Sister’s got the job all covered

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The 95-year-old retired Sister of Mercy, Sr Monica Raper, heads a group of dedicated volunteers who gather every week making doonas for the most vulnerable members of the community. PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

Warm act of mercy took shape from humble beginnings

Threading faith through everyday life is at the heart of everything Sr Monica Raper does.
The 95-year-old retired Sister of Mercy heads a group of dedicated volunteers who gather every week making doonas for the most vulnerable members of the community.

And while her hands aren’t as agile as they used to be, she loves nothing more than to meet with the dedicated group who have become as much as a support for those in need as each other.

Today the sewing room is well equipped with industrial sewing machines, overlockers and extra-large tables for cutting out and filling the doonas. PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

The St Vincent de Paul Ladies Auxiliary at Crows Nest have been meeting since 1988 and while over the years the faces have come and gone, their ethos of living out their faith remains the same.

Sr Monica said they sew, sip and socialise all in the name of God. “We have become great friends and supported one another in times of both sickness and sorrow,” she said.

“Our passion to help the neediest and most vulnerable members of the community has been the driving force behind our group but the friendships we have made have become equally as important.

Sr Monica said they sew, sip and socialise
all in the name of God.

“After more than 60 years of religious life, my desire to help others is as strong as ever and while I can’t do as much as I used to, I like to do what I can.

“While I can continue the work, I will.”

Founded in 1988 by Sister Mary Philippine Madden, a sister of Mercy from the North Sydney Congregation, the group has continued to meet religiously for the past 33 years, cutting, filling and sewing doonas with love.

PHOTO: ALPHONSUS FOK

From humble beginnings cutting out fabric on the floor on their hands and knees, today the sewing room is well equipped with industrial sewing machines, overlockers and extra-large tables for cutting out and filling the doonas.

The Auxiliary has two street stalls each year for Mother’s Day and for Christmas with all money raised covering the cost of the materials needed to purchase the doonas.

Over the years the members have volunteered countless hours to provide thousands of doonas and other goods to the needy.

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