News Article

A Letter to the KRB Community
22nd July 2014

 Dear Members of the KRB Community

I am writing to update you on how we are remembering Sister Philomene Tiernan rscj.
Since we came together as a school community to pray for Phil on Friday afternoon there have been three Masses at which Phil has been prayed for and deeply mourned:

·        A Parish Mass at St Mary Magdalene at Rose Bay on Saturday morning which was attended by Board members, parents, past parents, past students and current students

·        Our own Community Mass on Sunday in the Chapel which was attended by students and their families from Years 5 and 6, ELC and other families and students, members of staff, boarding students and past students.

·        The National Service at St Mary's Cathedral which was attended by our Board Chair Bryan Curtin, Leadership Team members, students and parents.

We are using the Chapel as a place to remember Phil by quiet prayer and writing in the Memory Book.  Flowers started to arrive at the gates on Saturday afternoon and all the flowers are being placed in the Chapel, on the Altar and outside in the corridor.  We also have photos of Phil on display.  We have had many floral tributes from schools across Sydney and our Sacred Heart sister schools. Condolences and sympathy have been sent from our schools across the world and many others in our community.

The Society of the Sacred Heart and Phil’s family have organised a Mass of Celebration for the life of Sister Philomene rscj at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Randwick, at 10am on Friday 25th July. KRB will be represented by myself, some staff and some students.

The school is organising a Mass of Celebration for Phil’s life on Wednesday 13th August at 10.30am in the Edwina Taylor Clark Auditorium. This may change depending on the outcome of the political situation surrounding the crash site and when Phil’s funeral will occur. This school Mass will also be for parents, past parents and alumnae who wish to attend.  We will keep our flags flying at half-mast until after the funeral.

I would like to conclude with an extract from what I said to our Boarders yesterday evening.
“We can’t explain this dreadful plane crash but if some form of peace results in the troubled eastern regions of Ukraine then there will be good. We need to ensure that love always triumphs over hate.

For us, it’s not the best time for her, in her own words, to have gone to God but we have to let her go and honour 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. She truly lived the Cor Unum spirit.

For those of you who never had the benefit of her influence in your lives do not worry. Her spirit and her ideals are deeply rooted in this community. They will continue to work their influence on us all.

Sister Aideen Kinlen rscj directed Phil’s recent Retreat at Joigny, Burgundy and shared with me a poem they discussed:

What will matter is the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what [Anon]

Each one of us needs to live Cor Unum as a way of keeping Phil’s memory alive."

We are looking at ways of keeping her memory alive and are keen to hear the ideas of our community.

With regards,

Hilary Johnston-Croke (Mrs)