“My body is here but my heart is still in the Philippines at this stage."
A few months after the Australian nun’s return to Melbourne, she admits that although she loves being with her family and friends, she still doesn't feel that her life should be in Australia – she still wants to be with the people in the Philippines.
“Every time I hear something happening in the Philippines, you know I want to be back there with them,” she shares.
Sister Fox, who has been likened to Mother Teresa due to her efforts to help the urban and rural poor, will continue to appeal in order to return to the Philippines this year.
The Catholic nun believes her mission is unfinished. She shares that she wants to continue fighting for missionaries not to be deprived of the very essence of their work – that is to be involved with issues of justice.
She is also standing up for the non-citizens of the Philippines so that they also be given equal rights when it comes to freedom of expression, religion and movement.
Since her return to Australia, Sister Pat has been making rounds to different places in the country including some universities where she was invited to talk.
The Catholic missionary was spreading awareness on different issues in the Philippines such as human rights violations due to the war on drugs, activities of Australian mining companies and malpractice on the part of the Australian military in relation to the ‘Martial Law’ that persists in Mindanao.
“We shouldn’t have anything to do with the military when there’s a situation [like] a 'Martial Law', with the military in the Philippines training a paramilitary who are brutal apart from the military themselves," she shares.
She asks the Morrison government for an examination of conscience - to think, "We’re not going to continue that as long as there’s a 'Martial Law', as long as the human rights are not being respected," she says.
Reflecting on 2018, Sister Fox shares how her appeal to remain in the Philippines became a double-edged sword for her; it was a stressful time, but she was amazed by the support she received from the Filipino people.
“Even the people from the street in the Philippines would come up to me and say, ‘oh, we’re praying for you, we hope you can stay,’ and I never met them before. It was amazing that way. I’m going to miss the selfies because everybody takes selfies,” she says, longing for the country she served for almost three decades.
In the new year, the Australian nun hopes to fight on. She vows to continue rallying for peace and justice throughout the world.
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