Good Samaritan Education furthers heart of mission

10/11/2011

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The Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict will launch Good Samaritan Education, a new entity within the Australian Catholic Church, during a liturgy at Glebe’s St Scholastica’s Chapel on Sunday 13 November, the Feast of all Benedictine Saints.

Around 140 guests are expected to attend the historic occasion which will launch Good Samaritan Education as the new Church body with canonical responsibility for the Good Samaritan Congregation’s ten colleges.

On July 22, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan received approval from the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, in agreement with the Archbishops and Bishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Wollongong and Broken Bay – dioceses where the ten Good Samaritan colleges are located – to constitute Good Samaritan Education as a new ecclesial entity.

This new entity, to consist of at least 15 members, will be responsible for the oversight of the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten colleges.

“This is an historic decision for the sisters and our partners in the ministry of education of the young,” Good Samaritan Superior Clare Condon said.

“The sisters and I are looking forward to this new direction and for the continuance and development of the Good Samaritan charism within each of the colleges.”

For the Good Samaritan Sisters, education of young people has been at the heart of their mission to the Church. In 1861, just four years after Archbishop John Bede Polding OSB founded the congregation, the first Good Samaritan school was established in Sussex Street, Sydney. Since that time the sisters have had a continual educational presence in Australia.

“In looking to the future we believe that our charism which we have shared with the laity who participate in our mission, can and will continue to enrich the five dioceses where the colleges are situated,” Sister Clare said.

While the establishment of Good Samaritan Education follows four years of considerable planning, consultation and discernment by the sisters, the Good Samaritan Education Council and the ten college communities, it builds upon a foundation created 30 years earlier when, in response to the theology of Vatican II, the sisters inaugurated college boards of governance and invited lay people to be more involved in the oversight and mission of their schools.

Sister Clare said the theology of Vatican II about the Church as the People of God had continued to guide the development of Good Samaritan Education, but she also acknowledged that the congregation’s growing inability to provide sisters to oversee its colleges was a contributing factor.

Sister Clare paid tribute to all who had helped to establish Good Samaritan Education, particularly the Good Samaritan Education Council under the leadership of Sister Catherine Slattery SGS and executive support of Ms Kay Herse.

Sister Clare said the establishment of Good Samaritan Education will have minimal impact on the day-to-day operation of the colleges.

The ten colleges will come under the jurisdiction of Good Samaritan Education on June 1, 2012 following their boards’ annual general meetings.


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