In the Steps of the Master



However. Not only were the adults being catered for, but also the children, concerning whose spiritual welfare the Church was especially solicitous. The children of parents, rich or poor, would be provided with a complete education by the gracious ladies who are members of our teaching Orders. His Grace spoke in glowing terms of the magnificent teaching Congregations who spent themselves in order that the children should have an education which would not only fit them to be citizens of the State, but also saints in heaven. 

Narrabeen had developed very greatly since transport had become much more efficient in recent years. So it was that great numbers of people came to holiday there. How rich were the people of Sydney in holiday resorts such as Narrabeen, and how grateful should they be to Almighty God Who had provided them. 

Of course, a holiday was a good thing, said his Grace, and was helpful to everyone. It was definitely an advantage to one who had worked conscientiously during the year to have the opportunity to spend a holiday at such a beautiful spot as Narrabeen. However, they should be careful not to let the holiday develop solely into a time of laziness and pleasure. A holiday gave no relaxation from honouring God and observing His Laws.

Even during a holiday time, they nourished the body with food, and were obliged to observe the laws of the land. So, also, were they obliged to keep God’s Commandments, and should keep their souls nourished by frequenting the Sacraments.


His Grace stressed upon the people the necessity for good example, and urged them not to be discouraged if, seemingly, they were having little influence. Just as one bad person could corrupt a multitude, so one person, by good example, could influence them for the good. If every one of the 400 million Catholics in the world lived up to their obligations, then,indeed, would it be a better place in which to live. What a change would come about! Christian principles would prevail, and God’s blessing would descend upon them, bringing happiness and peace.

In the world, there was a great deal of unrest. If they searched for the reason they would find it to be the outrage of Christian principles. It was because men had not regulated their conduct according to the principles taught by Our Divine Saviour, of truth, justice and charity. Our Holy Father, however, was not despondent when he looked around the parishioners had organized the children in line in complete readiness for the procession into the church. Sister Geraldine mentions time and time again the support and kindness bestowed on them by the faithful and hardworking parishioners, some of whose names she could still remember:the Mullin family, the O’Reilly and O’Dwyer families, Mrs Roche and the Jenkins family.

First Communion 1940 and 1941.
Photos courtesy Mrs Jean Beaumont.

After teaching the children at the school, the Sisters would then find time to visit the many sick and lonely parents and friends of the school children, bringing their smiling faces and loving care to all.

Sister Cataldus taught the children singing and many of the older parishioners remember the fine voices of these children at the Sunday Masses. On the first Fridays, Father Farrell said Mass at 8 am, so many families attended the school and brought their breakfast with them.

Sister Geraldine and Sister Cataldus would meet over the years and the memories would come flooding back. Before Sister Cataldus died a few years ago (DATE), she spoke of the wonderful happy times they both spent at Narrabeen.