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The Southern Cross : April 2012
Page 16 April 2012 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross | news The last Josephite Sister to reside in Port Lincoln has left behind a 138-year-old legacy of education and pastoral care initiated by the pioneering sisters of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Sister Joan Barry rsj, who turns 90 later this month, has been living in Port Lincoln for nearly two decades, initially to run the St Joseph's School boarding house for a short period of time before acting as a pastoral support worker for the school and assisting the sick, elderly and homeless in the port-side regional city. The Sisters of St Joseph have served the Port Lincoln community from 1874, when they set up St Joseph's School, to 1886 and from 1926 to 2011, following Sr Joan's retirement on December 30. "I keep thanking God I was there so long," says Sr Joan, who is living in Adelaide close to her younger sister Sr Eunice rsj. Since 2010, she was the sole Josephite living in Port Lincoln. Sr Joan's 20-year-ministry in Port Lincoln and her post as the last Josephite Sister to reside there was celebrated in December last year at a St Joseph's School assembly and with Mass at St Mary of the Angels Church, attended by a large congregation, including Sr Joan's brother, sister and sister-in-law. In his homily, Port Lincoln Parish Priest Father Brian Matthews spoke of Sr Joan's kindness and the many other qualities which had endeared her to all. At the end of the Mass, Sr Joan was presented with a papal blessing. South Australian Provincial Leader Sr Marion Gambin said she was grateful to all those who had cared for the Josephite Sisters in Port Lincoln over so many years and reminded them that they would always be a part of the larger Josephite family. Sr Joan (pictured right) has led a remarkable teaching career as a Catholic educator in South Australia over almost five decades across 11 different regional and metropolitan primary and secondary schools. Born in Berri, about 235 km north- east of Adelaide, Sr Joan was the eldest daughter of eight children. Sr Joan says Archbishop Andrew Killian's kind words of the Josephite Sisters at the opening of their convent and school in the Riverland in 1936 had inspired her to begin contemplating a religious life. "What he said about the Josephites really impressed on me," says Sr Joan. She was about 14 years old and had a secretarial position lined up in Berri when she joined the St Joseph's Juniorate in Cowandilla. She was professed in 1943 and a year later began her first teaching post at the former St Mary's primary school in the Norwood area before heading to country schools (in Kadina, Renmark, Hamley Bridge and Peterborough). Up until the age of 70, Sr Joan was principal at St Joseph's School Wallaroo (now Saint Mary MacKillop School). It was her last teaching position before arriving in Port Lincoln in 1993. Last Joey leaves port city EARLY BEGINNING: A 19-year-old Joan Barry (far right) entered the convent in 1941 with her mother Minnie Barry and Sister Pius by her side. www.digitalhearing.com.au ( 1300 906 456 *conditions apply Free Hearing Tests ST-12 Hearing loss creeps up on us quite slowly and in most instances is not noticed even by our close family members. We recommend a hearing test to set your mind at ease. There is enough stress in our lives so let us help with this one and arrange a Free hearing test at any of our clinics. Free digital hearing aids avaliable to eligible pensioners and Veterans* Glenelg, Glynde, Goolwa, Greenacres, Hilton, Kingswood, Marion, Morphett Vale, Salisbury North, Plympton, Seaford, Seaton & Toorak Gardens Serving the hard of hearing community in South Australia for 14 years