Sister Philomene Tiernan rscj

R.I.P.

Kincoppal Rose-Bay School of the Sacred Heart, Sydney.

Read here to read the Eulogy from Sr Mary Shanahan rscj at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Life of Sr Phil Tiernan RSCJ . It was held at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Randwick on 25 July 2104.

Sister Phil Tiernan’s sister, Madeleine Wright and her daughter Josephine gave this eulogy. Read more..



'I don't think my words can ever do her justice': Former student, Daily Mail Australia reporter LUCY THACKRAY Student's tribute to nun killed on MH17 flight who had dedicated her life to inspiring pupils at Sydney girls' school. Catholic Sister Philomene Tiernan was among the 28 Australians on MH17 She was a much-loved nun at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School, Sydney.
Now former student Lucy Thackray pays tribute to her favourite mentor.
Sister Philomene Tiernan spent her life inspiring the young girls she oversaw at a girls' high school in Sydney. As news of the tragic MH17 flight broke, it soon became clear the dedicated Catholic nun was among the 28 Australians on board who lost their lives when the plane was shot out of the sky over Ukraine.
Here her former student, Daily Mail Australia reporter LUCY THACKRAY, gives a first-hand account of what made her favourite mentor so special..... 'Sister Philomene Tiernan was one of those all-too-rare people that made everyone she met feel special. We knew her as Sister Phil and she was the kindest person I'm sure I will ever come across. She was the loving Nanna of Kincoppal-Rose Bay school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, who seemed to possess an inbuilt radar for any homesick girl who had just arrived at the boarding school. Sister Phil had that special ability to make us all feel at home. This is undoubtedly the hardest thing I've ever had to write, and I think that’s because I just don’t feel my words can do justice to what an amazing woman she really was. Sister Phil was cherished by so many people. Today, I am in complete shock and at a loss for a woman that had such a huge impact on thousands of girls who passed through the big school gates. Sister Phil never stopped working. She had once been a boarding mistress, responsible for caring for the boarders who came to the school from around the world.

1.-Hilary Johnston-Crocke - Principal's Tribute to Philomene Tiernan rscj at the KRB e Life of Phil on Wednesay 13 Aug 2014 - Read here...

2.-TRIBUTE from Hilary Johnston-Croke The principal of Sydney's Kincoppal-Rose Bay school, Hilary Johnston-Croke, has written to parents about staff member Philomene Tiernan, confirming the school's nun was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17.
Dear Parents, It is with great sadness that I am writing to inform you that Sister Philomene Tiernan rscj was a passenger on Malaysian Airline Flight MH17, which was shot down over the Ukraine this morning. This has come as an enormous shock to me and our school community as I am sure it will to all of you. I heard from Phil yesterday morning and she told me that she had left Joigny, where she had been attending a retreat, in Paris while there, she saw Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in her caisse at St Francis Xavier Church, which was a very special moment for her. Phil was a very much loved staff member and friend. She contributed greatly to our community and she touched the lives of all at KRB in such a positive and meaningful way. We are devastated by the loss of such a wonderfully kind, wise and compassionate woman who was greatly loved by us all. She was a great friend and mentor to me personally. Students from Years 3 to 12 have been informed of her passing and Years 5 to 12 and Staff came together this afternoon in a beautiful Liturgy in the MTC to pray for her. I will keep you informed about how we will celebrate her life in the coming weeks. I ask all of you to please keep Sister Tiernan, her family, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart and our school community in your prayers at this time.
With Regards,
Hilary Johnston-Croke (Mrs)

Dear Alumnae, I am writing with very sad news. Sr Philomene Tiernan rscJ was a passenger on the Malaysian Airline Flight MH17. On our recent Sacred Heart Tour, we were privileged to catch up with Sr Tiernan in Joigny last week. Prior to this, a few of us had been with her in London at the Janet Erskine Stuart Centenary Conferences. She did tell us during this time that she was really inspired and very happy to be part of these celebrations. I ask for your prayerful support of Sr Tiernan’s family and her Sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Eternal rest grant unto Sr Tiernan and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen. God bless.
Helen Sinclair - Principal of Stuartholme, Brisbane


It is with much sadness that I write to inform you that one of our dearly loved and much respected RSCJ, Sister Philomene Tiernan, was on the Malaysian airlines flight that was shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border. Sister Phil was an alumna of Stuartholme and has worked at all three of our Australian sister schools. She was currently on staff at Kincoppal Rose Bay. Sister Phil was returning home after her richly rewarding sabbatical leave where she attended the Sacred Heart Conference celebrating the life and legacy of Janet Erskine Stuart held in the U.K. and she later travelled to Joigny. Two of our Sacré Cœur staff also attended the retreat in Joigny. This has come as a great shock to our community and to all RSCJ. Please keep Sr Phil, her family and our Sacred Heart family and all RSCJ in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time. In Corde Jesu
Maureen Ryan
Principal at Sacre Coeur Glen Iris, Melbourne

Dear Everyone
Margaret Wilson RSCJ has asked me to forward to you the message that Jane Maltby RSCJ sent to the ENW province on hearing the tragic news about Phil Tiernan early this morning.
Some of you will already know, but we wanted to be sure that all at the Janet Stuart conferences were aware and could hold Phil and all who knew her in prayer. "I have just received the very sad and shocking news that Phil Tiernan of the ANZ province who was here with us for the Janet Stuart conferences, was one of the passengers on the Maylasian plane that was lost over Ukraine yesterday. I received this news from Diana Hayes rscj who is still in London and who had heard it earlier from her province. It is very difficult to take in this news, all the more so because Phil was with us so recently. The one thing that can comfort us is that Phil was in really good form - happy and at peace, having just finished visiting Joigny, and Sophie in Paris. Let us keep Phil, her family and friends, and of course her stricken province, in our prayers and our love at this time." (Jane Maltby)


I attach a photo of Phil with the rest of the ANZ delegates in Roehampton just before we set off for the High Leigh Conference Centre. Phil, of course, is second from the left wearing a blue scarf. Tributes from schools, colleagues and friends have been left on Society of the Sacred Heart Australia New Zealand Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/rscjanz?fref=ts With love and in sadness
Hilary Thompson Centenary Celebrations Coordination, England and Wales Province

Reflection by Pam Snyder, AMASC Word President 2010-2014
Dear Hilary and Friends, All day long I've thought about Sr. Philomene Tiernan's Profession Cross, cast onto a Ukrainian field. I am able to think about the cross there in the field, because I have faith that gentle Phil herself is in the presence of God. Thinking about Phil's cross brings back the memory of being in the presence of Philippine Duchesne's cross... the missionary cross, worn also by Mother Stuart, which Margaret Phelan brought to the JES Conference. There in England, we spent time with that treasure of the Society... that missionary cross which witnessed the beautiful moments, dark hours and the many natural perils experienced by its wearers.

Now there is another treasure of the Society... we glimpse it in the photo which Hilary sent: Phil Tiernan's cross. We know that after the JES events, Phil Tiernan went on to France, where she visited Joigny and St. Francis Xavier Church in Paris where Sophie rests, and then to the Netherlands. And so Phil's cross went with her on what would be her final pilgrim visits to family and the Society. Sadly we don't know, can't know, if Phil's cross will ever be seen again. Was it destroyed in the crash? If it survived, is it being treated with respect, or was it picked up by a looter? We may never learn. Unlike the Duchesne/Stuart missionary cross... Phil's cross will likely never have a special niche in the Society's archives. But just like the missionary cross, we know that its value lies not in what it is made of nor its artistic merits. The value of Phil's cross is what the wearer made of it, and the Society she represented. May Sr. Tiernan rest in peace and may we all be enriched by her life and mission.
Pamela Snyder
AMASC World President 2010-2014

A Mass of Thanksgiving for the Life of Sr Phil Tiernan RSCJ was held at her parish church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on 25 July 2014.
Eulogy from Sr Mary Shanahan rscj

25 July 2014 Read more...