Sacred Heart Sister Philomene Tiernan, R.S.C.J., on a return flight to Sydney, Australia after a trip to Europe, was aboard Malaysian Flight MH17 that was shot down over Ukrainian airspace July 17, 2014.
According to a statement from the school where Tiernan worked, the 77-year-old sister had been making an annual retreat that included a trip to Europe and a visit to St. Francis Xavier Church in Paris, where the founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, is buried.
"She was a leading light and will be an incredible loss to the Society of the Sacred Heart, and a huge loss to our school community." said Ms. Johnston-Croke, principal Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, where Tiernan served as a teacher and administrator for more than 30 years.
The Society of the Sacred Heart has schools in 44 countries and all have conveyed their tributes and condolences to the school, Johnston-Croke told The Australian."I've been getting email and texts from all over the world," she said.
Below is a short video made earlier in which Sr.Tiernan and past students talk about the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Heart and Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, its foundress.