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Sion Sisters return stations of the cross

01/02/2013: Australia

The original stations of the cross have been returned to Sion House by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion. The new headquarters for the Diocese of Sale was originally the Sion convent and the 14 brass stations of the cross were removed when the sisters left Warragul.

Sr Angela Bayliss and Sr Margaret Rush presented the stations to Bishop Prowse last month. They are currently being placed on wooden plaques before being mounted on the walls.

Both sisters have a strong link with the building. Sr Margaret was sent there as a boarder after the 1939 bushfires had burnt out their family home in the high country near Harrietville.

Sr Angela, whose father was weirkeeper at Glenmaggie Weir, near Heyfield joined the Sion Sisters in Sale and went on to teach at Warragul. She was one of the last sisters to leave the old convent in 1972, sharing the facilities with the Taylor family when Ken Taylor was appointed the first lay principal of the college.

The Sisters of Sion were the first religious congregation in the diocese after being encouraged by Bishop James Corbett to come from France to Sale.

They established their mother  house, orphanage and school in Sale and later expanded to establish schools in Bairnsdale and Warragul.

The last Sion Sister in the diocese was Sr Lauraine Brice who moved from Sale to Melbourne several years ago.

The Sion House chapel has been fitted out with furniture built in Maffra from Gippsland mountain ash timber, and had an altar stone and brass tabernacle which were sourced from the old Josephite convent in Yarram.

Bishop Prowse has begun saying regular early morning Masses in the chapel when he is available.

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RIGHT: Sr Margaret Rush nds (left) and Sr Angela Bayliss nds with Bishop Prowse and some of the brass Stations of the Cross.
Reprinted with permissions from Catholic Life, December 2012.