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The Flying Nun


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Sister Ann Maree Jensen with Jeanne Ryckmans
‘Thank goodness for Pope John Paul and the Second Vatican because wearing a long medieval-style habit complete with veil and stockings would hardly be the right outfit for climbing in and out of my Cessna three or four times a day in forty degree plus heat. Nor would it be suitable for attending the Birdsville races, helping a publican’s wife pull beers in an outback pub or joining in the odd bit of boot scootin’ and line dancing. ‘ Sister Anne Maree JensenA baseball cap, riding boots and a Cessna aeroplane are not usually part of the image that comes to mind when we think of nuns – but then, Sister Anne Maree Jensen’s ‘Aerial Ministry’ is not a conventional calling either. For the past ten years, Sister Anne Maree has been flying over some of the most remote parts of outback southwest Queensland, bringing companionship to the women who live in her bush parish. (Her parish includes more than 250,000 square kilometres of sheep and cattle stations, roughly the size of West Germany.)


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