Vale Sr John (Pat) Durnan

Many of you will remember Sr John (Pat) Durnan as a founding member of our community. She was a great friend of Ted Kennedy’s, looking after him during his latter years while he was still able to stay at his home in Burrawang, and a great friend of the Aboriginal people, eventually selling her home in Araluen and donating the proceeds to the AMS.

DURNAN. – Patricia. Sr. John MSC Died peacefully at Epworth Freemason Hospital on Nov. 5, 2010 Cherished member of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Patricia was a woman of integrity who had a great love and respect for all people. This was coupled with a deep sense of justice. Over many years, she was a treasured friend of the Aboriginal Community centred at Redfern N.S.W. We rejoice that she is now with God. Patricia was 86 years old and in the 55th year of her Religious Profession. Patricia’s Community and family wish to express their deep gratitude to the Sisters, Staff and fellow Residents of Mary MacKillop Aged Care Centre for their love and wonderful care of Patricia over these past two years.

Funeral Mass for Patricia Durnan MSC (Sr. John) will be offered at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, cnr Whitehorse and Deepdene Rds, Deepdene on MONDAY (Nov. 15, 2010) at 11 a.m. The Funeral will leave at the conclusion of Mass for burial at Eltham Cemetery, Mt Pleasant Rd, Eltham.

Herald Sun, Melbourne
Details of a Redfern memorial Mass for Sr Pat will be posted here as soon as they are finalised.

AMS Tribute

In younger years her empathy for humanity found expression as a caring nurse, one who gave without conditions, laboured without caveats in her pursuit to follow in faithful footsteps of a healing Prophet.

Her call to such a high commission revealed commitment and utter professionalism with no compromise in extending the ultimate in giving, love and compassion to all who came within her reach,.

Within a Germanic Order she perpetuated in Stoic resolve and tolerant acceptance the all encompassing message of parity in care with no one more deserving than another.

An infectious laugh disguised a quiet inner resolve of considered circumspection a tower of acceptance that knew no bounds.

Having been weighed in the balance she was found not wanting – an apprenticeship that equipped her to a further ministry as a founding member of an urban spiritual initiative in Redfern. Exposed to the genuineness in Aboriginal people’s social interaction she was warmed within by the ancient Spirit that permeates this land, merging man and nature into a harmonious whole an environment in which she felt at ease and accepted.

Heeding her Master’s call as a disciple she sold all that she had and followed and in so doing benefited the health of the Aboriginal community through her spirit of charity.

This life of service and training came to heightened focus when she assumed the mantel of nursing the one who epitomised for her selfless caring for humanity — a priest and colleague who identified himself simply as a friend of Aboriginal people.

Her final commission as Father Ted’s nurse provided the onerous caring that enabled him to remain as long as possible within his cherished country balm and later provided caring and comfort in his final passage.

Following the ravages of the crippling silent enemy that erases recollection, our memories of her significance, contribution and abundant life of caring in no way diminish and we give tribute to one who exemplified the true and faithful servant.

Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern

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