As we mark the first anniversary of Sr Phil Tiernan RSCJ’s death, our hearts go out to the friends and relatives of all those who died in the downing of the MH17. Each one was special and much loved. God had a unique call for each one.
The first anniversary of a death is an important moment in the journey of grief and healing. The pain of losing our sister so suddenly and in such a violent manner in the downing of MH17 is still with us. We still struggle with the meaning of this event. We hope that the media treats the ongoing grief of the bereaved with respect and sensitivity.
The cycle of life goes on in the fields of the Ukraine. As sunflowers once again turn their faces to the sun, we think of Phil’s heart, always turned to the Heart of our God. Seeds must die and fall to the earth in order to bear fruit (Jn12:24). Her life has borne fruit in her fidelity to her commitment to religious life in the Society of the Sacred Heart.
We give thanks for Phil’s life. She has passed through death to participate in the mystery of the Resurrection. She is with us still, but in a different way.
We pray for all those who are missing loved ones as a result of this event. May they feel the love of the Heart of God.
We pray in gratitude for all those who helped in the traumatic task of recovering and identifying remains. Their concern for the dignity of the dead is a source of hope.
We pray for those who work for peace and the promotion of nonviolence in large and small ways. They show us that there is another way.
Sr Joan Pender
Society of the Sacred Heart Australia New Zealand Province