The Decision to Give a Life-giving Legacy!
Growing up, Heather Stabler often perceived the Sisters as “different and unknowable”. Not being a Catholic and having had no interaction with a Sister, little did she know that she was someday to know them very well – her life was to be eternally transformed by the Loreto Sisters.
Heather was a young 21-year-old teacher graduate and had just commenced teaching at Mount Carmel Primary School in Coorparoo, Brisbane. It was here that she first encountered a Loreto Sister, the unforgettable Sr Anna Gaha ibvm. Heather describes Sr Anna as the most charismatic teacher she had ever met and a true gift in her life.
Almost immediately, Heather noticed Sr Anna’s approachability and her extraordinary engagement with her students, not merely satisfied with just teaching content but also inspiring their hearts and minds to make a difference for good. She recalls the children lining up to enter the classroom, spontaneously clapping at the door as Sr Anna appeared, such was their respect and affection for their teacher. Asked by a colleague about her evident rapport with the children, Sr Anna humbly agreed, “I didn’t ask for it; I didn’t earn it; it was a sheer gift!”. These words of self-reflection made an indelible impression on Heather, who says, “Anna modelled the type of person and the type of teacher I wanted to become”.
Sr Anna’s life, and those of the Sisters that surrounded her, unequivocally embodied the Ignatian way, grounded in love, service, and justice. Heather recalls the Loreto Sisters at Mt. Carmel inviting a young homeless single mother and her new baby to live with them for a year in the convent. This act of kindness would leave an enduring impression on Heather.
Such is the Sisters loving impact on Heather’s life throughout the 14 years she worked with them that she has decided to leave a legacy in the form of a bequest to MWIA. Heather would like to invite others to pause for a moment and consider whether leaving a bequest could be right for them.
We thank Heather for following Mary Ward and honouring her legacy – to be seekers of truth and doers of justice.
It is wonderful to be able to leave a gift that will make a life-giving change to people’s lives globally. Jesus’ dream of love, service, and justice is worth our hearts
Any person interested in leaving a gift in their will to MWIA should contact Executive Officer, Hannah George on 0448 393 479.
* Sr Anna had entered the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1957. An exceptional person, Sister Anna worked in South Africa and later again worked in the Kimberley establishing reading recovery programs and libraries.
Author: Michelle Gale