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In the early years, and throughout the wars and depression and into the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the needy and the poor knew that if they came to the back door of any convent there would be a meal for them. The Lay Sisters in the kitchen welcomed the itinerant and the stranger and were prepared for that knock at the back door with food, a strong bottle of hot tea and words of kindness and encouragement.
Many Sisters have worked in partnership with the St Vincent De Paul Society e.g., Wagga Wagga Edel Quinn Shelter, a refuge for homeless people called Micah House, where the lonely, needy and desperate came for some care and a hearty meal prepared by wonderful volunteers. Sisters have also worked in St Vincent de Paul Centres. Some sisters have worked in Womens’ Refuges in Sydney, with refugees in detention. In the schools they have worked with children and families experiencing trauma.
The Sydney Morgue had a Presentation Sister working there available for counselling grieving families.
Presentation Sisters have supported and worked in a Youth Centre at Dee Why, and a Care and Support Centre on the Central Coast. The Sisters have provided a unit connected with The House of Welcome in Sydney for people seeking asylum.
A long collaboration between Presentation Sisters and the St Vincent de Paul Society saw the establishment of the Nagle Centre at Campbelltown. Here the Sisters and volunteers offered family support programs, budget and financial counselling, art therapy, massage, literacy skills and staff/volunteer Supervision. It was from the Nagle Centre that a need was acknowledged for the implementation of NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme). The Nano Nagle Camps were run from the Nagle Centre for many years.
In partnership with Wagga Wagga Anglicare, the Presentation Sisters provide social housing in Ashmont with accommodation for a family in need.
Sisters have worked as chaplains at the Junee Correctional Centre, Long Bay and Silverwater Correctional Centres. Another Sister visited Junee Correctional Centre to teach literacy skills to Indigenous inmates. A Sister based in Sydney, in her retirement, invited her community to help to make sandwiches for the Vinnies Night Patrol. The food was collected and taken to King’s Cross to assist the poor and needy. Some Sisters continue to work with men and women who have been released from prison, especially through the Kairos program inside the goal for men, and Kairos Outside for women.
Sisters have also been involved in pastoral visitation of young women incarcerated in Hay and Yasmar Detention Centre, Sydney.
Sisters have been involved over the years as chaplains at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, Calvary Hospital Wagga Wagga and a number of hospitals in Sydney. A Sister was employed as a social worker at the Children’s Hospital at Camperdown and Westmead.
A Sister is a chaplain with NSW Disaster Recovery and involved in advocating for Refugee Women.
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