A life given in love: students remember Sr Irene McCormack

19 May 2021

Republished with permission from Catholic Mission

To commemorate the 30thanniversary of Sr Irene McCormack’s death, Catholic Mission Perth Office invited student leaders from various Catholic schools and colleges to share their reflections on her incredible story and legacy, at St Joseph’s Convent Chapel in South Perth, WA.

Sr Irene dedicated 25 years of her life to Catholic education, before answering the call to overseas missionary service living and working amongst the poor in Peru.

“The students were empowered to respond to the witness of Sr Irene, reflecting on how their faith has been deepened, enriched, and challenged, on the offering of her life as a gift of love,” said Catholic Mission Diocesan Director Francis Leong.

In a significant, sacred moment, Ms Donella Brown, director of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Perth, presented a message stick as a symbol for students to be a voice for Mission in the context of a life lived for love of God and love for the poor.

Sr Veronica WillawayOSB and Donella Brown from Aboriginal Catholic Ministry hand over the message stick in a sacred ritual empowering student leaders to be a voice for Mission as they reflect on thelife of Sr Irene McCormack for Catholic Mission’s Life for Love prayer video

Overseeing this sacred moment was Sr Veronica Willaway OSB. Sr Veronica is an Aboriginal Sister from the Yuat Noongar people who joined the Benedictine Missionary Sisters of New Norcia in 1958.

“Sr Veronica has been working with Native American peoples of Nebraska until recently” said Ms Brown.

“We are blessed to have her back amongst us and amongst her people.”

This Life for Love prayer video will be released to all Catholic schools on May 21 to commemorate and honour the 30th anniversary of Sr Irene McCormack death.

Catholic Mission, in partnership with the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Irene McCormack Catholic College, Santa Maria College, Holy Cross College, St Columba’s Catholic Primary School and Catholic Religious Australia have supported the production of this prayer video, and look forward to its inaugural national release and distribution on May 21.

Catholic Mission publishes in Agenzia Fides, the news agency of the Vatican, a list of all overseas missionaries who have lost their lives during missionary service ad gentes (to the nations) for that year, says Catholic Mission Diocesan Director Francis Leong.

“Catholic Mission has been seeking an appropriate occasion to draw attention to the many heart-rendering stories on this list,” he said.

Friday, May 21 is the 30th anniversary of Josephite Sr Irene McCormack’s death whilst serving as a missionary in Peru.

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