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"Celebrating the Gift of Life"

Sr Paula-Mary van der Walt OP

Sr Paula-Mary and Sr Thelma in Neustadt

Sr Paula-Mary and Sr Antonia

Sr Paula-Mary and Sr Uta

Since January 2011, Congregational Prioress Sr Paula-Mary van der Walt OP leds our Congregation - supported by her team - through all the processes of change.

Our life lasts for seventy years, eighty with good health … Ps 90:10

"My seventieth birthday dawned on one of the coldest days Johannesburg has experienced in a long while!

Fortunately, we had planned for a Celebratory Breakfast in a warm farm style restaurant in the neighbourhood, with members of my religious family and my family of origin.

It was great to celebrate the gift of life in this simple way - around the breakfast table (even if we had not been out with the Lord, fishing all night)! We later joined members of our parish community celebrating the Eucharist, giving thanks at the table of the Lord.

I thank God for my seventy years...

... remembering my parents, Mum who came from England, Dad an Afrikaaner of Dutch extraction, two languages, two cultures, and two faith traditions and my three younger siblings - and now my two nieces!

... remembering my companions on this journey, with gratitude. How family, friends and all the people on my journey co-created the gift of my life and the purposes God has in mind.

And I now pray for the possible eighty years scripture speaks of with good health, to continue serving and enjoying the Gift of Life given me and us all."

Sr Paula-Mary van der Walt
Congregational Prioress
Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena Oakford-Natal


Photos: Sr. Paula-Mary van der Walt and Martina Schneider