She may not literally be able to take to the sky but the career of Dubbo nun the Reverend Sister Linda Mary CSC is flying.
The Dubbo-born woman is the incoming Mother Superior of the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC), a holy order with houses in England, Canada, the Solomon Islands and Australia.
Her parents Noel and Betty Shuttle are quietly celebrating the election, accompanied by the Anglican community in Dubbo. The Shuttles will make the trip from Dubbo to attend the blessing of their eldest daughter in June.
There she will officially take the reins of the international Anglican religious community.
Usually the position is performed from England but in a first, the Rev Sr Linda Mary will be based in Australia at her own insistance.
The Rev Sr Linda Mary was born at Dubbo and grew up in the city.
She attended Dubbo South Primary School and Dubbo High School before embarking on a teaching career.
Her well-known mother, Mrs Shuttle, is proud of her daughter’s climb after 37 years in the order.
“It is a great thrill for us and a great honour for her,” Mrs Shuttle said.
The Dubbo Anglican parish has shared in the good news with the Shuttle family.
Recently a card at Holy Trinity Church was filled with signatures and best wishes after two morning services and will be sent to the new Mother Superior.
“The congregation has been very supportive, some of the people who signed the card probably did not know Linda,” Mrs Shuttle said.
The Rev Sr Linda Mary joined the order when she was 22 years of age after working as a home economics teacher.
She went to a noviciate at Melbourne and added Mary to her name.
Further studies saw her become a reverend in 1993.
She is about to begin another term as Provincial Head Sister in Australia and lives at Kempsey.
Mrs Shuttle said the family had never expected this.
“My brother-in-law used to joke that it would be nice if she became a bishop, but we didn’t think of this alternative,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Shuttle have five children, three of whom still live in Dubbo.
The Rev Sr Linda Mary last came to Dubbo at Christmas, when she spent more than two weeks with her parents.
Emily Ayckbowm founded the Community of the Sisters of the Church in 1870.
It pioneered works in Christian education, child care, social welfare and mission work.