A Derry nun has been invited to attend the 2015 United Nations’ General Assembly session on Friday when Pope Francis will address the Heads of State of each of the U.N. member countries.
Deirdre Mullan, a Sister of Mercy from Derry and a former teacher at Thornhill College, will be part of the delegation headed by Ambassador Archbishop Bernardo Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations. The event is by invitation only
The visit of Pope Francis is an important part of a historic year in which the United Nations marks its 70th anniversary, a time when member states will discuss and make some major decisions regarding sustainable development, climate change and the future peace and well-being of humankind.
Pope Francis will also participate in a town hall gathering with United Nations staff.
Speaking from New York Sister Deirdre said: “Pope Francis is an inspiring leader. For many years, I have been involved in education projects, helping to build schools and provide scholarships for children in poorer countries in our world.
“None of what I do would be possible without the support of some of our local schools and local Derry people who, year in and year out, collaborate with me in making our world a better place, one child at a time.”
Pope Francis reminds us that “Giving on its own is not enough. It is not enough to offer someone a sandwich unless it is accompanied by the possibility of learning how to stand on one’s own two feet. Charity that leaves the poor person, as he or she is, is not sufficient. Mercy and justice demands that the poor find the way to be poor no longer. It asks each of us to ensure that no one ever again stands in need of a soup-kitchen, of make-shift shelters.”
Commenting on this Sister Deirdre said: “So many of our people get it and live by the motto that it is not enough to be compassionate. We also must act.”
Sister Deirdre Mullan has spent 12 years in New York City, working with two-different non-governmental organizations at the United Nations. Currently, she works with UNICEF, the United Nations children’s organization.