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Changes in outback end ministry of 'Flying Nun'
    Changed demographics and improvements in communications in outback Queensland have made the the aerial ministry in Rockhamption and Toowoomba dioceses redundant.
    Pilot and Presentation Sister Anne Marie Jensen will no longer use a plane to provide pastoral support to isolated Catholics. The ministry has operated since 1982, with Sr Anne Marie the pastor for the past 11 years.
    She told The Catholic Leader that telecommunications and roads had improved, and that there were fewer people in the west, with the closure of rural properties and town facilities.
    "The older families have moved on," Sr Anne Marie said, "and my sense is that the younger families aren't looking for what is on offer, Church wise."
    However she recommended to the bishops a pastoral worker travel less frequently to the west by road, and Rockhamption has plans to employ a regional pastoral minister for that task.
   
Catholic Leader
   
1-Dec-00