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Farewell Mass for Maranatha Director

07 Feb 2014

 Thanksgiving Celebration for Maranatha Director

Priests, religious, agency directors and friends all gathered at the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel in Leederville for a Thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration earlier this week.  The Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, was offered in gratitude for Sr Philomena Burrell's great leadership as Director of The Maranatha Centre for Adult Faith Formation over the past eight years.

In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe spoke to a full chapel about “the extraordinary contribution Sr Philomena has made to the life of our Archdiocese in general, and to Maranatha in particular”. He went on to mention the importance, in response to the call of the Second Vatican Council for “an active and responsible participation of everyone in the life and mission of the Church” which requires “equipping of the laity to better serve the mission of the Church” as “one of the most important and urgent tasks in the Church today”.

The Archbishop quoted a famous Latin maxim – non dat quod non habet; you cannot give what you have not got reminding those present that “we cannot be the people God is calling us to be if we are not seeking to know Jesus better, in knowing him come to love him more deeply, and in loving him seek to serve him.

“Sr Philomena,” he said, “as a Presentation sister and as director of the Maranatha Centre, has been instrumental in helping to bring this dream for the Archdiocese alive.” He went on to add that “there is still so much to be done in this area of our life as a Church.”

Quoting from the first reading in the Mass, taken from 1 Corinthians 1, where Paul writes: “Jesus is our wisdom, and our virtue and our holiness and our freedom”, the Archbishop stated that Paul is “reminding us to keep our eyes firmly fixed where they really belong: not on ourselves but on Christ. As he says to us, if we want to boast at all then let us boast not in ourselves but in the Lord.”

Finally, words of sincere thanks were expressed to Sr Philomena for her “example of faith, commitment and fidelity”. “Of one thing you and we can be sure,” said the Archbishop, “you have never been ashamed to give witness and testimony to your faith in the Lord, the Son of Man, and he will not be ashamed of or disappointed in you when he comes, as tonight’s gospel (Luke 9:23-26) puts it, in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Following the Mass, a wonderful buffet was presented to guests who were able to mingle in the beautiful grounds alongside the Leederville chapel.  

Smiles and laughter between Sr Philomena and Archbishop Timothy in Leederville

Sr Philomena Burrell PBVM (left) with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (right) enjoying conversation in the chapel grounds at Leederville