Living the LCM SpiritRead our stories

Thank God always for the happiness and beauty of life - it is beautiful.
Venerable Mary Potter's Last Words.

Healing Presence - Sr Monica Whelan LCM

Healing Presence

In a world of challenge, hope, joy, suffering, despair living the LCM spirit is both an enriching and rewarding way of life. Reflection on the journey of life and my commitment to mission and ministry has been initially through Catholic Education and Catholic Health Care in Australia with the inclusion Timor Leste from 2008 – 2016. Being with many people with a variety of situations has been my experience in living our LCM Mission, Charism and Spirituality.

Initially my commitment was many years in teacher education working with young children to develop their future with learning and life skill development. Part of this time was in educational administration as well as curriculum development. It was through some of these experiences I learnt about the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary and compassionate care for all those in need.

Life for young people as we know can be very happy and at times very daunting. Mary Potter founder of the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary commenced her work in a disused stocking factory in Nottingham, England teaching children in need and reaching out to many families in the surrounding areas.

As a Congregation, prayer is centred on caring for those who are sick, dying and in need. Mary Potter focussed the Congregation on the spirit of the Calvary scene. Mary, Mother of God standing at the foot of the Cross on Calvary.

Many years of life in ministry has been with Little Company HealthCare in caring for the sick, suffering and dying in many and varied areas of Australia. Often this has been in leadership, being part of LCM Hospital Executive Management Groups, as a Board Member of Calvary Health Care Sydney, member of Public Juridic Steering Committee and as Province Councillor for our Province of the Holy Spirit now known as Province of the Southern Cross. It has always been a privilege to share in the journey living our LCM spirit. This has occurred through being part of a person’s life who may have received sad news or experiencing the death of a loved one. On one occasion I recall leading a team who were responsible for acquiring of some funding so a family would be able to care for their family member to die at home after being in hospital for several weeks. This was the desire of the person who was so very ill.

As Mary Potter wrote: “We were founded in God’s Church not simply to nurse; that is an addition. But we were founded to extend God’s Kingdom on earth by making Mary reign over the hearts and souls of people and by striving in every way within our power, to help them in their last moments.”
(Mary Potter’s Words)

Since mid-2011 ministry life has taken myself and many others to live, work and be with the Timorese people. Timor Leste has a population of approximately 1.2 million people, many who continue to suffer due to the lack of services for health and education. Our Australian Catholic University team visits mostly twice yearly to deliver Train the Trainer Health programs for clinic staff and village health volunteers. Whilst this can be very challenging, it is inspiring to experience working together with the Timorese people for the future of their nation. At times small babies are often very sick, however we continue to implement quality health service so all family members will benefit, as this is a desire of the Timorese people and ourselves. The experience is one of being present to those in need and being part of a healing presence.

Living the LCM Spirit with these people gives a great sense of joy as we share the story of their lives. Whilst food and shelter can be minimal, love, laughter and care given by people in their villages are very heartening to hear and to see.

Thank God for the happiness and beauty of life – it is beautifulWritings of Vulnerable Mary Potter

Sr Monica Whelan LCM

Sr Monica Whelan LCM was recipient of ACU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement 2015 along with all those associated with ACU BFN TTT Timor Leste