Loading
Catholic sisters save over 300 children from deadly tsunami in Samoa
Sr. Doris Barbero. Credit: Archdiocese of Sydney.
Sr. Doris Barbero. Credit: Archdiocese of Sydney.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- An Australian sister and her colleagues at a Samoan primary school saved the lives of 320 school children when she quickly moved them to higher ground after an earthquake triggered a tsunami warning.

The Queensland-born Sister Doris Barbero, a Salesian, was teaching at St. Joseph’s Primary School on the edge of the sea in a village in southwest Western Samoa. The school is sponsored by Catholic Mission in Australia.

On Sept. 29 Sr. Doris, two other sisters and 11 lay staff felt the violent rumbling of the earthquake. According to the Archdiocese of Sydney, she said her first reaction was relief that all the children and the school had come through unhurt.

Then came strong aftershocks and the tsunami warning.

"We realized we had a very short time to get the children away from the school and the sea and up to higher ground to the hills behind us," Sister Doris said in a phone conversation with the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Sr. Doris and the staff scrambled up the hills with the children, who ranged in age from four to fifteen years old.

The older children helped the younger ones, who were very frightened.

The group remained huddled in the hills until the following day, the Archdiocese of Sydney reports. Although they escaped, many did not know the fate of their families and some still have relatives missing.

Sr. Doris now wants to raise funds to build a secure tsunami shelter high in the hills behind the school with emergency supplies in the event of a future tsunami.

Samoa-born Catholic priests Fr. Paulino and Tui Kolio and Father Tie Tie celebrated a special evening Mass at St. Therese Church in Sydney last Friday for the grieving and distraught families of victims killed or missing in the wake of the tsunami.

The two priests, both based at St. Therese parish, are migrant chaplains with the Archdiocese of Sydney who serve the local Samoan community.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Jan
26

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Gospel
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
01/26/15

Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Homily
Date
01/26/15
01/25/15
01/24/15