‘Sister Santa’ delivers food and love to the vulnerable

Sr Salvacion Bunao and volunteer Lita Espinosa with hot meals for the vulnerable of South Brisbane (Supplied)

Some of Brisbane’s homeless call her “Santa”, but Sr Salvacion Bunao likes to think of herself just as a nun serving the vulnerable, inspired and challenged by Pope Francis. Source: The Catholic Leader.

The Franciscan Immaculatine Sister, who works alongside the Capuchins at South Brisbane, has been personally delivering food and good cheer to vulnerable members of her community, including elderly parishioners, families and the homeless, twice a week throughout the pandemic.

She said the ministry was a response to feedback from their elderly parishioners, who were feeling isolated because of the strict social isolation measures in place at the beginning of the pandemic.

Many of the elderly had been attending another ministry of the South Brisbane parish, which provides guests with a free meal.

“Originally we started this five years ago for the St Francis Table ministry to the elderly, but right after the lockdown we started to reach out more to our elderly parishioners, families who are really vulnerable, the homeless,” Sr Bunao said.

“The local community is really in need of more support so we said they are affected emotionally, mentally, financially, so we’re sort of giving them more love, care and compassion.”

That love, care and compassion begins with a hot meal that is made “from scratch” out of donations.

Some of the homeless have nicknamed her Santa because “they said they never had nuns before who were going around with meals”.

“And I said, ‘During this pandemic, the nuns should go out because the pope said we have to go out of our comfort zone and reach out’,” Sr Bunao said.


This Franciscan nun is delivering love, care and hot meals to those in need across Brisbane (By Emilie Ng, The Catholic Leader

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