. May you be as inspired and enthused by them as I am.
More than 10 years later, nothing has changed.
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