People who are homeless, refugees and asylum seekers

Cana is a group which forms community with poor and homeless people in inner city Sydney.



While it provides accommodation and meals, forming community is the main part of Cana’s ministry.  Receiving no Government help, Cana relies entirely on volunteers.  I visit weekly one residence for women to chat with them.  I receive a great deal from Cana people, especially friendship.

One recent funeral of someone from Cana inspired me as I saw how many different Church groups are forming communities with marginalised people.  It was great to hear the Sydney Street Choir and other musicians and to realise they had been given a chance to sing for the person who had died.

I am also in a choir and I see this as a ministry.  I can develop my talent for singing.  We create harmony in more ways than one, as we get to know one another.  Thus we bring peace to one small part of the world. We sing for people in nursing homes and villages.  The raffle at our annual concert provides money for young musicians to study or buy an instrument.

Every week I join others to visit Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.   We participate in Mass and talk with the asylum seekers.  They give me a great deal - examples of faith in God, courage and hope in what seems a hopeless situation.

It is my firm belief we have a duty to write to politicians on issues of justice.  I do that even when it seems hopeless.  I write on many issues.

Amnesty International is the source of information I need to write letters for their urgent appeals to obtain the release of prisoners of conscience all over the world. We do get the release of many.

Thank God I am able to engage in these ministries and so learn a great deal from many wonderful people.

Sr Mary OP