THE biblical story of the widow’s mite recently came to life when a young NSW boy decided to sell five apples from his apple tree to help Queenslanders and other Australians affected by recent natural disasters.
Josephite Sister Julianne Murphy said the boy’s sacrifice was “one of many lovely moments” she had experienced since she took the Mary MacKillop Foundation’s Travelling Sisters Roadshow – Disaster Recovery Projects on the road.
“He was a primary school boy who told me he didn’t have much money to give me to help others,” she said.
“However, he said he had an apple tree with about five apples which he would sell to get me some money.”
She has also been giving students postcards to write messages of encouragement to those affected by floods, cyclones and other disasters.
Sr Murphy, a Josephite Sister for 22 years with the past eight years as principal of St Joseph’s School, Peterborough, South Australia, estimated she had spoken to about 20,000 students and covered nearly 23,000km since starting the roadshow.
Her odyssey began in March this year when she left her home in Port Pirie aiming to raise money for grants of up to $10,000 to be distributed by the Mary MacKillop Foundation.
The foundation is offering the grants for small, community-based projects dedicated to assisting those in need of a helping hand.
“The generosity of people who have already given to the cause has been extraordinary,” she said.
“I’ve also been struck by how well Mary MacKillop is known around Australia.
“Mary is getting even better known now as many people have stopped me in the street to find out what I’m doing.”
The tour van arrived in Brisbane from NSW earlier this month.
When Sr Murphy spoke with The Catholic Leader last Monday she was in Townsville having already visited Cairns.
She said the roadshow would travel down the coast, continuing to visit Queensland schools and cyclone and flood-affected communities along the way including Mackay, Claremont and Rockhampton.
“Each school visited will learn about the Australian disasters, how people can help, and the role we all play in meeting needs around us,” Sr Murphy said.
“If we were to ask what Mary MacKillop would be doing if she were alive today, we know she would be helping rebuild communities and the lives of the victims affected by these disasters, in keeping with her philosophy to ‘never see a need without trying to do something about it’.”
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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