Sister reaches out to poor

TAMWORTH residents and Catholic school students have been urged to dig deep by a visiting Sister who reaches out to people in need across the world.

Sister Noelene Quinane visited the district at the weekend to share the message about the work Caritas Australia, a charitable outreach organisation, has allowed her to do.

She says Australians are very giving, but when it comes to identifying what poor life is like, there is room for improvement. 

Sister Quinane is Caritas’ global education advisor for NSW and the ACT and visits regional schools regularly.

She has been involved in Catholic education for 35 years.

For the past 20 years, she has also been a principal of many high schools.

She arrived in Tamworth last Friday, meeting students at St Joseph’s and St Nicholas’ in Tamworth, before heading out to Quirindi’s St Joseph’s in the afternoon.

She also spoke at three Tamworth churches’ masses on Saturday and Sunday, before speaking to McCarthy Catholic College students yesterday.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to speak with students and raise awareness,” Sister Quinane said.

Part of her visit was to educate local people about the work Caritas does in 200 international communities.

Sister Quinane’s visit coincided with the beginning of the six weeks of Lent, which signals the start of Caritas’ annual Project Compassion program, which raised a whopping $10.7 million in 2011-12.

The Armidale Diocese, which includes Tamworth, contributed more than $110,000 to last year’s project, making the area one of the most generous in its support of Caritas.

Sister Quinane said it really showed how generous people could be.

“I believe Australians are very generous in their giving, especially in emergency situations,” Sister Quinane said.

“They’re not so good at identifying what poor life is around Australia and the world.”

She hopes to change that by tapping into people’s senses of doing good for others.

She said this year’s theme, “Open doors into the future,” urges people to think about what they can do to make a difference to the most vulnerable of communities.

“It can be as simple as improving the most basic things like water, health and education,” Sister Quinane said.

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