SISTER VISITATION TALLON (Kathleen) who died in 1929 aged 25 years professed 1 year
Sister Visitation was born in Summerhill, Co Meath, on the 24th of January 1904 . She entered the Congregation on the 6th of May 1927. Sister was professed on the 23rd of December 1928. Sister Visitation died in Watford Peace Memorial Hospital on the 2nd of February 1929 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 5th of February 1929.
SISTER BORGIA LYNN (Ellie) who died in 1978 aged 93 years professed 68 years
Sister Borgia was born in Balbriggan, Dublin, on the 18th of February 1885 and entered the Congregation on the 16th of September 1906 and made Final Vows on the 16th of April 1912.
Sister Borgia was a gifted violinist and taught music in Newcastle, Pietersburg, Port Shepstone, Umzumbe and Primrose for over fifty years. She was also a skilled needlewoman and by this added to the success of school Bazaars; nothing was too difficult or onerous for her whether helping in the classroom or the domestic department. Sister Borgia was a charitable, prayerful and devoted Sister, keenly interested in parish Catechetics; she prepared many children for First Communion even procuring First Communion dresses for those who could not afford them. The devotion with which she filled the office of Sacristan in many convents was a witness to her love of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1976 Sister went to Ireland for a holiday and did not return to South Africa, she was assigned to St Mary’s Convent, Boxmoor where she continued to serve the community in whatever way she could until she became ill. The patience and gratitude and acceptance of God’s will which she showed edified those who cared for her. Sister Borgia died in Boxmoor on the 3rd of February 1978 and was buried at Rosary Priory.
SISTER ALPHONSUS EGAN (Winifred) who died in 2000 aged 96 years professed 67 years
Sister Alphonsus was born at Castlerea, Co Roscommon on the 13th of October 1904 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of February 1921. Sister made her Final Profession on the 25th of January 1926.
At the age of seventeen Winifred entered the Novitiate in Launceston and when she went to South Africa she was assigned to several schools where she “was a competent teacher of Mathematics, English, History, Geography and Chemistry. Her interest in English Literature was especially keen, and up to the end of her life she could quote freely from the Classics. Sister was deeply religious and inspired a number of her pupils to try their vocation as Priests or Sisters. She was very human and had a keen sense of humour and a cheerful laugh. When in 1979 she retired from active teaching she was assigned to Benoni Convent where she began a new apostolate. She visited the local Retirement Homes bringing the Catholics Holy Communion and praying with everyone she met on the way. She copied passages from spiritual sources and slipped them into people’s bags in the Church on Sundays. The last eight years of her long life were spent at Marian House, Boksburg, where she was an example to her community. She was still interested in theological discussion and shared prayer. Sister died on the 4th of February 2000 as the Salve was being sung. Owing to adverse weather conditions her funeral did not take place until February 18th when she was buried in the Convent Cemetery Boksburg.
SISTER KOSTKA DLUGOSCH (Franziska) who died in 1984 aged 86 years professed 60 years
Sister Kostka was born in Ozarnviranz, Lr Oppelen, O Schlesien, Germany on the 21st March 1898 and entered the Congregation in Blerik, Venlo, Holland on the 23rd of July 1922 and after two months sailed for South Africa where she made her Final Vows in Newcastle on the 23rd of July 1927.
Apparently Sister suffered from a painful leg malady all her life which she bore silently. Sr Kostka was assigned to Dundee and later to Boksburg. An early companion writes of her:
Except for these first two years, we saw each other rarely. I had no sister of my own but there was such a spiritual bond between us that Sr Kostka continued to be to me what no other sister ever was.
This quiet concern for others marked Sister Kostka’s devoted service wherever she was needed.Her deep spirit of poverty and reserved manner were accompanied by a keen sense of humour and ready wit, she was a person who was always cheerful and obliging and who endeared herself to those whom she served. Past pupils continued to visit her years after they had left school. Sister loved hearing from her family in Poland and showing their pictures to the Sisters.
In her final illness the Community lovingly cared for her until it became necessary for her to have specialised care in Ladysmith Hospital which was run by the Franciscan Sisters. There, shortly before her Diamond Jubilee, she died as she had lived, peacefully, on the 5th of February 1984 and was buried in Boksburg Convent Cemetery on the 8th of February 1984.
SISTER AUXILIA RUSSELL (Mary) who died in 1980 aged 89 years professed 61 years
Sister Auxilia was born in Ballyduff, Co Waterford on the 6th of March 1899 and entered the Congregation on the 24th of October 1917 and made Final Vows on the 19th of July 1922.
Sister Auxilia came to Launceston at the age of seventeen and was one of the first postulants to enter there. She had considerable musical talent which became the main channel of her apostolate. As Chantress and Organist she devoted herself wholeheartedly to the Liturgy and gave unstinted service to parish Churches in many places. As a professed novice she had a severe illness from which she made a complete recovery, to such an extent, that she was chosen as one of the Canadian Pioneers in the early 30’s. On her return she filled , at various periods, the office of Novice Mistress, Prioress and Councillor. From the beginning of her religious life Sister Auxilia set herself to be all that the Holy Rule required of her. She had a special devotion to Our Lady Help of Christians and said the fifteen decades of the rosary daily. In 1979 Sister had several serious falls which gradually left her almost completely helpless. The community cared for her with devoted love and constant attention until she passed quietly and peacefully to her eternal reward. Sister died on the 5th of February 1980 at St Joseph’s Convent, Storrington and was-buried in the parish cemetery of the Catholic Church on the 9th of February 1980.
SISTER CATHERINE O’ DOWD (Annie) who died in 1913 aged 46 years professed 16 years
Sister Catherine was born on the 27th of July 1867 in Greenwood, Co. Sligo and entered the Congregation on the 13th of February 1896. She was one of the very early companions of Mother Foundress as she entered the Congregation the year it was founded. Sister made her Profession on the 14th of January 1898; two years after she entered. Sister. Catherine died in St. Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle on the 5th of February 1913 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Lennoxton on the 6th of February 1913.
SISTER DYMPNA WALSH (Eileen Teresa) who died in 2017 aged 83 years Professed 64 years.
Sister Dympna was born in Castleredmond, Midleton Co. Cork on 9th August 1934. She was baptised and named Eileen Teresa on12th August 1934 and Confirmed on7th May1948. Sister entered the Congregation on 16th January 1952, received the habit and the religious name Sister Mary Dympna on 31st July 1952. Sister made her first profession of vows on1st August 1953 Sister taught in our schools in Rosary Priory, Boxmoor and Garston. She was well suited to work with little children, she was kind and gentle with them, she loved them and they loved her. As a gifted infant teacher, she had endless patience and was very resourceful and hardworking. She could manage any child even the most difficult, and was very respectful of each child’s needs and learning style. She gave her pupils a love of learning and they left her class confident and resourceful. Sister was always positive and generous in her praise. She was loved by the parents who often wanted to chat with her about their little ones. Sister Dympna had a deep love of her family and them for her. From earliest times the family remember her as part of their lives, always very determined with strong balanced views on all subjects. Her family remember her as one who had great empathy with people, was warm to all whom she encountered, could mix with all age groups, people were comfortable with her and enjoyed her company. She loved people without judgement or indeed without discrimination. She was a gift to all.Her faith was simple, she did not use rules. She lived by the rule of love. Her relationship with God was shown in her strong and pure love for others. She was a very determined woman who always saw the possibilities and never the obstacles.
After a sabbatical for Scripture Study in Maynooth and later in Manchester, Sister worked in Parishes in London until the time came when she needed care and retired to Rosary Priory, where she was a gentle and kindly presence. She was an avid reader, attended talks and reflection days held at the NCC. Her last outing on the 31st December 2016 was to our Convent in Cricklewood, where she participated in a vigil of prayer for peace. Sister Dympna suffered intensely at times from health issues and from her hearing problems. She lived the words of Christ: “if you want to be a follower of mine, you must take up your cross and follow me.” Yet she never allowed suffering to get the better of her – with courage and an indomitable spirit she would press on. During her last weeks of frailty and weakness, Sister was lovingly cared for by the Community and Carers at Rosary Priory. Sister died peacefully on 7th February 2017 when she returned to her Lord after completing 64 years of faithful service. Sisters Requiem Mass was celebrated by Mgr. Harry Turner at Rosary Priory on Tuesday 14th February 2017. Sister was laid to rest in the convent cemetery.
May she rest in peace.
SISTER BRIGID DILL (Helen) who died in 1970 aged 87 years professed 69 years
Sister Brigid was born in Glounthane, Co. Cork on the 21st December 1883 and entered the Congregation on the 11th of October 1904 and made Final Vows on the 15th of July 1909.
Sister came from a family who gave many priests and religious to the Church. Sister Brigid spent her religious life in South Africa where she held the office of Prioress and Sub-Prioress many times in Boksburg and elsewhere, in Boksburg she taught Standard Four in the Junior School. It is said that her whole life centered on the Will of God in obedience; her spirit of prayer was an inspiration to those who were close to her. The great peacefulness that characterised her life also marked her death. In her final moments she struggled to answer the Rosary with the Sisters. Sister died in Port Shepstone on the 8th of February 1970 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Umzumbe.
SISTER MARGARET BUHL (Monika) who died in 1937 aged 31 years professed 5 years
Sister Margaret was born in Sezepansritz, Nr Oppelm, Germany on the 18th of September 1906 and entered the Congregation on the 21st of November 1930. Sister made her Final Vows in Rosary Priory on the 13th of August 1935.
Although Sister had been but a short time in the Congregation she showed herself as an obedient and hard working Sister and at the age of thirty five she died in the fifth year of her religious profession and lies buried in Germany. Sister Margaret contracted tuberculosis and despite excellent medical attention it was to no avail; the doctor ordered her to a Sanatorium in her native land in the hope of her health being restored but she died after six months on the 9th of February 1937.
SISTER ELIZABETH WEIRAUCH (Antonia) who died in 1957 aged 76 years professed 47 years
Sister Elizabeth was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, on the 19th of September 1879 and entered the Congregation on the 21st November 1908 and made Final Vows on the 21st of August 1913.
Sister was an exemplary religious, humble, charitable, obedient and prayerful and loved by all the Sisters. During her last illness the doctor who visited her twice daily was much edified by her gentleness and patient sweetness as she prayed constantly, likewise the priest visited her frequently and administered the Last Sacraments, and as she lay dying the Sisters sang the Salve and she quietly gave up her soul on the 9th of February 1957. Requiem Mass was celebrated at St Rose’s, La Rochelle and burial took place at St Dominic’s Convent Cemetery, Boksburg on the llth of February 1957.
SISTER AUSTIN HAYDEN (Mary)who died in 1952 aged 67 years professed 40 years
Sister Austin was born in Kilbride, Co Roscommon on January 21st 1885 and entered the Congregation on November 1st 1910 and made Final Vows on the 17th of July 1915.
Sister Austin suffered from rheumatoid arthritis practically all her religious life and in spite of everything being done to effect a cure it was without success. Sister was a complete invalid for the last twenty years of her life and two months before her death her feet became so painful that the doctor advised that she be taken to the local hospital for treatment. In hospital she edified all who came in contact with her by her great patience in bearing excruciating suffering. When she was told that there was no hope of recovery she ardently prayed that God might take her soon. Sister was able to receive Holy Communion to the last and Extreme Unction filled her with great joy. Her last words were “Jesus come”. Sister Austin died on the 10th of February 1952 and was buried in Lennoxton cemetery.
SISTER AUGUSTINE GERICK (Katie) who died in 1949 aged 83 years professed 49 years
Sister Augustine was born in Lampkendork, Germany on the 24th of November 1866 and entered the Congregation on the 21st November 1898 and made Final Vows on the 14th of June 1900.
Sister Augustine’s two most outstanding characteristics were her great spirit of prayer and her intensely hardworking disposition. Combined with this she had an absorbing love of the Blessed Sacrament and as Sub-Sacristan was devoted to the service of the chapel. Sister Augustine was on her feet at her duties until a fortnight before she died; she died on the 10th of February 1949. Sister died in St Pius Convent Pietersburg and was buried in the cemetery there.
SISTER BERNADETTE VRIED (Marie) who died in 1966 aged 82 years professed 52 years
Sister Bernadette was born in Westwond, Holland on the 29th of January 1881 and entered the Congregation on the 7th of May 1910 and made Final Vows on the 5th of January 1915.
Sister Bernadette was one of the pioneer members of the Congregation and she worked unsparingly on the Native Mission all her life. During the last years of her life Sister was an invalid and confined to bed for some months before her death. Sister was endowed with a great spirit of prayer and the Rosary beads were never out of her hand. Sister Bernadette died in Harding Hospital on the llth of February 1966 and was buried in Umzumbe cemetery on the 14th of February 1966.
SISTER PADUA USHER (Josephine) who died in 1973 aged 64 years professed 44 years
Sister Padua was born in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, on the 2nd of June 1909 and entered the Congregation at Rosary Priory, Bushey on the 10th of November 1927. It was in South Africa that she made Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1932.
Sister Padua prepared herself by earnest study for her work as a teacher; she thoroughly mastered Afrikaans and gave crash courses in it to African teachers at the request of the Natal Education Department. Sister was a gifted teacher and taught with distinction in many of our Convents. Sister suffered from ill health all her life yet never made her delicate constitution an excuse for not following the common life. Sister had a wonderful sense of God’s presence and a childlike confidence in His supporting providence. When told of the necessity for a second heart operation she abandoned herself completely to her Creator asking nothing but that the Divine Will should be accomplished in her. Dr Marius Bernard performed heart surgery on her at Groote Schurr Hospital, Cape Town but her heart was beyond repair. Sister died on the operation table on the 11th of February 1973. Sister Padua was buried in the cemetery at Boksburg Convent following Requiem Mass on the 15th of February 1973.
SISTER ALOYSIUS FITZPATRICK (Bridget) who died in 1990 aged 89 years professed 64 years
Sister Aloysius was born at Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare on the 14th of October 1900 and entered the Congregation on the 5th of May 1924. Sister made her Final Vows on the 8th of December 1929.
Sister Aloysius had trained as a nurse in England and entered the novitiate at Rosary Priory. After Profession Sister was sent to South Africa to St Dominic’s Convent, Boksburg where she took charge of the boarders, a duty she performed with a great sense of responsibility. Sister was Prioress of several convents, her last Office was at St Elmo’s, Umzumbe where she worked untiringly for the welfare of the Sisters and the children. Sister Aloysius’s outstanding qualities were her spirit of prayer and devotion to duty. Sister made her prayer life a priority and always had a great love for the Mass and the Rosary. Religious life had a deep meaning for her. When Sister’s health began to fail she spent her time in prayer and endeared herself to the Community by her concern for others. She loved to engage others to join her in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament for which she had a marked reverence arising from a living faith. When the doctor diagnosed pneumonia Sister was moved to hospital where she died on the 11th of February 1990. Sister Aloysius was buried in Boksburg Convent Cemetery on the 14th of February 1990.
SISTER PETER DUFFY (Annie) who died in 1929 aged 81 years professed 38 years
Sister M Peter was a member of the West Grinstead community which amalgamated with us on the 22nd of August 1927. Annie was born on January 6th 1855 at Edgworthstown, Co Longford and entered religious life on the 1st of November 1889 and made First Vows in October 1891 and Final Vows in October 1896.
Sister Peter’s religious life was one of heroic endurance and patient suffering, her only aim seemed to have been to work for the common good, help those in need and forget herself. Sister was ill with tuberculosis for several years and her calm resignation was edifying.She died on the 13th of February 1929 in St Dominic’s Convent West Grinstead and was buried on the 15th of February in the Catholic cemetery adjoining the Church.
SISTER PAUL SHERLOCK (Mary) who died in 1982 aged 47 years professed 28 years
Sister Paul was born in Gorey, Co Wexford on the 6th of December 1935 and entered the Congregation on the 13th of January 1953 and made her Final Vows on the 1st August 1957.
Sister Paul was assigned to Boksburg Convent and then to Dundee in South Africa where she lovingly cared for the boarders. Her gentle refined disposition endeared her to all with whom she came into contact. Sister was in failing health for some time before returning to England. Early in her religious life Sister Paul became a victim of arthritis and despite skilled medical assistance she suffered intensely. Sister was in St Vincent’s Hospital, Pinner for a very long time and was lovingly and expertly nursed by the staff there. Her spirit of prayer and patient endurance edified all; she died on the 15th of February 1981 surrounded by our Sisters and her family. After Requiem Mass in Rosary Priory she was laid to rest in the cemetery on the 16th of February 1982.
SISTER MONICA DUNNE (Catherine) who died in 2010 aged 69 years professed 50 years
Sister Monica Dunne was born in Mountmellick Co Laois Ireland on 30th October 1941. She entered the Novitiate in September 1958 received the Habit in July 1959 and made Profession on 1st August 1960
Sister taught in our schools at Launceston, and Burnt Oak. She was an extremely conscientious teacher who took an active interest in the needs of her pupils. She was noted for her quick wit and sense of humour. She was determined that her pupils should achieve their full potential. This was much appreciated by staff, pupils and parents.
When Sister Monica retired from teaching she was assigned to St Catherine’s Convent Oxford where she held the office of Prioress for two terms. She enjoyed working in the Library in Blackfriars. Sister was a great cook and many testify to the wonderful meals she produced for various occasions and celebrations. Sister would have celebrated her Golden Jubilee of Profession in August 2010.
During her long illness Sister Monica strove to be active and independent. In June 2008 Sister Monica asked to come to Rosary Priory; by that time Sister was aware that she would need support from the Sisters and Carers at the Priory. She bore her suffering with patience and glimpses of her humour often shone through in her dealings with those who visited her and also with those who cared for her.
She retained her mental faculties’ right to the end of her life. Sister was anointed a few days before her death. Sister Monica died peacefully on Tuesday 16th February 2010 and returned to her Lord whom she had served so faithfully. Sister’s Requiem Mass was celebrated at Rosary Priory on Wednesday 24th February 2010. Sister was laid to rest in Rosary Priory Cemetery.
SISTER RAPHAEL POWER (Sara) who died in 1999 aged 80years professed 61 years
Sister Raphael was born at Garryfraske, Co Limerick on the 24th of July 1918 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of October 1935. Sister made her Final Vows in 1942.
Sister Raphael was an aspirant at the recently opened St Albert’s, Sundays Well Cork from where she went to Rosary Priory to begin her novitiate, some of which was later spent in Villa Rosa, Rome. In 1938 Sister was sent to South Africa where she joined the community at Benoni and was given charge of the Boarders. In later years Sister did some teaching, and in Boksburg she had charge of the sick that she lovingly cared for in their illnesses. Sister returned to England in 1968 where she received medical treatment for arthritis, a complaint which she had had down the years and which she had patiently borne. Sister died peacefully and quietly in Rosary Priory on the 17th of February 1999. Sister Raphael was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 23rd of February 1999.
SISTER LAWRENCE LOHSCHELLER (Marie) who died in 1991 aged 84 years professed 59 years
Sister Lawrence was born in Eppinghoven, Dinslaken, Germany on March 30th 1906 and entered the Congregation on the 21st of November 1930. Sister made her Final Vows at St Rose’s Burnt Oak on the 14th of August 1935.
Sister Lawrence was an intelligent and diligent worker who spent her entire religious life in one or other of our Convents in England, she looked after the children in Ponsboume Park and in Storrington. Sister participated actively in all the domestic duties in the various Convents where she lived; she was particularly adept at needlework and did beautiful embroidery. She loved the Divine Office and was anxious to share in it for as long as she was able. Many times she joined in the recitation of the 15 decades of the Rosary and especially in her final years she spent long hours before the Blessed Sacrament telling her beads. At that point arthritis made it difficult for her to move but in spite of her suffering she was cheerful and smiling; at feast day celebrations she would join in the sing song and give us the lovely old melodies of her native land. Sister Lawrence died in a Nursing Home in Bushey Heath on the 19th of February 1991 and was laid to rest in the cemetery Rosary Priory.
MOTHER MARY THOMAS (COLETTE) who died in 1907 aged 83 years professed 53 years
Mother St Thomas came from Paris in 1876 at the request of the Right Reverend Bishop Daniel of Southwark and with the approval of the Reverend Mother General, Mother Mary Vincent of Chatillion. Mother St Thomas was the Foundress of the West Grinstead Congregation; it was due to her vision and great enthusiasm that the project flourished. Mother St Thomas took up work bravely working alongside the Parish Priest, Monsignor Denys, and she saw the work grow and succeed. She had the happiness of seeing the boys for whom she laboured bring the Faith everywhere they went. Although she suffered from the result of a severe accident for some years before her death her patience was wonderful and her constant prayer was “God’s Holy Will be done.”
Mother St Thomas died on the 18th of February in the year 1907. She lies buried in the cemetery of the Parish Church of Our Lady of Consolation in West Grinstead, Sussex.
SISTER RIETI O’MAHONEY (Margaret) who died in 1928 aged 29 years professed 11 years
Sister Rieti was born in Ballylooby, County Tipperary on the 2nd of July 1899 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1915 and made her Final Vows on the 31st of July 1920.
Sister Rieti entered in Blerik, Holland, and from there went to South Africa where she received the Habit in 1916. She worked there for a few years before being sent to Canada in 1925 with the pioneer group of seven who went to Edmonton. Sister Rieti was transferred to Rosary Priory where she suffered a sudden and fatal asthmatic attack. Sister had been a very generous and kind sister and gave herself generously to the service of God. Sister died on the 18th of February 1928 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 21st of February.
SISTER PANCRATIUS HEUSTO (Myra) who died in 1945 aged 52 years professed 31 years
Sister Pancratius was born in Dublin on the 9th of May 1893 and entered the Congregation on the 27th of July 1912. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of April 1917.
When St Joseph’s Convent was opened in 1915, Sister Pancratius was sent from South Africa as a member of the new community. Sister spared no effort in working there to build up the school in the face of many difficulties. After some years she was reassigned to South Africa where she worked up the Commercial Section with marked success. Despite failing health for some time she did much for the Sodality of the Children of Mary in Benoni the last house to which she was assigned before going to the South Coast for health reasons. Sister died at St Dominic’s Academy on the 18th of February 1945 and was buried at Lennoxton.
SISTER ANSELM O’SHEA (Julia) who died in 1981 aged 62 years professed 44 years
Sister Anselm was born in Tralee, Co Kerry on the 21st January 1919, she joined the Congregation in Cork on the 29th of December 1935 and made her novitiate at Rosary Priory. Sister made Final Vows in South Africa in January 1942.
Sister Anselm was assigned to the Sacred Heart Mission at Umsinsini and later to St .Bruno’s Training College in Newcastle as Principal. When under the Apartheid zoning regulations the College was closed, Sister was sent to St Lewis Bertrand High School. During those years hundreds of Zulu pupils and student teachers passed through her hands.
A new challenge faced Sister when Archbishop Hurley appointed her Principal to a Primary School for Indian children at Redhill near Durban where twelve years Sister laboured to build up the school educationally and culturally. Sister Anselm taught at three different State Indian Schools when St Michael’s was being rebuilt. Sister visited the homes of the people and held Rosary Prayer Meetings in their houses, at week-ends she taught Catechism in Redhill Parish. Sister was on her way to school at Mount Edgecombe where she was teaching, she was riding a red scooter when she met with an accident and died on the way to hospital. Requiem Mass was concelebrated at Durban North for her. People of all ages and creeds attended the Mass. Sister Anselm died on the 20th of February and was buried in Umzumbe cemetery on the 26th of February.
SISTER GABRIEL MURPHY(Kitty) who died in 1987 aged 90 years professed 68 years
Sister Gabriel was born in Kilmurray, Co Cork on the 7th of May 1897 and the Congregation on the 24th of October 1917. Sister made her Final Vows 15th of September 1923.
Sister Gabriel spent most of her religious life in South Africa where she taught several schools; she was a very devoted and creative teacher, endowed with many gifts, especially in Music and Drama. Sister taught the younger children in many of our schools such as St Thomas’ Lennoxton; Holy Child Benoni; and St Rose’s La Rochelle. Her concerts were a delight to all, especially to parents, who proudly watched their children attired in beautiful costumes as they played in the percussion band.
As a community Sister, Sister Gabriel was a sympathetic and understanding friend. She had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and always found time to pray privately in chapel. When Fatima Convent was totally destroyed by fire, Sister was ninety years old and confined to bed, fortunately she was rescued unharmed and the Matron of Buchanan Home for the Elderly helped out and the nursing staff there looked after Sister until her death a few months later. Sister Gabriel died on the 20th of February 1987 and was buried in Umzumbe.
SISTER COLMAN KEARNEY (Brigid) who died in 1947 aged 69 years professed 39 years
Sister Colman was born in Tubrid, Ardfert on the 31st of August 1887 and entered the Congregation on the 14th of September 1906 and made her Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Colman was a sister devoted to prayer and to duty and had the good of the community at heart. Although Sister was in poor health for some time she tried to follow the common life to the end. She died in St Dominic’s Convent, Port Shepstone on the 22nd of February 1947 and was buried in St Elmo’s Convent Cemetery Umzumbe.
SISTER MAGDALEN GERARD (Rose) who died in 1962 aged 89 years professed 63 years
Sister Magdalen was born in Dublin on the 2nd of November 1873 and entered the West Grinstead community on the 30th of April 1898; she made her Final Vows in 1904.
Sister Magdalen was an exemplary Religious who because of her kindliness, gentleness and charity was loved by all with whom she came in contact. St Dominic’s Priory, Ponsbourne Park, Hertfordshire was her home for many years; there she laboured and prayed and edified all by the example of her life. She loved to prepare the little ones for First Communion. She also helped those children who were less gifted and by her patience and motherly interest she helped them to reach their full potential.
Sister Magdalen was ill for some weeks before her death, just a gradual failing of her strength and mental powers. Sister gave up her soul to God without a struggle on the 24th of February 1962. Sister Magdalen’s burial took place after Requiem Mass on the 28th of February and she was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery at Ponsbourne Park.
SISTER BRIGID USHER (Catherine) who died in 2003 aged 87 years professed 67 years
Sister. Brigid was born in Rathdonnell, Callen, Co. Louth on the 7th of October 1916 and entered the Congregation on the 12th of April 1935. Sister made her Final Vows in 1940.
After SisterBrigid had made her First Profession in 1936 she was sent to South Africa where her sister Sister Padua was already teaching. Sister’s first assignment was to Benoni and then to St. Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle, where she spent the next twenty-four years. Sister taught in other of our schools: in Pietersburg; Boksburg; and in the Mission School at Cala, Transkei. Sister Brigid then went to Namibia where she taught English to Benedictine Nuns. Later she was a teacher at St. Louis Bertrand’s School, Blaauwbosch and for a month gave instruction to the Pre-Novices at St. Mary’s Convent. Sister was gifted by nature and by grace. She was an outstanding teacher loved by pupils, parents and staff; she was proficient in History and versatile in Languages teaching Afrikaans, French and English. Sister Brigid majored in Afrikaans and Nederlands for her BA Degree and she loved to write verse for special occasions.
Sister Brigid was one of the Sisters approved by the South African Weather bureau to maintain the Weather Station at the Academy for the Newcastle area. The last years of her life were spent in Marian House. She was a woman who carried the cross of suffering bravely as she suffered from diabetes. True to her Dominican spirit, she remained interested in theological debate and argument, and with her enquiring mind and her passion for truth, she questioned and discussed current issues in Church and society. Sister Brigid died in Sunpark Hospital on the 26th of February 2003 and following Requiem Mass was interred in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg.
SISTER MARTHA McLOUGHLIN (Nora) who died in 1988 aged 70 years professed 50 years
Sister Martha was born at Rahan, Clara, Co Offaly on October the 12th 1917 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of October 1935, she made her Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1935.
Sister Martha’s mother died when she was ten years old, so she had to take her place as well as she could in the care of the family. Sister brought this attitude into the Convent and was kind to the Sisters, she welcomed visitors and saw to their needs, and to the sick and elderly she always showed a kindly concern. Sister Martha’s fifty years of work for God was a Journey of Faith. Her Golden Jubilee was only weeks away when she received the news of her terminal illness; she asked that any gifts, donations, etc. be sent to her nephew Father Eugene, a missionary in Liberia. That request was typical of her, it showed her Faith, the place of prayer in her life, her love for her family and her concern for those in need. Sister was an inspiration to the Community who shared with her the last stage of her ascent to God; she died on the 26th of February 1988 and was buried in the cemetery in Rosary Priory on the 29th of February 1988.
LAVIN, (Margaret) SR AGATHA who died in 1964 aged 82 years professed 58 years
Sister Agatha was born in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo on the 28th of January 1883 entered the Congregation on the 11th of October 1904. Sister made her Final on the 15th of July 1909.
Sister Agatha knew the privations of the earlier days of the Congregation showed sterling qualities in her personal life and apostolate. When owing to failing health she had to retire from active work in the schools she was transferred to England in the hope that expert medical attention might restore her memory but to no avail. Sister helped wherever she could and in the last year of her life was assigned to Ponsbourne Park Convent. On the 26th of February 1964 during the singing of the Salve Sister breathed her last and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Ponsbourne on the of February.
SISTER BERNADETTE (Lucy) who died in 2016 aged 75 years professed 57 years
Sister Bernadette was born in Turners’ Cross, Co. Cork, Ireland, into a large family of ten children, half of whom dedicated their lives to God as religious. Her older sister, Sr Laetitia, also a Newcastle Dominican Sister and three brothers, Fr Sean, A Mill Hill Missionary, Fr Cornelius R.I.P. and Fr Teddy M.S.C.
In 1958 Sr Bernadette followed her older sister, Sr Laetitia, into the Dominican Novitiate in Bushey Heath, England at a young age. She gave herself unreservedly to her calling to become a true Dominican dedicated to prayer study and education.
Sister came to South Africa in 1960 where she continued her studies in preparation for her ministry as a teacher in the years that followed she was assigned to almost all our schools, beginning in Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee KZN to the (Transvaal) Gauteng where she ended her teaching career in St Catherine’s School, Germiston.
Sister Bernadette was a dedicated teacher and a passionate catechist. She gave herself whole-heartedly to planning retreats for the children, making sure they were grounded in true Christian values and morals. Her sense of humour, as well as her musical talents enabled her greatly in her relationship with the children.
When Sister retired from teaching in the classroom she continued helping in the Religious Department at St Catherine’s School, Germiston. Her plans, however, for her retirement years were not to be, God had other plans. Sister was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2015.
She was lovingly cared for and nursed by the Sisters and nursing staff in Marian House. After a painful and stressful few months, God took Sister to Himself on the 28 February 2016.
Sr Bernadette Requiem Mass, was prepared and organised by Sister herself, it was a joyful occasion as she wished it to be. This took place at Marian House and was attended by her family, her sister Mary and husband Tom Burke came from Cork, Ireland and Fr Teddy O’Brien was the chief celebrant, assisted by nine other priests.
Sister was laid to rest in Marian House cemetery. May she rest in Peace
SISTER PHILIP SCHMIDT (Emily) who died in 1945 aged 61 years professed 31 years
Sister Philip was born in Friedland, Breslau, Prussia on the 31st of January 1885. Sister entered the Congregation on the 19th of March 1913 and made her Final Vows on the 5th of January 1918.
Sister Philip was characterised by the thoroughness with which she fulfilled the duties assigned to her. Her constant prayer was for the grace of final perseverance. Sister’s last illness was long and tedious but she suffered this with edifying patience and resignation to God’s will and assisted at daily Mass as long as she could. Sister made a superhuman effort to attend the Annual Retreat; nevertheless this effort was the limit of her strength and although she lingered for two months more she was no longer able to go to Mass. Sister Philip continually thanked God for the grace of her vocation and the graces bestowed on her.Sister Philip died at St Dominic’s Newcastle on the 28th of February 1945 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery Lennoxton.