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Ex-BBC reporter Martina Purdy no longer novice nun

By Laura Abernethy

Published 14/06/2016

Martina Purdy (left) and Elaine Kelly yesterday at the Adoration Convent on the Falls Road, Belfast
Martina Purdy (left) and Elaine Kelly yesterday at the Adoration Convent on the Falls Road, Belfast
Former journalist Martina Purdy

Former journalist Martina Purdy has completed her time as a novice nun at the Adoration convent in Belfast.

The former BBC NI political correspondent became Sister Martina of the Blessed Sacrament after she left the broadcaster in 2014.

She had worked in journalism for more than 20 years, including at the Belfast Telegraph and then at the BBC for most of her career - but she gave it all up to join the west Belfast Convent.

The sisters' main source of income comes from the baking of altar bread, and all their work is carried out in silence.

When the former broadcaster announced her intention, she said: "I know many people will not understand this decision. It is a decision that I have not come to lightly, but it is one that I make with love and great joy.

"I ask for prayers as I embark on this path with all humility, faith and trust."

Ms Purdy was raised a Catholic, but she was not drawn to the religious life during her younger years.

Her journey towards a deeper faith began around nine years ago following a holiday to Peru, on which she thought about becoming an aid worker.

She said: "I could stay at the BBC, have a good life or I could go and give my life to God. I could be transformed.

"So I'm like: 'Yes, Lord, I'm in. I want to be transformed.'"

Sister Martina was yesterday pictured alongside Sister Elaine Kelly, who worked as a barrister for 23 years before joining the convent.

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