Everyone was able to chat and reminisce while drinks and nibbles were provided and TWEC areas were open for the last time. There were countless hugs and handshakes; the chatter was loud and frequently interspersed with laughter.
In a poignant Ritual of Entrustment held in the chapel at Lochinvar, there were tears and amusement as memories were shared, prayers prayed and ritual actions marked the handover as a new chapter began.
Congregational Leader, Sr Megan Brock, represented TWEC in the symbolic exchange with Bishop Bill Wright. Recipients of the Sisters’ 24 years of devotion, passion, wisdom and love through TWEC symbolically handed over important items to representatives of the diocese. Co-ordinator of Adult Faith Formation, Vivien Williams, will continue the fine tradition of adult faith formation and education.
On entering and exiting the Chapel, everyone processed past a beautiful photo of Sr Colleen Carney, the much-loved leader of TWEC for many years, who passed away late last year.
Sr Ellen Royan spoke delightfully of the history of the Sisters but also the formation of TWEC and its growing family of ‘Twecians’. Sr Ellen’s verse concluded, “But now the torch is handed on to younger hands and hearts grown strong who’ll keep the fire of faith alive, who’ll live and learn and multiply.”
At the close of the ritual, Bishop Bill and Sr Megan guided the assembly through the grounds of St Joseph’s College to share afternoon tea. Although there was sadness at the end of a crucial era for the Josephite Sisters, the transition brings excitement and expectation too. The diocesan ministry is now known as the Tenison Woods Education Centre: Spirituality, Formation, Mission.
After 24 years under the auspices of the Sisters of St Joseph, it is encouraging to see the TWEC name honoured and preserved.