ANAWIM: 16 Wangi Point Road, Wangi Wangi

A Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Lochinvar.

Sr Marguerite Chapman began this ministry in 1981 and chose ANAWIM as the name for the House of Prayer. The words of Isaiah 56:7 were the inspirational foundational text – “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Since then and, with some variation thanks to COVID, Anawim continues to be a place of welcome and hospitality for all those seeking God, however they name what is drawing them to come to Anawim.

The essence of our ministry at Anawim continues to be;

  • hospitality – an open-hearted welcome of all who come, inviting them to be at home.
  • a generous sharing of our personal and material resources – an expression of poverty.
  • simplicity – as a small retreat/prayer house, Anawim offers comfortable accommodation, flexibility re times of arrival, meals etc.,
  • companionship – through our presence, listening and sharing of ourselves,as well as through the ministry of spiritual direction and directed/guided retreats.

Anawim offers:

  • hospitality to all God seekers
  • an atmosphere of quiet and peace
  • retreats & reflection /prayer days, and, by request, private and directed retreats throughout the year for individuals/groups
  • spiritual direction/companioning
  • facilities for groups wishing to organize/conduct their own retreat, seminar or program
  • a self-contained hermitage within the grounds
  • an extensive and up-to-date library
  • single accommodation for 6
  • day facilities for 12. (COVID Safety Plan numbers).

We have welcomed many people to Anawim over the years, – people from a number of Christian churches, as well as our own Catholic Church, and people of no particular church membership; men and women, though women continue to be more numerous; from a number of Religious Congregations, a few priests and many lay people. They come for retreats of varying lengths and styles; for days of quiet and renewal in the midst of stressed and over-busy lives. We provide a place of beauty, peace and hospitality to Leadership Teams of some Religious Congregations, Executive Teams of some Catholic and Christian organisations, groups engaged in community building, school staff groups and executive groups from the Catholic Schools Office; pastoral, hospital, prison and university chaplains.

Very much part of the life of Anawim has been our women’s group, co-ordinated by friend and parishioner, Maureen Seysener. This group, until COVID, met monthly for over twenty-five years, membership changing as people come to the area, move elsewhere or go to God. Our monthly meetings have been times of companionship, prayer, reflection, vigorous discussion, and mutual support. We miss them very much and are thinking of launching a new beginning later in 2021.

2021 marks 40 years of Josephite ministry at Anawim, Wangi Wangi. No small achievement! Only two of us live at Anawim these days, June and Lauretta. June is the contact person.

Every day, we acknowledge and give thanks for the hundreds of people who have blessed this house with their presence, their stories, their tears and laughter, their faith and trust, their struggles and hope, their love and faithfulness – truly God’s anawim. And every day, we rejoice in and give thanks to our abundantly loving, hospitable and self-giving God, in whom all of us ‘live and move and have our being’.