How did Sister of Mercy mark her jubilee?

SISTER Maria Jean Rhule is marking 50 years of service to the Sisters of Mercy in Central Queensland.

If you’ve worked alongside her or been a patient at the Rockhampton Mater Hospital, you would be familiar with her great contribution and commitment to the community.

Born with a tireless work ethic, Sr Maria shies away from the spotlight at every opportunity in her selfless, trademark fashion.

Recently, she joined Sr Kerry-Anne Sullivan during a 10-day trip to Papua New Guinea where Sr Maria had worked between 1978 and 1991.

After visiting several times since then, she received an invitation from the Yangoru people so, naturally, she chose this location to be where she marked her special occasion.

There were many celebrations, masses and opportunities to spend time with the local communities, even a celebratory jubilee cake.

On her return, Sr Maria reflected on the kindness of the people from Papua New Guinea. She admired the children she visited who would travel up to two hours to arrive at school. Showing their commitment to a source of education, they maintain the school grounds using grass knives to cut the ground by hand.

“Though it has been many years since the Mercies were in Yangoru, the love and respect the people have for the sisters is still very much alive today,” she penned in a letter to the Sisters of Mercy.

Sr Maria joined the Sisters of Mercy in Rockhampton on January 21, 1967, while she and her family were living at Sarina. “My parents have since died, however, I still have family in Sarina and Mackay,” she said.

“After I took my vows as a Sister of Mercy on January 16, 1970, I went to Sydney and did my teacher training.”

She returned to Rockhampton at the end of 1972.



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