Sr Isobel Moran Celebrates her Golden Jubilee

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It was a joyful week prior to the 5th September when Isobel celebrated her Golden Jubilee. Her six sisters and three of her four brothers, together with husbands / wives/ and other relatives made the journey from Ballarat to Perth for the occasion – a distance of 3 320 kilometers by road or three and a half flying hours!. Isobel’s  eldest brother, Pat, lives in Papua New Guinea and was unable to make the journey. Isobel said that, in 1962 when she first made the journey by train, it took 64 hours! For most of her family it was their first visit to Western Australia. So when the family were ‘in town’ there was a Pre-Jubilee party as well as the ‘real’ Golden Jubilee party. The photographs below tell the story.

Isobel with her immediate and extended family

The Eucharistic Gathering – Jubilee Mass

 Fr Josh Breen was the celebrant for the Jubilee Mass.  In his homily he said that he was honoured to be present with her for the special occasion – being a Dominican from Cork City in Ireland where Isobel spent her years of medical training. “And like me”, he said, “she would have crossed the shaky bridge!” He went on to say, “I only learned in recent years the origin or etymology of the word God and I wish I had always know it. The word God comes from the Sanskrit (Indian language) ‘Thu-to’ meaning “The one who calls you”. …. More than 50 years ago young Isobel heard God calling her.”  (Click here to Fr Breen’s  homily).

Jubilee Celebratory Dinner

As usual the Subiaco Convent cathering team pulled out all the stops and put on a delightful meal for over 90 guests, which included the Moran family, the Regional Office Staff and the local John of God Communities.

Enjoying the meal and the company: Back Row: R. Eileen O’Grady, Sinead Mullin (Regional Office), Dominica O’Reilly: Front: R.: Veronica McGrath, Alphonsus Tierney, Pierre Lynch & Una O’Loughlin. Una was born the same week as Isobel in the same Hospital, went to the same School and was in the same class… and they are both members of the Sisters of St John of God.

The Entertainers

At the pre-jubilee party there was no need for external entertainers! Subiaco Community have some of the best entertainers and the laughter was loud and often when Romanus warmed up to stories and jokes in her usual serious entertaining expression befitting the occasion – no matter how often Romi tells the jokes they provide much light-hearted fun. Bridget Muldowney was waiting in the ‘wings’ with her ‘story-telling’ hat on to take up where Romanus left off!!, as were the eveready and reliable singers and support  group.  The fun of the gathering can be gleaned from the expression of the audience in the background! The visitors said that our ‘comedians’ could get a job on any stage!

At the pre-Jubilee party to welcome the Moran family to the West, gestures of  appreciation were shared by family and the Community. There were some offers for the ‘jacket’ (photo) if it didn’t fit!  Isobel’s sister, Margaret shared a gift of a very special clock on behalf of the Moran family – seen ‘unboxed’ in the background of the middle photo above. On the Jubilee day a special unannounced item included on the Jubilee ‘menu’ was a tribute to Isobel in Remembering the Journey of 50 Years shared in an audio visual presentation. Mary Kiely was the presenter with input and images from Sisters near and far – East, West, North West, Ireland & Pakistan, as well as from the Moran family.

Photos: Back Row: L to R:  Maria Salmon catching up with Margaret Moran. Isobel and Angela Cox. Front: Nuala, Isobel and Rita

Back Row: R: Long-time friends from Ballarat days, Rosalie Rowley & Margaret Moran. At the pre-Jubilee sing-along session – Felicity Scales, Pierre Lynch and Bridie Quinn and in front row: Januarius Slattery, Mary Kelly, Leonie Tierney and Lucilla Prendiville.

SSJG Sisters & The  Moran sisters

What have these women got in common? They all ministered at St John of God Hospital, Ballarat at various times over the past 50 years. Four of the Moran sisters completed Nurse Training at St John of God Hospital, Ballarat – which included Isobel.

The Subiaco Catering Team

A big thank you to the Sisters and Staff at Subiaco Convent for their warm hospitality, their wonderful organisational ability in hosting this special function and in serving up a delicious meal in a friendly and cheerful environment,  And last but by no means least, a  special thank you to Rita McDermott, Teresa Joyce and Catherine McGuane ably assisted by a generous and reliable ‘dining room team’.

A word of thanks also to the Sisters in Emmaus House who were delighted to share their hospitality with the Moran family during their stay in Perth, not forgetting the members of the Regional Office Staff for their efficient help with the important background tasks of ensuring that all arrived on the right date at the same venue, with a place to stay and food for the journey. Thank you one and all.

Mary Kiely


Photographs supplied by: Rita McDermott,Teresa Ann Garry, Margaret Moran, Michelle Johansen and Mary Kiely.

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