Some unexpected visitors joined us for daily Mass in Hamilton this morning.

As I was walking across the carpark towards the church (which at 9:30 was already baking in the summer heat) a mini-van pulled up beside me. I watched in astonishment as one habited sister after another emerged from the car.

The sight was so unexpected that it invited comparison (in my mind) to the old cliché of one clown after another, emerging from a comically small clown car. In light of that, this photo of the good sisters, which evokes the Benny Hill era of comedy sketches, is curiously apropos:


The Sisters of the Immaculata are making a pilgrimage to Penola to honour St Mary of the Cross. Like hundreds of other pilgrims who pass through Hamilton every year, they came to pray at the grave of Mary’s father Alexander, who died and was buried in Hamilton in 1868.

The Immaculata community is in its infancy, so the sisters have, no doubt, a lot to confide in St Mary. And Mary, being herself the co-founder of a new community, is bound to sympathise. Still, you might add your own prayers to theirs.

The sisters’ primary apostolate is the spiritual renewal of parishes by means of adoration of the Eucharist and the catechesis of young adults. You can find out more on their website.

Before today I was not, I must confess, aware of this community. But I did recognise one of the postulants from my seminary days. She has since graduated from the JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family, where she received several academic prizes. And one of the sisters’ pre-postulants is from the Ballarat diocese. God is good!

Especially recommended to me — a favour I’m now passing on — is an interview with the community’s founder, recently broadcast on Sydney’s Catholic radio station. You can listen to Mother Mary Teresa’s story at Cradio.