Mercy nun’s milestone

KARACHI: Sr Carmel Carroll with some of her students, including Fausia Nawaz, during her three years at the Notre Dame Institute of Education, in Karachi, 2001.FIFTYyears ago, when Sr Carmel Carroll professed her vows, she thought her ministry would be teaching students in the Central West.
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REUNION: Sr Carmel, with former student, Fausia Nawaz, who now runs a department at the Notre Dame Institute of Education, 2016.

She never imagined her calling would literally take her to all corners of the globe, teaching the disadvantagedwho without the Mercy Order, would never had have access to even the most basic education.

Sr Carmel, who last month celebrated her jubileedid end up teaching students throughout the region, including Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo and Forbes but she also ended upin Papua New Guinea and Pakistan as well.

She has also spent time at Berkeley, California and Cabramatta, Sydney and many cities in between.

“When Ijoined the Sisters of Mercy 50years ago I had no idea where it would take me, and I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had,” she said.

Sr Carmelsaid two of her major ministries, which included eight years in Papua New Guineaand three years in Pakistan evolved “by accident”.

In 1999, she picked up a brochure from the Notre Dame Institute of Education in Karachi, Pakistan. It was founded by three Mercy Sisters in 1991 with the aim of lifting the standard of and access to education in Pakistan.

Generally speaking,teachers at the time in Pakistan were poorly trained, and even then education was available to only those who could afford it.

“The teachers we were training were already working in schools with little or no training, so theyweresponsored to come to us to learn teaching methods.

“Our aim was to equip teachers to go back to school and share what they had learned.”

Last month the Institutecelebrated 25 years since foundation, and Sr Carmel, along with other staff were invited back to mark the occasion.

She said what the Institutehas achieved in 25 years is remarkable.

“Within five years it will be a full university;and itis in the process of establishing a second campus in Rawalpindi, which willstand aloneand haveclose associations to the University of Pakistan.

“To think the Institute started 25 years ago with three Mercy Sisters andnine students and has grown to be where it is now, with 1500 graduates is an extraordinary achievement.”

One enduring memory Sr Carmel has from her time there, was a man, and his five-year-old son, who lived on the streets.

“He repaired shoes for money, andhis son, who was only about four or fiveworked alongside him as his apprentice.

“I know because of the work of the Mercy Sisterschildren like him will now havea chance at an education. I’m very proud to see the seed planted by the Sisters of Mercy has grown so strongly and so beautifully.”

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