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Mixed emotions at Salisbury festa


Joyful celebrations for the feast of St Joseph at Salisbury were tempered by the local community’s final farewell to much-loved Canossian Sister Elda Sbarra.

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Gathering for the 52nd Festa di San Giuseppe at the St Joseph Italian Community Centre on March 17, the community was joined by Vicar General Fr Dean Marin who led the festa Mass, and parish priest Fr Shibu Jacob MSFS.

The street procession was followed by vibrant festivities including live entertainment, traditional Italian food stalls, dancing, and games for all ages.

In his address, Rocco Carpentieri, president of the La Festa di San Giuseppe Association, paid tribute to Sr Elda who has now moved to Brisbane following the closure of the small Salisbury East Canossian community. She spent 50 years in the Adelaide Archdiocese and 40 of those were serving Salisbury.

Sr Elda Sbarra cuts a farewell cake.

Sr Elda Sbarra cuts a farewell cake.

Sr Elda was officially farewelled by the association in February at an event attended by Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Zoe Bettison, who is the local Member; Tony Zappia, Federal Member for Makin and long-time friend of Sr Elda; Salisbury mayor Gillian Aldridge; clergy and many friends and associates.

Mr Carpentieri said he was lucky to have known Sr Elda his “entire life”.

“I was born and raised here in Salisbury and I have never known Salisbury without Sr Elda being part of it,” he said.

“Throughout her distinguished vocation, Sr Elda has been a spiritual leader, mentor and friend to countless individuals.

“She has been instrumental in preserving and promoting our cherished traditions and celebrations. Her extraordinary commitment as our spiritual and pastoral leader, guiding and nurturing our community, has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Her kindness, compassion and unwavering faith has touched the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing her.

“Whether offering a word of encouragement or a listening ear, Sr Elda has been a beacon of hope and love in our community. Salisbury is a better place having had Sr Elda as part of it and we are better people for having been graced with her company.”

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