Sr Margaret's Farewell

Thank you Sister Margaret for your faith, friendship and fellowship. 

On Thursday 27th July, the Mersey Leven Catholic Parish community gave a fond farewell, to Sister Margaret Chandler who has shared her life, her love and her faith with us for many years. 
She is leaving us and will be missed but thanks to our generous parishioners, we took the opportunity to come together celebrate how much Sr Marg has meant to us with a farewell party. 

- Excerpts from the Farewell Speech given by Mary Davies-

Farewell Speech given by Mary Davies

For many of us, Sister Marg entered our lives when she came to the MacKillop Hill Retreat and Spirituality Centre at Forth in 2001.  She followed in the footsteps of Sr Valerie Burns, under whose direction the Centre was established in 1995.  This was indeed visionary on the part of the Sisters of St Joseph, and, as I understand it, there was a group of women in the Mersey Leven area who were instrumental in the promotion of that vision.  Up until this point the Sisters of St Joseph had provided Catholic education in the region.  Thus they extended their ministry and gave us a Centre which has had a deep and abiding impact on many people in this area, as well as far beyond.  That impact will be indivudal to each of us because, no doubt, each of us has a story to tell of how MacKillop has contributed to their life's story.  Equally each of us will have a story to tell of Sr Marg's impact on our lives during her stewardship of MacKillop Hill which has also been home for Sr Marg during that time.

To me Sr Marg evidences a deep love of God which led, no doubt, to her unwavering commitment to her vocation in the Sisters of St Joseph.  In this vocation she was called to serve at MacKillop Hill where she developed the foundational work of Sr Val to meet the spiritual hopes and needs of the Tasmanian community and beyond.  This has required vision and creativity, hard work and considerable organizational skills, not to mention, I imagine, some dogged determination at times!  It has also reqiured that Sr Marg keep abreast of all that is going on in the Church in Australia and throughout the world.  She is  a woman of sharp intelligence, a voracious and discerning reader, and always seemed able to produce or suggest a book or article pertinent to a discussion and, what's more, to send you away with a photocopy or a book that provoked further consideration.  Sr Marg has also overseen the ongoing development of the library at MacKillop Hill, knowing, it seemed to me, exactly what was in it.  I don't imagine any of this been without its frustrations at times, even anxiety and distress when all was not smooth sailing but her commitment to the vision for MacKillop Hill remained paramount, for Sr Marg, in any setbacks that arose.

Another aspect of Sr Marg that I, and no doubt others have experienced is her kindness, particulary at those times when life throws us challenges we would very much rather do without.  That kindness was given generously with empathic concern and understanding.

So, Sr Marg, as you leave us to go to your new home, you go in circumstances that we would have hoped to be otherwise for you.  Please know that you go with our deepest gratitude and respect for all that you and MacKillop Hill have brought to our lives and to our Mersey Leven community and beyond.  Please know also that our heartfelt prayers go with you, and they are prayers that our loving God will grace you with comfort and peace throughout the next phase of your life's journey.  Thank you, Sr Marg.  Well done, good and faithful servant.