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Good Samaritans

Good Samaritans

“Good Samaritan schools are very special to me as I have had the privilege of having the presence and influence of several wonderful Good Sam Sisters in my own life.  It is an honour to share in their charism through designing and delivering retreats for their schools.” Donna

Shaped by a Parable

Two thousand years ago, Jesus told a story set on the winding Jericho Road (now part of the West Bank of Palestine). The story was the much-loved parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), a story about being neighbour.

It is a story about conflict, injury, abandonment and compassion.

When Archbishop John Bede Polding founded the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in 1857, he chose this name because he firmly believed that their work was about being neighbour to the poor and destitute women and children of Sydney.

He wrote that “the name indicates the scope, since the Religious are called to imitate the charity of the kind Samaritan who as moved to pity the poor wounded man and, having poured oil and wine into his wounds to heal him, afterwards conveyed him to a place of security”.

A Benedictine Way of Life

Archbishop John Bede Polding, the first Catholic Bishop of Australia, was a Benedictine Monk, having come to Australia in 1834 from Downside Abbey, England.By the early 1850s, he had decided that the best way to provide ongoing compassionate care for the women at the House of the Good Shepherdwas to begin an Australian congregation of religious women.This Refuge, established in 1841 by Mrs Blake and other Catholic women, continued under the care of the Sisters of Charity until the untimely death of two Sisters, left the work vulnerable.

In writing the first ‘Rules’ for the Congregation, Polding drew heavily on the ancient, but tried and true, Rule of St Benedict. Dating from the sixth century, this ancient Rule continues to speak to the spiritual yearning of countless women and men, across the globe.

The text of the Rule is remarkably brief, but it is refreshingly realistic in its understanding of who people are and who they can become.

Although written for a group of monks, there are lessons for all contemporary people: lessons about mercy and humility; about hospitality, care and welcome; about living a balanced and sustainable lifestyle.

It is intended for those who seek peace. It speaks about acceptance, compassion, and commitment to prayer and work.

The Rule presents a gospel way of life, a life based on the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Good News, which Benedict called “the truest of guides for human life”.

Learn more about Donna Power

Learn more about Experience Wellbeing Retreats

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