A CATHOLIC order of nuns has left Bendigo after more than 50 years in the region.
The Poor Clares Colettines - an order of cloistered nuns who spend their days in silent prayer and contemplation - have been at their Kennington monastery since 1965.
But with only three sisters left in Bendigo, they decided it was time to move to larger communities.
One of the remaining nuns, Sister Christopher, will be moving to Campbelltown in Sydney's south-west. Mother Anthony and Sister Clare will join a community in Roswell, New Mexico.
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Bishop of Sandhurst Shane Mackinlay held a service on Wednesday night to thank the Poor Clares Colettines.
"Your contemplative presence among us has been a great witness to all of us, a great model of Christian discipleship," Bishop Mackinlay said.
"The people of Bendigo and the people throughout the diocese have greatly appreciated your hospitality in sharing your liturgical life with us.
"Many people in the community will be very sad to see the three sisters, who they regard as close friends, leave this week. The time that people have spent visiting you regularly in the parlour has been cherished."
Bishop Mackinlay presented each of the sisters with a memento book, prepared by Kennington parish priest Father Andrew Fewings and diocesan archivist Dr Donna Bailey.
The sisters gifted Bishop Mackinlay with an icon of Saint Clare of Assisi.
Mother Anthony said they would never stop praying for the people of Sandhurst.
"We would like to remind you that, although we won't be here in the diocese in a physical sense, we will always be with you," she said. "As we pray for you, we ask you to pray for us."
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