Sister Mary

Pastorelle Sisters

"The Lord is my Shepherd" rings gently in my heart as I attempt to share something of my story as a Pastorelle Sister, and to say something on the charism of the Pastorelle Sisters who were founded in Rome, in 1938, by Blessed James Alberione , a man who was prophetic in recognising the immense contribution the media could make to the proclamation of the Good News, and who had a great appreciation of the complementarity of men and women in mission.

The experience of first coming to know Jesus and of being guided to set out on a journey that would make Him the centre of my life, began for me as a secondary school student when, as part of our Religious Education program, we were asked to write an essay on the personality of Jesus. For the first time in my life I took and read the Gospels so that I could find the information I needed to write a good essay on Jesus.

Thus began my journey of discovery of the person of Jesus, of seeing the world in a new light, and the beginning of a sense of being attracted to a way of life that would have Jesus as the centre, and live according to his teaching. It was a transforming experience which became manifest, especially to my parents and friends, in the new interests and attitudes I was expressing, for example, going to Mass on Sunday, being very willing to help around the house without complaining and asking questions about faith, the meaning of life, the Church, the world etc.

I had a great love for my family and it was painful to have to pursue, what I believed to be my vocation, without their support. But all along I had a quiet sense in my heart that the Good Shepherd was leading me. I was also fortunate to be in conversation with a Religious Sister who understood my situation, encouraged me to pray, and accompanied me for over a year before I made the decision and was accepted by the Pastorelle Sisters. I entered the convent at the end of 1968 and forty years later, the conviction that the Lord is my Shepherd, still guiding me, in the company of the Sisters I journey with, is as strong and as alive now as when I first began.

The Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, commonly known as "Pastorelle Sisters", are given to making visible the compassion, the care, the forgiveness and the love of the Good Shepherd for all people; called to share in Christ's pastoral mission of building up the Christian community, in union with the pastors and lay leaders of the Church.

We live in small communities and share all things together, day by day building round the Word and the Eucharist a visible communion at the service of the kingdom.

The challenge to remain faithful, through prayer, to what we profess is on-going and we are conscious of our short comings and failures. The question of the existence of God, and the meaning of life, especially in the face of suffering and evil, is the ever present cry that can find a ray of hope in lives lived in faith, and in the shadow of the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.