Message of Condolence and Mass offered following MH17 airline tragedy

18 July 2014

Media release from Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Sydney Bishop Peter Comensoli

Message of Condolence and Mass offered following MH17 airline tragedy St Mary’s Cathedral Sunday 20 July 2014

A member of the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart at a Catholic girls’ school, Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was among the 28 known Australians to have died in the Ukrainian airline tragedy, Malaysian Airlines MH17.

Sister Philomene Tiernan, a much-loved teacher and spiritual director to the Boarding School was returning from a conference in England and a visit to the Congregation’s Motherhouse in France.

Her contribution to the Archdiocese of Sydney and the wider community was well regarded.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of Sister Philomene and extend our prayers and condolences to all the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

I also offer my prayers for everyone who perished in this disaster and for their families and friends. We know there were a number of Australians on the flight, as well as many delegates for the 20th International Aids Conference in Melbourne, and I would encourage everyone to join me in prayer for them.

Let us keep in mind those who are investigating this tragedy so that the relatives of those who died may be provided some answers as soon as possible.

Please keep in your prayers the Middle East and other areas of conflict where there continues to be great suffering. Let’s all pray for the cessation of war and a strong commitment to dialogue and reconciliation.

There will be the celebration of a Mass of Remembrance and a call for peace at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney this Sunday, 20 July at 10.30am.

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia will be attending with Lady Cosgrove along with
 the Prime Minister Hon Tony Abbott and Mrs Abbott and community leaders.

All are welcome.
May the God of peace be with all who are grieving at this time.

Bishop Peter A Comensoli Apostolic Administrator Archdiocese of Sydney

Download media release:

Media contact Katrina Lee 0403 950 652 or