Sisters in the Laneways (For Mother Esther, Founder of the Community of the Holy Name)

Few people seem aware of the many hungry souls there are, who are longing for some sympathetic soul to speak to them about spiritual things. Sanctified common sense is what is needed, tact to deal wisely with all comers…
(Mother Esther)

Fallen, bones broken, she came to warmer climes;
Melbourne’s burgeoning streets beckoned her,
Lanes bursting with the wealth of newfound gold
And edges frayed with the homes of the poor.

While some sang hymns to hungry souls,
Esther saw the open mouths
And bodies sore, in need of beds;
She stayed well after her bones were mended.

Soup filled the hungry mouths, and words
Of tact and saintly common sense
Gave food and succour of a deeper sort;
The streets became a cathedral, a home.

But still, somehow, the streets cry out
For those who dare to be the hands
And feet of Jesus, walking in
The city’s fraying, fading seams;

And still our broken bones need casts,
And hungry mouths need soup, and lonely
Bodies need companions, and
The rich with gold need ears to hear.

Listen: hear the holy name
Chanted in the streets as those
Sisters walk the laneways with their
Needle and thread to stitch the seams.

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