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Australian Prime Minister praises work of Mercy Sisters in Lima, Peru

While in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit, Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has taken time out to visit the Australian Sisters of Mercy who work in the slums of Lima where they operate the Mercy Family Health Service, Childcare Centre and Women’s Centre at Cerro Candela (Hill of Candles).

Prime Minister Rudd praised the efforts of the Australian Sisters of Mercy (Joan Doyle RSM, Patricia McDermott RSM and Jackie Ford RSM) who have worked in Peru for twelve years saying, "The good Sisters of Mercy always believe in three great virtues – faith, hope and charity. Their charity we have seen," he said.

Mr Rudd said it was wonderful to see happy children and kindness and love at work. "Years ago in Australia the Sisters of Mercy taught me how to play the piano," he said. "They are very good teachers. They have a great heart of compassion."

The full text of the Prime Minister’s remarks are available below:

Messages to: Joan Doyle RSM

Editor: The work of these sisters can be viewed in Story 5, Centres of Support and Skill, in Mercy and Justice Shall Meet.  A new DVD focussing on the work in the health centres is in post production. A clip from this DVD has been posted on YouTube.


(Photo: Left to Right) Diana Nelson (Australian Embassy, Chile), Crispin Conroy (Australian Ambassador, Chile), Joan Doyle RSM, PM Rudd, Patricia McDermott RSM, Nicholas Baker (Australian Consul, Peru)

 Prime Minister Rudd’s remarks and some of the media reports:

  1. Prime Minister Rudd’s remarks to the Sisters of Mercy Family Health Service Lima, Peru
  2. Rudd Government announces $45,000 in funding to Sisters of Mercy Family Health Services Lima, Peru
  3. "Potatoes, dust and some serious talking" Blog of SBS Senior Political Reporter Karen Middleton, November 24, 2008
  4. "Mercy mission makes a senor smile" Sydney Morning Herald, November 24, 2008
  5. "Real poverty and the nuns who are making a difference", The Age, November 24, 2008
  6. "Peruvians hail manna from Kevin", The Australian, November 24, 2008
  7. "Rudd visits Lima shanty town", The Herald Sun, November 24, 2008
  8. "Aussie nuns shining light on poor in Lima", AAP/The Sunshine Coast Daily Online, November 24, 2008
  9. "Rudd praises Sisters of Mercy in Lima", ABC Online, November 23, 2008