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www.mn.catholic.org.au | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle |
THE SISTERS OF Saint Joseph of Lochinvar
(Josephites) are known for their outward
looking generosity and commitment
in assisting people wherever they can,
whatever the need. This year marks
the celebration of 20 significant years
of Josephite Hospitality at the House of
Hospitality in Newcastle.
In 1991 Sr Carmel Hanson recognised
an urgent need for alcohol and drug free
accommodation for men returning to the
community from detoxification units. Thus
was born the House of Hospitality which
over the past 20 years has responded to
emerging accommodation needs: men
with children, single women, asylum
seekers, women with older children and
East Timorese students studying at the
University of Newcastle. To date the House
of Hospitality has housed 969 residents.
A small faith community meets each week
to pray, discern, challenge and support
The House too is a community where
residents support and encourage
each other, not only to regain
confidence but to take control of their
lives and move on to independent living.
Sister Carmel, who lives in and facilitates
the House community, is constantly amazed
and humbled by the hope and courage of
the homeless. "These people who have so
little are inherently generous, and witness
to the gospel," she says. Many of the
residents have kept in contact and become
real friends of the House.
Cheryl, such a friend, writes, "Home. I was
given one when I needed somewhere to
go. I was pregnant and had a young child
with me. I had nowhere to go. I was made
to feel welcome and while at the House I
gave birth to a baby girl who is now a young
adult. I have always felt and still feel that
the House is my home. I was given shelter,
love and support when I most needed it. I
am just so grateful that it was there for me
and my little ones."
Currently situated in the grounds of St
Pius X High School at Adamstown, the
celebration of 20 years of this ministry will
also mark the transition to a new location
at the Catholic Presbytery in
In September, Diocesan Communications
Manager Emma Blackford attended the
9/11 ten year Anniversary Memorial in
New York. Emma spoke with a woman who
shared her memories of 9/11 when she
rushed towards the World Trade Centre only
to witness the tower crumble in front of her
eyes, knowing her sister was inside.
EVA GUJRAL S DAY in New York on
September 11, 2001 began like any
other, but ended in a way that would change
her life, her family's lives, and many other
Americans' lives, forever.
Every day, Eva and her 22 year old sister
Manika Narula would catch the train
together from their home in Long Island
to New York City where they would part
ways at Penn station. Eva would travel to
Broadway for work and Manika would catch
another subway to the opposite side of
town to work in the Trade Centre.
"Usually our first thing to do when we arrived
at work was to phone one another and
sister and nothing was going through to her
phone," Eva said.
It was then that a colleague informed her
that moments earlier, a hijacked plane had
crashed into the Trade Centre.
"When someone told me what had
happened, it was still just too hard to
imagine because we couldn't see it and
we had no television in our office. 'What
do you mean, a plane went into a building?
I don't understand.'"
Instinctively, Eva left work and headed
towards the building where her sister
worked, in an effort to get close to her, help
her and be reassured that she was all right.
"I rushed down there, got in a cab to get as
close as I could, then I just started running
towards the building. "People were running
away and I was running to the building.
Police officers, firefighters, everybody
kept warning me to turn around and I kept
saying, 'No, I have to go and get my sister,
"Then at some point a firefighter grabbed
me and said, 'You can't go any further'
and picked me up and carried me in the
opposite direction. It was then that the
building started to crumble right in front of
my eyes...I saw the whole thing happen."
As Eva recalls knowing that her sister was
most likely inside, and that the firefighter
had probably saved her from being crushed,
she pauses, "It still feels like yesterday."
"Ten years later and those images, the
feeling, the smell, everything...I can just
feel it all over. I feel it every time, it's
"We never heard from her, she never called,
nothing was ever recovered or found
which was very hard to cope with even ten
"It still feels like she'll walk through the door
some day and say 'Hi, I'm back'...it's just
still too hard to believe."
Manika was one of 2,975 people killed
when four hijacked jets crashed into the
Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a western
Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.
2,751 of those people were killed at the
With her parents, husband, children and
mother-in-law, Eva joined other victims'
families who had been invited to a special
ceremony with President Barack Obama
and former President George Bush for
the unveiling of a 9/11 memorial. In
the place where the Trade Centre stood,
there are now oak trees and two large
waterfall memorials with the name of each
victim engraved for families to see, touch
For the first time, the name of every person
who died was spoken by family members
as the President watched and listened.
Despite being among a crowd of hundreds
of thousands of people, the silence
and respect people gave to the service
can't be compared with anything I had
"It's nice to know that even ten years later
people still care, that they still remember
and keep her in their hearts," Eva said.
"We're here every year and it's a place to
come, there's no closure, but we feel like
we're supposed to be here, we have to
be here. You meet other families, talk to
other families and it helps with the grieving
process...but we're still grieving and will be
for the rest of our lives."
By NATALEE MULTARI
By EMMA BLACKFORD
Ground Zero: "We have to be here"
the House of
Members of Manika's family wore T- shirts in
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