On the 9th of August, Sr Jenny Doudle celebrated 40 years of FMA life surrounded by her community and a small group of friends and family at the parish church of St. Mary’s, Sydney.
Jenny is well-known by all those she comes across for the unique take on life, and her gigantic heart that is already ready to serve those in need. She is extremely active at the Youth Centre in St Marys, having served as co-director for the past six years.
During his homily for the thanksgiving mass, Fr John Walenciej explained how Sr Jenny has set the incredible pace that many of the sisters follow in their commitment to the Youth Centre. “What I see, you Sisters always make at least 12 degrees of commitment, even if the agreement is just10 – this great virtue is called generosity and dedication.”
Originally from Dunedin, New Zealand, Sr Jenny’s journey to becoming a FMA was an eventful one. Jenny attended a Catholic School which was run by the Mercy Sisters and this was where she first learnt her prayers.
Jenny was never one for school; however, it was rarely a play of joy happiness for her. The sisters were just too strict – grating against Jenny’s nature as an athletic, lively type, who found it difficult to sit still during boring classes!
Even so, it was in one of the boring classes at school Jenny found a flyer on the wall, promoting vocations, highlighting a short story of a Saint John Bosco and his mission for the young needy youth.
Jenny was instantly taken by his philosophy of loving kindness and joy and luckily, the flyer there also had a section about the Saleisan Sisters, explaining how they have the same apostolate for girls. Jenny contacted the Salesian Sisters in Australia and at age 20 she left New Zealand, came to Sydney for her postulancy, left for one year for the USA for her novitiate and finally, returned to Melbourne where on the 24th of Jan 1980 made her first profession.
With the easing of some lockdown restrictions, Jenny was able to celebrate this momentous occasion with a select group of friends, community and family.
“‘Bless the Lord my Soul’ was the motto I chose at my first Profession and has certainly been the driving force of my journey” explains Sr. Jenny. “The journey of blessings has been never ending. The Lord and His blessed Mother have never ceased to provide me with what I need for my unique journey.”
“I give thanks for my family, my FMA Sisters, the Salesians and all my friends and the young who have been part of the fabric of my life. I give thanks for all who joined with me at the Eucharistic table to give thanks for all these blessings.”
“In particular I give thanks for my beautiful community Sr. Anna and Sr. Kim who together with Fr. John Walenciej ensured that the thanksgiving journey of 40 years as an FMA was solemnly and joyfully celebrated.”