Sr Gosia helping Polish immigrants in Australia for a decade

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Home > Media > News > Sr Gosia helping Polish immigrants in Australia for a decade
Sr Gosia helping Polish immigrants in Australia for a decade

In her younger days becoming a religious sister was never something that Polish-born Sr Malgorzata Pomersbach (or Sr Gosia as she is better known) had considered.

“I was never thinking that I would be a Sister,” she said.
“I came from a traditional Catholic family and went to Church on a Sunday but I was never very pious.”

It was when a search for accommodation led her to a rural congregational home at Poznan that the call to consecrated life came.

“It was with a very angry heart I came to this place because it took two buses and I thought how stupid I was and that I should have taken a hotel closer to the city,” Sr Gosia recalled.

“When I arrived at the gate there were some children roller skating and the Sisters were having an evening prayer by the open window, singing psalms.

“I don’t know why but all my fears went away and I had the most peaceful feeling.

“When my life is hard I have always returned to this moment as the most peaceful moment in my life.”

While her decision surprised everyone (including her parish priest), Sr Gosia joined the Missionary Sisters of Christ the King for Polish Immigrants and has worked for the past 20 years assisting the Polish community in many countries including Hungary and England, giving her fluency in English, Polish and Hungarian, as well as a good handle on the Manchester accent.

Sr Gosia took the huge step of coming to Australia 10 years ago, then to Tasmania five years ago, where she works with Sr Anna Sygula, assisting the Polish community.

Living her religious order’s very specific charism of assisting Polish immigrants, Sr Gosia spends much of her time working in Hobart in the Polish Welfare Office with the aged, which she finds very rewarding.

“I think the older Polish members really like to have a visit from Sisters,” she said.

Sr Gosia particularly enjoys running a meeting program, in which she takes senior members of the community to visit other seniors in aged care facilities.

“It’s a small program which brings together the people living at home with the ones that were at home but are living in nursing homes, so people still have a contact with their old friends,” she said.

“I think it is lovely.”

At the other end of the spectrum she also teaches Polish classes for children, at Saturday Polish school.

And while it is only a second language for most of the students, the lessons help keep the Polish culture alive and gives the children a chance to communicate more with grandparents and other community members.

The first Sisters came to Tasmania 21 years ago on the invitation of the Polish Association in Hobart.

Sr Gosia and Sr Anna are the only two Sisters of Christ the King for Polish Immigrants in Tasmania and part of a community of nine Sisters throughout Australia.