Farewell to a Palms Saint

Farewell to a Palms Saint

Pauline Randall 26/08/1945 – 20/07/2021

By Graham Andrews [Palms Participant in PNG: Goroka 1992-1995, Banz 2003-2011 & Wewak 2016]

Pauline Randall was a Palms lay missionary in the Archdiocese of Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG). At the age of 23 Pauline set out from her home town of Kurri Kurri in the Hunter region of NSW. Pauline was 71 when she returned from PNG to Australia for the last time.

Pauline had many fine attributes that allowed her to give much to many people in PNG. She would always say she received much from the Papua New Guineans whom she loved very much. Naturally there were ongoing obstacles, but Pauline’s strong faith, gentleness and sincerity overcame whatever was placed in front of her.

As it often happens with missionaries, Pauline had to try her hand at so many things, often training herself on the job. In the parish of Mun for 20 years and then Kiripia, she excelled in some talents probably hidden from Pauline herself when she set out for PNG in 1968. These especially encompassed aspects of teaching, nursing and liturgy. Pauline dedicated herself to teaching young students in elementary schools, as well as training local teachers. She taught adults how to read and write. When the AIDS epidemic hit in the region, and health care was urgently required, she was there to assist. Pauline was a central part of the Legion of Mary in the parish. Pauline always responded to a need.

Pauline received great love and support from her family throughout all her years in PNG. Her strong faith was indeed nurtured in her family. Pauline was with Fr Joe Bisson SVD throughout her mission years. They were a great support for each other. Fr Joe is now in his homeland USA, and they kept in touch right to the very end.

I was privileged to be a friend of Pauline, not only in PNG, but also here at home. We often chatted about PNG, and she would always say good things and if things were not so good when she was there, or even now, she did not have a bad word, but mention the problems and say “I pray for them”.  A truly kind and gentle soul, Pauline appreciated very much her life. She believed, and said, that she had a good life. With her strong faith, Pauline excelled in all facets of her life throughout her 75 years. While we will very much miss Pauline, God now has someone at home to be cherished.

Photo credit: https://cathnews.com/archives/cn-perspectives-archive/18775-pauline-s-lifelong-mission