Home' The Southern Cross : September 2015 Contents Page 10 September 2015
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Nazareth Catholic College youth minister
and nursing student Rose Whitehead has
helped a 12-year-old girl suffering from
undiagnosed cerebral palsy find quality of
life after a chance meeting during a visit to
a remote village in Timor-Leste earlier this
Rose, a Nazareth graduate, spent six
weeks volunteering in Timor-Leste in June
and July. During that time she caught up
with 11 staff and fellow graduates from
Nazareth as part of the community’s
annual mission to Timor-Leste.
While assisting health clinic workers in a
remote village, Rose came across a child
in a hut who appeared to be suffering
from cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a
physical disability that affects movement
and posture and is due to damage to the
developing brain either during pregnancy
or shortly after birth.
“Agustinha was sitting in a broken plastic
chair in the doorway with grazes on her
legs because she was pulling herself about
on the floor with what little strength she
had in her arms,” said Rose.
“She was completely incapable of moving
her legs and only had very limited, slow
movements with her arms and head. She
was unable to talk or even close her mouth
and had never been to school.”
Rose said Agustinha looked like a small
child but was actually 12 years old. “Her
family had never been able to take her to a
doctor and so she was undiagnosed until
we found her,” she said.
“For the past 12 years she’s pretty
much spent her life in that chair. It was
Rose felt compelled to help Agustinha and
recalled that wheelchairs donated by Largs
Bay Rotary were among the consignment
of goods sent to Timor-Leste in a shipping
container by Nazareth Catholic community.
With the help of the Good Crocodile
Foundation, a wheelchair was delivered
to Agustinha and she is now awaiting
medical treatment in Dili thanks to Rose’s
Rose was able to track down a service
capable of providing Agustinha with
physiotherapy and teach her family how
to continue the treatment back home
in the village. The family and Agustinha
will spend three months in Dili with free
“Hopefully the wheelchair and physio will
increase her mobility and she will be able
to go to school rather than sit in that mud
hut all day,” said Rose.
For more information on Nazareth’s
fundraising projects in Timor-Leste and
Bathurst Island visit www.nazareth.org.
from Timor visit
CHANCE MEETING: Nazareth Catholic
College youth minister Rose Whitehead
located a wheelchair for cerebral palsy
sufferer Agustinha while she was
volunteering in Timor-Leste.
Margaret Daly’s retirement from nursing
four years ago has certainly not led to a
slowing down in pace.
For the past 18 months the 68-year-old
grandmother of three has been pastoral
assistant to the Murray Bridge parish while
completing the final stages of a four-year
Ministry Formation Program course.
Her philosophy is simple: there is no
greater joy than that of serving.
“We really are supposed to be
conscientious participants in Mass and
parish life, not just spectators,” says
Margaret. “Being involved gives you the
joy of serving.”
Margaret was a registered nurse for more
than 40 years. However, retirement in
2011 meant she was able to become
an even more active member of the
parish. She writes prayers of the faithful,
reads at Mass, leads liturgy of the Word
with Communion, serves on the parish
pastoral council, and prepares liturgies
and presentations for Eucharist as
well as coordinating children’s liturgy
and sacramental preparation. She is a
Covenant Josephite and assists the Rural
Women in Faith group.
Margaret is a pastoral visitor, along with
others, to the hospital and nursing home,
and the frail and elderly in their homes.
“Visiting the elderly at home, in nursing
homes and hospital is a real joy,” says
Margaret. “The people I visit say it is
wonderful that I do this but I find it really
enriching to share my faith with them and
that’s fantastic and the involvement with
the children is a real joy too.”
Margaret has also been a member of the
Reconciliation group Ngoppon Together
(Walking Together) for the past three
years. The group lobbies Federal, State
and local government on Indigenous
issues in a bid to support local Aboriginal
communities. While a nurse, she was part
of a reconciliation group formed at Murray
Bridge and the community health centre
for 20 years.
“Social justice is a very important part of
what I believe in and a part of my faith
life,” she says.
Margaret was born in Whyalla and
attended St Teresa’s School (now
Samaritan College) before studying to
become a nurse. She moved to Adelaide
where she worked, was married and lived
for 12 years before relocating to Mt Barker
and then Murray Bridge 30 years ago to
run a small farm with her husband.
Margaret says she was born and bred
Catholic but felt a strong reconnection
with her faith when her daughter and son
began their own sacramental programs. “I
then became more and more involved in
the parish,” she says.
She began studying liturgy with a group
from the parish, and went on to study the
foundation extended program. “I got a
lot out of that study and really enjoyed
learning more about our beliefs,” she says.
About four years ago she found in her
letterbox an application form for the
Adelaide Archdiocese’s Ministry Formation
Program. She applied and was interviewed
but was still unsure if this was what she
was called to do.
“It was not until Orientation Day that I
discerned that I was sure that God was
calling me to do this. I did not know where
I was being led, but trusted that I was
where I should be.”
SEE A NEED: Covenant Josephite and Murray Bridge Parish pastoral assistant
Margaret Daly can’t help responding to St Mary MacKillop’s call of “never see a
need without doing something about it”.
Photo: Nat Rogers
Margaret’s joy of serving
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