It’s time again for a Sisters of the Immaculata fundraiser!
Thank you so much for your past support – we raised over $50,000 (AUD) and were able to convert a shed into an extension which provided rooms for our Long-Term Mission School.
The Sisters live on Divine Providence and you blessed us so much two years ago as we were able to have enough accommodation for the Long-Term Mission School, including separate accommodation for the men and women. We are blessed to have had a big increase in our full-time mission team - and a house is available for sale two doors down! In addition to this, the Sisters are still in need of proper accommodation.
This mission is so important in a world that desperately needs to know the love of Christ.
Through this mission people are discovering a life of prayer and the graces that come from sitting at the feet of the Lord in Adoration and meditating on His life in the rosary, and then being empowered through prayer and formation to go out and bring the love of God to their parishes and the world.
One person shares about the impact of this mission on their life: “I was looking into the Catholic faith and had been going to Masses for five months where no one spoke to me, but when I met the Sisters, they met where I was at. They showed me the beauty of the Church, the goodness of it, and they taught me to pray in such a way that God ceased being a master and became family. Essentially, they illuminated the way home for me.” Isaac, 19.
We really need your help in these areas:
- Accommodation for the Sisters The Sisters are blessed with three large bedrooms but this is not enough as there are eight Sisters. The Sisters use their loungeroom for a chapel, which is also used as the chapel for the Long-Term Mission School and often has to accommodate up to 30 people. With our increased mission team, or during times of retreat, it is almost impossible to fit everyone in.
- Accommodation for the mission team With nine lay people serving as missionaries, we need to expand our accommodation to accommodate the mission team, this year’s upcoming Long-Term Mission School, and other retreats and formation programs. With increased numbers in the mission team, we also need increased space for dining. At present we don’t have any space for teachings or holding outreach events.
There are many options that you can support - these are the projects that donations will go towards:
1. Accommodation for the Sisters, including more bedrooms, a chapel and space for teaching, at a cost of approximately $600,000 for the extensions (plans have been approved by a consulting engineer and building surveyor who regularly works with the council and is confident of council approval.)
2. Extension of the St Joseph’s retreat house, which includes the purchase of land and a shed, as we no longer have enough room for eating facilities and hoping to use a shed to have meals for the mission team and also have enough room to outreach to visitors. The owners of the land have offered to sell us a piece of land for $100,000 and we hope to acquire a shed which will include a kitchen, bathroom, toilets and space for outreaching, at a cost of approximately $260,000. There are no Catholic retreat centres in southern Tasmania so it’s so important we have room to outreach.
3. Maintenance, including a desperately needed new roof for St Joseph’s retreat house, for which we have been given a quote for $55,000.
4. Another option is to support our dream of running retreats for schools and hopefully be able to hold the ten-day January Mission School in Tasmania (which is not possible at the moment because there is no accommodation that can cater for these numbers) – there are large sheds for sale on the waterfront in our town of Franklin which could be converted to a retreat centre (this property is viewable online at https://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-tas-franklin-131195242).
If you would like to read more about the Sisters of the Immaculata, please read on:
The Sisters of the Immaculata were founded in 2008 and the charism of our community is spiritual renewal through Adoration, the Rosary and faith formation in parishes and in mission. At the heart of renewal is love - Jesus said to love one another as I have loved you; 'By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' (John 13:35).
Love is particularly needed in our world and is the greatest way to evangelise. We seek to foster Eucharistic Adoration, prayer, including the rosary, and devotion to the angels and the saints. We want to help people to have a love the sacraments and their Catholic faith, bringing back a sense of prayerful devotion, which fosters a love for Jesus.
We have a particular devotion to Our Lady, because Jesus gave us Mary at the foot of the Cross and she helps us stay close to Jesus and points the way to holiness. We have a particular focus on the parish because the parish is the heart of the Church.
This is where people go to receive the sacraments and are supposed to learn about their faith and be supported by their faith community. We hope to nurture each member, fostering in them a love for their faith and helping them to discover their gifts and talents for the up-building of the parish community and the Church. In this way, we hope to help them shine and be a light for the world.
We want to support all members of the parish, and all those who are not yet in a parish or the Church, because all people deserve to know the love of God.
Our work in parishes includes helping support spiritual renewal and faith formation through Adoration and prayer, teachings, running youth groups, prayer groups, sacramental programs and outreaches, retreats and giving people a love for all things Catholic.
There is a full-time mission team which lives the mission of the community, bringing spiritual renewal and faith formation, so people can fall in love with Jesus and their Catholic faith.
We outreach to the university (University of Tasmania, Hobart) through Adoration, Mass on campus, prayer including the Rosary, bible studies, faith formation, retreat days, fellowship and mentoring, and trying to connect students into the parish. We outreach to schools and help to lead young people to Jesus through prayer and foster a love for their faith.
Everything is about helping them to develop a relationship with Christ in order to bring them deeper into the Church. In schools this takes place through weekly faith groups in the schools, which include prayer, formation, fellowship, as well as retreat days, classroom and schoolyard evangelisation.
We form young people through both long-term and short-term Mission Schools. Ten-day January Mission School We begin each year with a ten-day Mission School which begins on the feast of Mary the Mother of God (1stJanuary). There is no better way to start the year than with the Lord under the patronage of Mary our Mother.
In 2020, the Mission School was held in Toowoomba, Queensland, with over 330 people in attendance, including young people and families. The school featured speakers which included Dr Ralph Martin, who attended the Synod on the New Evangelisation and teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, USA.
Other speakers included Archbishop Julian Porteous, Paul Elarde, James Parker, Fr Damian Mosakowskiand Fr Michael Doody, who spoke on topics such as the Church, Our Lady, Taking the Narrow Road, Holiness, Theology of the Body, Prayer and the Saints.
Each day of the Mission School begins with Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary and Mass; this is where the young people encounter God and are transformed by love. The times of prayer and teachings take them deeper in their faith, whilst the school helps draw people from all over Australia, bringing people together so that those who are isolated can form new friendships and they discover they are not alone.
“What the Immaculata Mission School did for me was provide an environment where I experienced joy, peace and connection like no other. It gave me hope (through hearing others' testimonies and experiences) that I can, by the grace of God, remain committed to my faith one day at a time.
It was also so inspiring seeing others alive with the Holy Spirit, and living with an attitude of love. I experienced peace and love at the Mission School, particularly through time spent in Adoration, receiving our Lord in Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and connecting with others.” Anthony, 23.
See more of the ten-day Mission School here:
Long Term Mission School
The Immaculata Long-Term Mission School is a life-changing opportunity, a five-month live-in experience of prayer, the sacraments, community life, faith formation and outreach. It is an amazing way for young people to discover who God made them to be and His plan for their lives. Held in the second half of each year, the Long-Term Mission School features teachings from speakers with extensive experience in theology and ministry.
Participants also learn how to put prayer at the centre of their lives. Each day begins with two hours of Adoration, the rosary and daily Mass. Throughout the School they learn more about the Scriptures, the importance of silence and contemplation and the power of praise.
This is a time where they really live silence, so they can learn how to listen to God. One aspect of this is that they give up their phones and social media for the five months.
Community life allows participants to grow in charity, forgiveness and learning how to live the Gospel. The young people also learn how to evangelise by serving in the local youth group, visiting schools and weekend retreats and through a mission trip throughout Australia.
“Long-Term Mission School was an amazing experience where I really learnt to rely on and trust the Holy Spirit in everything I do. I learnt that I am truly a child of God and through this I have been transformed to be more confident in myself.” Antonina, 24.