In the morning of 25th October 2019 Sister Death wrapped her arms around our beloved aunt and carried her home to join her parents,brother and sisters in paradise.
Majella Tracey lived life to the full inspired by her faith,nurtured by her life long commitment to service for justice and peace and surrounded by the global community of women living together as Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
From the family home in Geelong West this young teenager in the post war years set out to live a dream that was fired with imagination,creativity and a spirituality grounded in an awareness of the sacred in the world around her.
She engaged with those who were left on the margins by socio-political and religious structures. Her smile, wisdom and insights were shared in formation of those who prepared and returned from cross-cultural encounters. Her theology of Mission was informed by academic study and a lived praxis.
Majella has left a legacy to her family and community that invites engagement with the signs of the times and a heart for justice and peace in the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth.
Letter of St John 3:1-3
Family Eulogy: Tony Robertson
Majella. you have gathered us together on this ancient land of the Darug People. We acknowledge their sovereignty and pay our respects to Elders, past,present and emerging.
As an elder of our family you have left us a legacy of deep respect and commitment to reconciliation with the First Peoples of this land. We acknowledge your personal and public witness in your Submission to 2003 Human Rights Commission
When assisting Majella with her online social media I discovered that her password was also based on the Aboriginal word for one of the language groups in one of the suburbs she lived in.
Majella, you have brought us together in this sacred place where you celebrated God’s walking with the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of all people, especially those who are poor or oppressed in any way. You invite us to this table where every human need is nourished by the bread of life and the cup of salvation.
Majella, we gather in gratitude for so much that you gave to our family. We remember your presence,your wisdom and your words in cards and emails. We hold close the memory of your spiritual direction as you stood with us in our grief and loss as parents and siblings passed away. We honour your close family connection and your journey with your sisters, Mary and Kath after the death of your brother Jack.
After a lifetime of good byes we now come to the final farewell. As your biological family we stand with your religious family to send you home.
We send you home to your parents, Annei Irene and William.
We send you home to your brother, Jack,your sister in law, Estelle and your nephew,Michael
We send you home to your sister, Mary, your brother in law, Jack and your niece, Geraldine.
We send you home to your sister, Kath and your brother in law, Alex.
We send you home to all the ancestors who carry the Tracey name and those who became part of our family. We will remember you and carry your story in a new generation that now includes great nieces and nephews.
May the saints of God provide an honour guard as you join them on this feast day.
May the choirs of angels sing you home to paradise.
God speed you on this final journey our loving aunt.
Music for Majella’s Mass of Christian Burial
Partners in Mission Article (pages 12-13)
|Written by Majella Tracey, fmm (Text translated online from Italian original)|
|AUSTRALIA “Where do you lead me?” (Notes of the retreat of Maria della Passione 1884). The most beautiful writings of Mary of the Passion date from the year 1884-1885, to the time in which she was obliged to leave her post as general superior and spiritual guide of our young Institute, and its uncertain future. For her it was a time of suffering, but also of prolonged prayer; the time of a mystical look on the true and double power of truth and love.She gave herself to live only on the beauty of such power and to follow it wherever she wants to lead it. “Where do you lead me?” Today the Australian FMMs are confronted by this same request. Like our sisters in Europe, we live among an aged population, where very few choose religious life.|
The majority of the members of our Institute arrive at the year of the Golden Jubilee, and this does not mean at all that they are in retreat, this means that it is no longer for them to foresee the future; this is for a small number of younger FMMs and for lay friends, animated by the spirit of Elena di Chappotin, who know how to practice in the institutions entrusted to them by the FMMs.
Member of the first generation of Australian FMMs, I have the great joy of being in close contact with two of these institutions in Melbourne: the primary school “ND de. the Nativité ”and the College“ Ave Maria ”, which are located close to each other in Essendon-east, Melbourne. As a young religious I was sent to the Ave Maria Retreat House in Essendon, and for eleven years I worked in the apostolic services required for the rapid demographic expansion of our immediate neighborhood. Among these services there was the construction and operation, year after year, of a Children’s Garden, then of a Parochial Primary School and a secondary College for girls. I was closely involved in the hesitant and poor beginnings of the Childhood Garden and Primary School. Hesitating, due to the novelty of the company for the FMM of Australia,
Indeed these two limits have become our true strength: we know that we need each other to realize the dream of a parish center, offering all progressive education. The parents have turned into diligent bees to plow the land, buy the managers and find the means to finance them. Those who know how to teach, do odd jobs or do sports have generously given their time to enrich the school program. Who had means of transportation willing to take advantage of others. A truly Franciscan tradition of joy, sharing and service has thus taken root without warning and in 1965: children’s garden, primary school and college functioned at full speed. In 1978 the FMMs left Essendon.
The convent and the retreat house became the administrative center of the college. I returned to Melbourne in 1994 and was delighted to receive an invitation quickly for a staff meeting at the Ave Maria to receive the College Mission card, ensuring that the foundation charism of the College of FMM was always alive, in the orientation taken from the college under the impulse of the new director, Mrs. Oliver Hortin. This contact has given rise to a continuous commitment to information in the life of the college and to many interesting experiences concerning the way in which the FMM charism has been completely appropriated. The most recent test was the year-end 2009 ceremony when they asked me to give the new Elena of Chappottin excellence award to the student who,
In his address, M. Heinz Wolf, director of religious education and the faith, describes this award as follows: “This award symbolizes the principle” towards the truth through love. “Whoever receives it understands what inspires it to to be faithful to our Catholic tradition; to persevere in spite of adversity, to respond creatively to the needs of those around her and to be confident and courageous as she walks in the presence of Jesus “The criteria for awarding the prize are: – Maintaining school effort. – Participate in activities concerning faith and social justice. – Try quality management. – Be part of the college’s activity group. – Investing in the charisma and spirit of Hélène de Chappotin, supporting her.
The award was given to Stéphanie Mulcahy. The applause and the joy on Stéphanie’s face were proof that this choice was good. The Notre Dame de la Nativité primary school exudes the same joyful Franciscan spirit. On 9 October 2009, students, professors and parents joined the parish church for the inauguration and presentation of the flags of four new houses. Each student is a member of one of the “houses” and is therefore in relationship with various activities and responsibilities with students who are not in his class. This gives the young people a much broader sense of community and belonging than they find in their peer group. Here is a summary of the return – account of the ceremony in the School Book, year 2000: The symbols present in their flags represent the foundation of our Franciscan Missionary School of Mary. The top of each flag the fmm cross reminds us of our origins and the love of God for each of us. Each flag still represents our Franciscan origins.
These same symbols are found in a mosaic at the entrance to the school.
The blue sister Water is a symbol of renewal, of healing, of inspiration
Gold sister Luna is a symbol of renewal in darkness, a symbol of peace, justice and creation.
The red brother Sole is a symbol of warmth, of hospitality, of relationship.
The green our mother Earth that is our home, a symbol of action, of radicalism.
What a surprise I had in seeing my name written on the Gold flag of her sister Luna. Having been the first director of the FMM, I was chosen as the patron saint, sharing this honor with St. Francis, Father James Wall, the first parish priest and Father John Spillame, a much loved pastor who stayed here for twenty years. Joy, gratitude and happiness have filled my heart seeing how God had faithfully taken care of the grains that we had sown in 1957, so that not only would they take root, but that they would grow and bear more fruits than we could have imagined. In gratitude for these cooperators so committed to the mission, professors and students of the ND de la Natività school and of the Ave Maria College, I would like to address to them the words of encouragement that Sr.Alma Dufault,
Majella Tracey, fmm