When Sister Marjorie McLachlan was a student at St Joseph's Girls High School in Newcastle she heard a clear, distinct call to become a nun.
The youngest of three in a devout Catholic family she thought her vocation would be embraced.
But her parents were not enthusiastic. In particular, her beloved mother Neta was openly hostile to the idea, desiring her only daughter to marry.
So she ignored her call.
When she left school she worked for three years and during this time met a young man named Harry whom she began to date.
The pair spoke about getting engaged.
But she was unsure.
"I thought long and hard about it but I knew my vocation," she said.
It was then - despite the disapproving eye of her mother - she entered the convent.
It would be Harry - who along with his wife Margaret would become a lifelong friend - who dropped her off to the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart convent in Newcastle. The order would become famous after its founder Mary MacKillop was declared Australia's first Catholic saint in 2010.
She cites pursuing her vocation against her mother's wishes as the hardest thing she has had to cope with.
When she said her final vows only a brother and Harry attended. Although later in life her mother did give her blessing.
Sr Marjorie spent most of her religious life teaching maths and science to high school students in Australia and abroad.
A highlight was a three year stint teaching indigenous students at a public school near Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s.
But it was Port Macquarie where Sr Marjorie really put her roots.
Early on she noticed young men sleeping on the verandah of the convent. The practical nun would make meals for them.
She then noticed other young people sleeping rough along Kooloonbung Creek.
"I'd see them trying to find food in bins," she said.
Determined to do something about it she set up Port Macquarie's first soup kitchen at the Catholic Mens Club on Horton Street in 1990.
For the last twenty years Sr Marjorie has been running the soup kitchen which currently feeds around 100 people a week.
While many come for a meal, others come to talk.
"The greatest hunger is loneliness," she said.
Sr Marjorie said the soup kitchen has a surplus of volunteers and they now have to even turn volunteers away.
"Our kitchen isn't big enough," she said.
She evokes pure devotion from her many volunteers.
"I told her I wasn't Catholic but she said it didn't matter," said volunteer June Crook.
"She is a one-off, an asset to Port Macquarie."
Sr Marjorie said her faith, particularly receiving the Eucharist daily, sustains her.
She has never doubted God but sometimes doubted she was "making a difference".
She acknowledges the exodus of young people leaving the Church, many of whom have been educated at Catholic schools.
"It is their decision but I really feel something, at some stage, will bring them back," she said.
"I think they will have some dissatisfaction with life and search for something higher."
At 85 Sr Marjorie shows no signs of slowing down. In 2013 she was recognised for her work with the poor with a highly-deserved Order of Australia medal.
How long will she keep running the soup kitchen for?
"As long as people are hungry," she said.
Sr Marjorie's soup kitchen runs every Tuesday from 9.30am until midday at the Masonic Hall on the corner of Grant and Burrawan Street. All are welcome.
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