#AceWorldNews – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, July 23 (CNA) .- In the wake of the crash of flight MH17 over Ukraine, Australians have been mourning the loss of the 298 persons aboard the flight, particularly their 27 nationals, one of whom was a religious sister.
Sister Philomene Tiernan was an Australian member of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and a teacher and boarding director at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, a girls’ boarding school located in a Sydney suburb.
“We are devastated by the loss of such a wonderfully kind, wise, and compassionate woman, who was greatly loved by us all,” Hilary Johnston-Croke, principal of Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, told CNA July 23.
She “contributed greatly to our community and she touched the lives of all of us in a very positive and meaningful way,” Johnston-Croke recounted.
Sr. Philomene, who died at the age of 77, had provided pastoral care to students both on campus and outside the school.
“We will continue to honor her wonderful legacy of love and care, of deeply influencing and touching so many of our lives and the lives of many over her long years of service,” Johnston-Croke said. “She truly lived the Cor Unum spirit.”
Kincoppal-Rose Bay, which also has a co-ed primary school, has opened counselling to its students, who have been deeply affected by this tragic loss of Sr. Philomene and the other passengers on the flight.
“Sr. Tiernan was a great soul, a supportive spiritual guide, and a friend to the students who especially felt lonely being away from home, coming from Asia-Pacific, Europe and America,” Rebecca Curran, communications manager at Kincoppal-Rose Bay, remarked to CNA.
Sr. Philomene was returning to Australia after attending a conference in Britain, a theology course in Ireland, and a retreat in France.