As we continue our features on Ursulines in mission, I’m happy to introduce Sr. Helen Dyson from the Province of Australia. Helen and I first met each other at our Ursuline headquarters in Rome, Italy. While there, we spent many hours preparing and playing music for liturgies. It was always delightful. It’s a joy for me to share this gifted and lovely Ursuline with you, our readers.
What is your ministry and what drew you to it?
My ministry is Pastoral Associate in a very large parish of four churches situated north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast in the state of Queensland. I coordinate the music and liturgical ministries, am part of a team for sacramental preparation, coordinate a spirituality program, am chaplain to a small group, and help with formation of various ministries.
I have a deep love of liturgy/music and walking with people on their journey of faith, so to be among the People of God on a daily basis helps me see the action of God in their lives and encourages me to develop programs for ongoing faith formation. The goodness and deep faith of the people with whom I work is a constant inspiration. Being drawn into the mystery of God alive in people and in the sacramental life of the church is the basis of my interest in this ministry.
How do you see Angela’s Charism alive in your ministry?
Charism being the gift of the Spirit in our midst, I see Angela’s specific desire for “respect and care for the individual” strongly present in the way people relate with one another. Angela spoke about “unity and harmony, peace and concord” – I see these in the celebration of Eucharist when those gathered are in union and communion, united in faith as a community. The faith we have in common helps us express our thanks to God.
Angela urges us to “have Jesus Christ as our only treasure”. People constantly desire closer union with Jesus through prayer, sacraments and group interactions. The core of our parish life is Christ, so Angela’s words are a constant reminder.
What gifts and challenges do you experience in the daily carrying out of your ministry?
Gifts vary, however the strongest one is the privilege of journeying with people in a faith community. The expression of God is full of mystery as God is revealed in each person. Being involved in music and liturgy is a special gift as this has been part of my life since quite young. Helping people to pray through music is pure gift!
The greatest challenge is of course having enough time to do all the wonderful things that are possible in a parish. Day by day……..