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‘Angels’ bring Carmelite Sister and her brother together for rare meeting


Siblings reunited: Carmelite Sister Marie Tania and her brother Marco Ostini, who have not seen each other outside the convent walls since 2008. Photo: Emilie Ng

By Emilie Ng

MARCO Ostini has waited seven years to hug his sister without the inconvenience of steel bars.

The Brisbane Catholic was running late to his Banyo Nundah parish morning Mass when he opted for the midday Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral.

The last-minute decision reunited with him his sister, a Carmelite cloistered nun, whom he has not seen outside the convent for seven years.

Mr Ostini, who was unaware of the Carmelite nuns’ visit to the cathedral, calls on his sister monthly, but is not permitted to go inside the convent.

The pair’s last reunion was at the Sydney World Youth Day in 2008 when the Ormiston community let the sisters travel to the major Catholic youth event.

Sr Marie Tania, overwhelmed with joy at seeing her brother, said the pair’s “guardian angels had brought us together”.

She said she had been nervous about going to St Stephen’s Cathedral, but God had soothed her nerves by sending her brother.

“I’m so excited, I want to tell the whole world,” Sr Marie Tania said.

She had been attending the St Stephen’s Young Adult Movement and Vocation Brisbane Youth Expo with three other Carmelite Sisters.

It was the first time since 2000 that the sisters had ventured to St Stephen’s Cathedral.

The Carmelite Sisters are a cloistered contemplative community that follows in the footsteps of founder St Teresa of Avila, and famous Carmelites St Therese of Lisieux and St John of the Cross.

Carmelite Sister with brother

Siblings reunited: Carmelite Sister Marie Tania and her brother Marco Ostini spend a rare moment together at St Stephen’s Cathedral.
Photo: Emilie Ng

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