Hospitality Down Under --by Sr. Laura

This is a "shout out" to the Good Sams (Benedictine) of Australia and their employees for their gracious hospitality. Monica guided me through the whole process of visas and airline tickets and coordinating events. She journeyed with me (and the sisters on retreat) through all sorts of "left turns and right turns" of my time there. She anticipated the needs of all of us involved in the retreat and stayed with me until she saw me off at the airport.

Sr. Laura and Good Sam Sisters on Retreat

Sister Elizabeth, along with Sisters Cecily, Maree, and Pam were gracious hosts at St. Scholastica's, their small residence & guest house at their Congregational headquarters. Several of their sisters from Kiribati (pronounced β€œKiribas”) were staying there as well (Sisters Juniko, Toaua, and Kawi), and we shared lots of laughter as well as prayer.

Good Sams' Main Chapel

I joined the sisters for High Tea with the Governor General and his wife--to honor their 165 years of presence in Australia. It was definitely high tea, yet the Honorable David and Linda (who is the Patron for the Good Sams) Hurley were gracious and relaxed hosts. True to her reputation, Mrs.Hurley passed out songbooks and had us singing! I was teased by many that I had been in Sydney one day and was already inside Admiralty House when most Australians can only view it online. 

Taking the ferry


Monica and I rode a boat across Sydney harbor to their city zoo, so I could meet the Tasmanian Devils and Koalas (a must!) along with other critters. And I was able to talk shop with their archivist, Joanna, who graciously gave of her limited time. And Lissa coordinated a filming session and sat quietly while I gave my talk to her for the camera. It is clearly evident that hospitality is a prime value for sisters, oblates, and lay employees. Hospitality at its finest.




  • Comment posted by Maria Slizys on October 17, 2023 at 7:05PM (8 months ago)

    Thank you for your glimpses into Benedictine life "down under"! And the photos you shared. As an Oblate, it brings me joy to see how wide and welcoming Benedictine Communities can be...that includes Sisters, Oblates, employees...all! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’πŸ’πŸ™

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