SISTER CHARLES REISER (Josephine) who died in 1956 aged 78 years professed 56 years
Sister Charles was born in Resenan, Bavaria on the 20th of February 1878 and entered the Congregation on November 3rd 1899 and made Profession on April 14th 1901.
Sister Charles was one of the early helpers of Mother Foundress of whom she always spoke with the greatest veneration. Sister worked with the African people both in Natal and the Transvaal and was greatly loved by them. Sister was a religious possessed of a rare spirit of simplicity and prayerfulness but her outstanding characteristics were devotion to the Holy Souls and a marked esteem for the priesthood. Sister Charles died in Umsinsini after a short illness on January 1st 1956 and was buried in Umzumbe.
SISTER INNOCENT SIEMER (Frieda) who died in 1972 aged 81 years professed 56 years
Sister Innocent was born in Capell, Oldenburg, Germany in 1891 and entered the Congregation in Holland in May 1914 and made Final Vows on January 5th 1919.
Sister spent her entire life in South Africa and never returned to her own country. For many years she worked as a baker in St Thomas’ Convent Lennoxton where she made the bread for three convents and boarding schools, St Thomas’, the Academy and the town convent i.e. Sutherland St – which was later destroyed by fire. In order to ensure supplies to those places Sister was regularly at work at 3a.m. each day. Her joyful spirit never complained of the hardship or of the bitter sharp cold of the early mornings on the Natal high veldIn later years Sister Innocent served as cook in different convents in South Africa but returned to St Thomas’ Lennoxton where the latter part of her active life was spent. It was there that Sister fell and broke her hip, which never recovered, and soon acute arthritis set in which confined her permanently to a wheelchair. and it was from her wheelchair that she conducted her apostolate of prayer and suffering. Sister suffered intense physical pain especially during the last months of her life but never complained. It is recorded of her that she was one of the early band of selfless workers who through generous and exacting labour tided the Congregation over difficult times. Sister lies buried in the cemetery of St Thomas’ Convent, Lennoxton, Newcastle, having died on January 1st 1972.
SISTER de PAZZI RIORDAN (Ellen) who died in 1953 aged 72 years professed 42 years
Sister de Pazzi was born in Cork on the 21st of February 1881 and was one of a group of eighteen postulants who entered in South Africa at Newcastle on the 22nd of October 1909. Sister made Final Vows on the 17th of July 1914.
SISTER ANNE WALSH (Mary Kathleen) who died in 2013 aged 94 years professed 76 years
Sr. Anne Walsh was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA in 1919. She later moved to Galway, Ireland . She entered the Congregation of St Catherine of Siena in 1935 and made her Novitiate in Villa Rosa, Rome. Sister was assigned to South Africa in 1938. Her first assignment was at St Dominic’s Boksburg where she taught having completed her degree and teachers training. Then she taught in Dundee, La Rochelle, Durban North, and St. Lewis Bertrand School and then with Street Children in Durban
Sr. Anne was an artist and did art therapy with the Street Children. Her gentle, refined presence was a good influence on them and they did extraordinary paintings.
Sister Anne was assigned to Marian House in 2008.She loved to read and to listen to the radio. She was a great fan of Radio VERITAS. She found it very spiritually enriching. She loved Fr Emil’s talks and he was the celebrant at her funeral Mass.
Sister Anne suffered much from illness in her last years, especially recently. She was lovingly cared for in Marian House by her community, and the nurses. She was taken to Sunward Park Hospital a few days before her death, where she was also lovingly cared for. Sister died on 4th January 2013
Sister’s requiem Mass was celebrated at Marian House .A number of her past pupils attended and expressed their appreciation of her good teaching and understanding of young people. Sister Anne was buried in Marian House Cemetery. May she rest in peace.
SISTER CLAVER DEVANY (Mary)who died in 1929 aged 54 years professed 15 years
Sister Claver was born in Dunmore, Ireland, on the 17th of December 1870 and entered the Congregation in South Africa on the 27th of July 1912 and made Final Vows on the 14th of April 1917.
Sister was assigned to St Catherine’s Convent, Germiston, from the time of her profession and she devoted herself generously and untiringly to her various duties, while working there Sister’s deep spirit of faith and prayer and her zeal for souls was evident. In the strength of her personal love for God and her desire to suffer she heroically concealed for some years her painful illness which did not respond to treatment. During her prolonged illness she often playfully promised that when she reached heaven she would obtain for the Sisters all that they asked her for if such were in her power. Sister died on January 5th 1929 and was buried in Boksburg cemetery.
SISTER ODILLIABESSLER (Marie)who died in 1995 aged 102 years professed 80 years
Sister Odillia was born in Oberdorf, Bavaria, on the 18th of February 1892 and entered the Congregation in Blerik, Holland on the 27th of May 1914 and made her novitiate in St Dominic’s Newcastle where she spent many years. She made Final Vows on the 18th July 1920.
Sister Odillia served the communities in which she lived by being involved in domestic work, she took a special pride in her duties and every nook and corner had to be spotlessly clean. She loved nature and right to the end of her long life constantly admired the beauty of God’s creation. Sister had celebrated the 80th anniversary of her profession when God took her home on the feast of the Epiphany 1995.After Requiem Mass in Marian House, Sister Odillia was laid to rest in St Dominic’s Cemetery Boksburg on the 8th of January 1995.
SISTER RAYMUND BURGER (Teresa) who died in 1936 aged 69 years professed 39 years
Sister Raymund was born in Eversberg, Germany on the 17th Of June 1867 and entered the Congregation on the 25th of April 1897 and made Profession on the 2nd of April 1899.
Sister Raymund was one of the early helpers of Mother Foundress to whom she was tenderly devoted. The last twenty years of her life were spent in Petersburg where it was her duty to see to the washing of the altar linen, a task which she cherished as she felt she was in real contact with Our Lord for whom she did everything to the best of her ability. Her spirit of prayer was marvelous, she fulfilled the Gospel command literally.When she became ill with pneumonia she was moved to Pietersburg Hospital where she died on the 7th of January 1936 and was buried in St Pius’ Convent Cemetery Pietersburg.
SISTER FELICITAS O’GORMAN (Mary)who died in 1975 aged 78 years professed 61 years
Sister Felicitas was born in Cappaquin, Co Waterford on November 14th 1897 and entered the Congregation on July 27th 1912 and made Final Vows on April 14th 1917.
Sister Felicitas entered a few months before her fifteenth birthday and had the distinction of being the last member of our Congregation to make final profession before her twenty-first birthday, April 14th 1917. For the next seventeen years Sister worked indefatigably in various schools in Natal and the Transvaal. When Sister attended the General Chapter in Rosary Priory in 1931 she was retained in England she was appointed to the new Annunciation School at Burnt Oak. Sister was later sent to Ponsbourne followed by a time at St Thomas’ Stanmore as Sub Prioress and Head of the Junior School there. At Easter 1950 she was appointed Head of the Annunciation School. Burnt Oak where she remained as a loved and respected Head Teacher for eighteen years. Sister Felicitas was a prayerful, genial and cheerful person loved by children, parents and staff and the Sisters with whom she had worked tirelessly.Sister Felicitas was Prioress in Ponsbourne from 1968 until its closure in 1972 when she was assigned to Eastbourne where she died in Esperance Hospital on the 8th of January 1975 and was buried at Rosary Priory.
SISTER ASSUMPTA DUNNE (Margaret) who died in 1993 aged 95 years professed 72 years
Sister Assumpta was born in Mountmellick, (Queen’s County) Co Laois, Ireland on the 9th of August 1898 and entered the Congregation in Launceston, Cornwall, where she made her First Vows on the 19th of July 1921 and her Final Vows in South Africa on the 22nd of July 1924.
Sister Assumpta was a woman of strong faith who used her many talents unsparingly in the service of God and His people. She worked in Canada, Ireland and England where she filled many important offices, the Sisters who lived and worked with her speak of her as a generous and caring person, hard working and with outstanding abilities. Her courtesy and sense of humour endeared her to all those whose lives she touched. Through contact with her as she quested forpostulants in the schools in Ireland many postulants came to the Congregation. She also had many contacts with Third World students as she administered St Albert’s, Sunday’s Well, Cork, which was primarily a Student Hostel.
When Sister Assumpta became ill she was lovingly cared for in St Joseph’s Convent, Storrington, then at Rosary Priory and finally at St Mary’s Dominican Nursing Home, in Stone, Staffordshire where she died on the 8th of January 1993. After Requiem Mass in Rosary Priory Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery there on the 12th of January 1993.
SISTER FINBARR FORD (Abina) who died in 1931 aged 63 years professed 25 years
Sister Finbarr was born on the 4th of May 1868 at Glenville Co Cork, and entered the Congregation on the 11 th of October 1904 and made Final Vows on the 15th of July 1909 at Newcastle, Natal.
Sister Finbarr was Prioress at Umzumbe, an office she discharged almost to the end. During the last years of her life she had a serious illness which she bore with patience and resignation. Sister died on the 9th of January 1931 and is buried in the convent cemetery Umzumbe.
SISTER VINCENT STARK (Mary) who died in 1959 aged 81 years professed 59 years
Sister Vincent was born in Pfahlheim, Germany on the 13th December 1877 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of April 1897. Sister was clothed in the Habit on the 17th of June 1897 and made First Vows on the 4th of July 1898. Sister spent years in Maritzburg Hospital where she died on the 9th of January 1959 and was buried in Maritzburg.
SISTER MICHAEL NOLAN (Ellen) who died in 1949 aged 80 years professed 55 years
Sister Michael entered in West Grinstead in October 1891 and made Final Vows on March 7th 1899 and on the amalgamation with our Congregation renewed her vows on August 22nd 1927 into the hands of Mother Anselm Barnett delegate of Mother Rose Niland.
Sister Michael was a holy and edifying religious and loved by all the Sisters. Her outstanding virtues were simplicity and a great love of prayer .The celebration of her Golden Jubilee was a great joy to her. Sister had been an invalid for some years but was confined to bed for only three weeks before her death. Sister passed away peacefully on January 10th 1949 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Ponsbourne.
SISTER AUGUSTINE LUGG (Elenor Phyllis) who died in 1998 aged 90 years professed 63 years
Sister Augustine was born in the Queen Victoria Hospital, Johannesburg on the 13th of October 1907 and entered the Congregation on the 22nd of March 1932; she made her Final Vows on the 3rd of July 1937.
Sister Augustine lived her early years in South Africa and was educated at St Rose’s Convent School in La Rochelle. In 1932 she answered the call to the religious life and set sail for England to make her novitiate at Rosary Priory. After she had made First Profession in 1934 she went to university and obtained a science degree in Geography, a subject which she taught with great skill both in the schools in England and South Africa. Sister was sacristan in Stanmore and as there was no parish Church in Stanmore at the time it was an onerous task preparing the school hall for the weekend Masses. In 1963 Sister Augustine returned to South Africa where she continued her teaching career, a task which she carried out faithfully until her retirement to Marian House in 1992. Sister Augustine died in Marian House surrounded by the Sisters in the community on the 10th of January 1998 and was buried on the 16th of January 1998. There was a combined Requiem Mass for Sr Augustine and Sr Helena and they were buried side by side in the Convent Cemetery at Boksburg.
SISTER ANSELM BARNETT(Anna) who died in 1952 aged 73 years professed 46 years
Sister Anselm was born in Duleek Co Meath and entered the Congregation on the llth of October 1904 and made Final Vows on the 15th of July 1909.
Sister Anselm was noted for her outstanding self-sacrifice, love of the common good and of the Congregation. For the greater part of her religious life Sr Anselm filled the office of either Prioress or Vicar and in these capacities she shared in the arduous work of new foundations. In 1921 she was put in charge of the newly opened small native school which later developed into the Lennoxton Native Mission. From 1930 onwards she periodically travelled in Ireland questing for postulants. During the last two years of her life she was practically an invalid. Sister Anselm was gifted at needlework and painting and used her talents in the making of vestments and Church embroidery. Sister Anselm died in Ponsbourne on the 10th of January 1952 and was buried at Rosary Priory
SISTER CELINE COLIN (Celine Virginia) who died in 1978 aged 83 years professed 52 years
Sister Celine was born in France at Saulxures, Les Bulnesville, Vosges on the 19th of May 1894 and entered the Congregation on the 19th of August 1924 and made Final Vows on the 8th of December 1929.
Sister Celine spent the greater part of her religious life in St Rose’s Convent La Rochelle where she taught music and French and was Chantress and Bursar. The last twenty three years of her life were spent at St Dominic’s, Boksburg. Sister was a gracious gentle person and expressed her gratitude for any little service done for her. Hardening of the arteries left her completely incapacitated for the last six years of her life during which time she was for the most part confined to bed. Sister was admitted to Boksburg /Benoni Hospital where she died peacefully in the presence of many of her Sisters on the 12th of January 1978 and was buried in the cemetery of the convent in Boksburg where her former music pupil, Fr Dominic Baldwin O.P. gave the panegyric at the Requiem Mass.
SISTER HELENA CARROLL(Joan) who died in 1998 aged 85 years professed 60 years
Sister Helena was born on October 30th 1912 at Knockeen, Co.Waterfbrd. Sister entered the Congregation on the 15th of October 1935 and made her Final Vows on the 5th of January 1942. Sister Helena was educated in our school, St Joseph’s Launceston. Some of her novitiate was made in Villa Rosa, Rome, where she made her First Vows on October 15th 1937, but with the threat of war impending the novices were sent back to Rosary Priory. Sister Helena trained as a teacher for the Infant age range and taught in the Annunciation School, Burnt Oak. Sister was very talented as a musician and dramatist and she took her turn on Sundays to go to the Catholic Church in Kingsbury parish to play the organ at Mass. In 1970 Sister Helena was sent to South Africa where she continued her ministry; she was always a person of equitable temperament and contributed much to the even tenor of school and community life. Sister died on the 12th of January 1998 as the Sisters were singing the Salve and was buried in the Convent Cemetery Boksburg on the 16th of January.
SISTER BERTRANDA FITZGIBBON(Eliza) who died in 1965 aged 52 years professed 30 years
Sister Bertranda was born in Bruree, Co Limerick on the 5th of April 1912 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of February 1932 and made Final Vows on the 15th of April 1937.
Sister Bertranda spent the greater part of her religious life teaching at St James’ School, Burnt Oak having been previously teaching at St Thomas’ Stanmore. Sister was loved and respected by all who knew her; the numerous masses offered for her during her illness and on her death bear testimony to the esteem her pupils had for her. Sister was of a quiet retiring disposition always courteous. When told in the hospital that her illness was terminal Sister asked to be taken home to her convent at St Rose’s, and there, fortified by the Rites of the Church and conscious and thoughtful for others to the end, without a struggle she gave up her soul to God on the 13th of January 1965. After Requiem Mass at St Rose’s Sister was buried at Rosary Priory.
SISTER MAGDALENA DUNNION (Kathleen) who died in 1980 aged 81 years professed 49 years
Sister Magdalena was born at Cullinhoy, Co Donegal on the 3rd of December 1899 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of September 1930 and made her Final Vows on the 12th of October 1935.
Sister Magdalena entered the Congregation rather late in life but from the beginning she was remarkable for her punctuality at all community exercises. It was particularly edifying to note how carefully she prepared her daily Office and how reverently she recited it. She recited the fifteen decades of the Rosary daily. She taught French in school and Latin to many boys who were preparing for the priesthood, she took a keen interest in her pupils.
In her last illness, at Loreto House, London she received the last Rites of the Church. Aware of the severity of her illness she placed herself in the Hands of God and died peacefully on the 13th of January 1980 and was buried a: Rosary Priory.
SISTER ANGELA (formerly Sr Boniface) LOGGEN (Helene) who died in 1997 aged 91 years professed 66 years
Sr Angela was born in Dinklagen, Germany on the 11th of May 1906 and entered i Congregation on the 27th of September 1929, she made her Final Vows on the 5th ct j May 1934.
Sister Angela feeling the call to serve God on the Missions in South Africa lefther home in Germany and went to Rosary Priory from where she set out for the novitiate in Newcastle, Natal. Sister Angela dedicated her life to prayer and service of others, be they the Sisters of her community, boarders, young students for thepriesthood, priests on the missions or domestic staff. After many years in convents in Natal, Sister was assigned to St Dominic’s Convent, Boksburg. For many years in the 1960’s she was closely connected with Fr Stan Brennan OFM in running the Minor Seminary in Boksburg. At her Requiem Mass in Marian House Fr Stan spoke with appreciation of her motherly qualities, both to himself and to the boys who studied there. To the homesick she was a source of great comfort, and inspired Fr Stan himself to carry on bravely. Sister Angela had a great spirit of prayer and loving concern for the community. Sister died on the 13th of January 1997 and was buried in the convent cemetery Boksburg.
SISTER AGATHA MERRINS (Mary Teresa) who died in 2000 aged 82 years professed 63 years
Sister Agatha was born in Dublin on December the 3rd 1917 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of November 1935. Sister made her Final Profession on the 23rd of December 1939.
Sister Agatha’s first assignment was to Launceston, Cornwall, and subsequently to Stanmore and Burnt Oak. In St James’ School, Burnt Oak Sister Agatha contributed much to the Geography Department promoting Geology and Field Work. On retirement from the classroom Sister Agatha took on parish catechetical work in London and later in Eastbourne. Sister hosted the Lay Dominican movement with her community in Eastbourne and was involved with them in RCIA and Scripture Groups. Sister Agatha became ill while in Ireland and when brought back to London was nursed in Nazareth House and then moved to the Dominican Sisters Nursing Home in Stone, Staffordshire where she died on the 13th of January 2000. Sister was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 21st of January 2000 after Requiem Mass.
McDONNELL COLUMBA (Margaret)who died in 1950 aged 80 years professed 56 years
Sister Columba was a member of the West Grinstead community who lived at Heron’s Ghyll, Uckfield and in 1927 amalgamated with our Congregation. Sister was born in Kilmihill, Co. Clare and entered in West Grinstead on the 2nd of October 1891 and made First Vows in 1894 and Final Vows on the 7th of March 1899.
Sister Columba worked generously for the common good and had a deep interest in the welfare of the children for whom she worked and prayed; it was said of her that she was ready for work of any kind. Sister Columba was eighty years of age when she died in Ponsbourne on January 13th 1950 and was laid to rest in the cemetery
SISTER ZITA HOGAN (Nora) who died in 1941 aged 45 years professed 21 years
Sisterr Zita was born at Kilbaron, Co. Tipperary, Ireland in February 1893 and entered the Congregation on August 3rd 1918, she made her Final Vows on July 19th 1923.
Sister Zita worked in St Joseph’s, Launceston where she was noted for her whole hearted devotion to her duties. Sister was a very good religious and a model of many virtues and noted for her loyalty and her devotion to the welfare of the Congregation. Sister died on January 14th 1941 after a brief illness and fortified by the Rites of Holy Church. Sister Zita was buried in the convent cemetery two days after her death but was later transferred (with the other sisters) to the cemetery beside the parish Church when we no longer resided at the convent on St Stephen’s Hill.
SISTER PIUS ANTONINUS HUMPHRIES (Eileen) who died in 1999 aged 84 years professed 64 years
Sister Pius was born in Ballsbridge, Dublin on the 2nd of December 1915, she entered the Congregation on the 15th of October 1933 and made her Final Vows on the 6th of May 1939
When Sister Pius received the Habit in Rosary Priory in May 1934 she was given the name Pius Antoninus. Sister Pius was imbued with a strong missionary vocation. Her work at the Umsinsini Mission where she ran a Store which stocked all the goods needed by the local African population showed her initiative and managerial ability. When the Store was closed Sister Pius was assigned to Benoni School where she was highly commended by the School Inspectors as an inventive teacher. When Sister Pius returned to England she filled in as cook where requested. It was from Storrington that she came to retirement in Rosary Priory; prior to that she had suffered from ill health for many years which worsened gravely as time went on. Sister died in Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, on the 15th of January 1999 as the Salve was being sung. Sister was laid to rest in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 29th of January 1999.
SISTER PATRICIA WHELAN (Bernadette) who died in 2006 aged 93 years professed 72 years
Sister Patricia was born in Limerick Ireland on the 1st of September 1913 Limerick, Ireland. Sister began her Novitiate in Rosary Priory on the 15th of December 1931 and on the 2nd of October 1932 she received the Dominican Habit and the name Patricia, this was followed by First Vows on the 15th of April 1934.The Novitiate at that time was based in Ponsbourne Park, and she made Final Vows on the 15th of April 1938.
Sister Patricia was assigned to Ponsbourne and Burnt Oak It was in South Africa, in Benoni, Pietermaritzburg, Durban, La Rochelle and Germiston that Sister Patricia spent the greater part of her Religious Life.
It was during her time in La Rochelle that Sister’s “option for the poor” electrified us, she had helped the poor Catholic families there and was acutely aware of the need to retain our School situated in a poor area which provided an education which we subsidised. Sister worked hard to save the school, St Rose’s, from closure; so much of her life was devoted to helping those in need. Sister Patricia was a very gifted teacher of Music, she could play a variety of instruments and motivate her students to follow suit, her musical productions were lavish, spectacular, and varied and never failed to attract enthusiastic audiences. Sister liked to recall her meeting with Yehudi Menuin when he apparently was in the audience at one of her productions; Ian Foss a noted Compere on TV and Radio in South Africa was roped acted as Compere at some of her concerts. Sister Patricia had an endless following of friends, some of whom helped her financially with her many works of charity and fund-raising to build churches on the Mission. Sister was a very stalwart friend to priests who often had a lonely mission to serve. Down the years Sister kept up correspondence with the many friends and past pupils of her South African days. When Sister was leaving South Africa to come and live in Rosary Priory she got permission to sell her violin and donate the money to charity.
In community Sister had a great love of the Liturgy, she played the organ and loved to harmonise with others in hymn singing. At recreation she was a live wire dramatising and entertaining, her repertoire was endless. Sister was artistic too and creative . She was a great teller of her beads and daily said rosary after rosary for a variety of intentions. Her room was like a little power house of prayer with people popping in to ask her intercession for their intentions as she sat there patiently in her latter years. Sister died peacefully on Monday 16th of January 2006 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery following Requiem Mass on Tuesday 24 January 2006.
SISTER PATRICK DELANEY(Anna) who died in 1906 aged 42 years professed 12 years
Sister Patrick was born in Drumcondra, Dublin on the 22nd of December 1844 and entered the Congregation in South Africa in 1892 and made her Profession in 1894.
Sister Patrick was one of the first companions of Mother Rose and her entry is Number 3 in the Register. Sister died on the 16th of January 1906 and was buried at Lennoxton, Newcastle on the 17th of January 1906.
SISTER CONCILIA HARRINGTON (Nellie) who died in 1961 aged 75 years professed 45 years
Sister Concilia was born at Castletown, Skibereen, Co Cork on the 20th of August 1887 and entered the novitiate at St Dominic’s Newcastle on the 2nd of November 1914 making Final Vows on the 18th of July 1920.
During the forty-five years of her religious life Sister Concilia suffered much from chronic ill health. Sister was an accomplished needlewoman. During the last year of her life her health broke down completely, Sister Concilia was a member of the Benoni community and was lovingly cared for by the Sisters. A few weeks before her death she went for treatment to the Augustinian Sisters hospital at Ladysmith there she suffered a stroke but shortly before her death she regained consciousness and was able to receive the Last Sacraments. Sister died on the 17th of January 1961 and was buried in the Sisters’ cemetery, Lennoxton.
SISTER CANICE FLANAGAN (Katie) who died in 1969 aged 78 years professed 61 years
Sister Canice was born at Brickens, Claremorris on the 29th of March 1890 and entered the Congregation on the 16th of September 1906 and made Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Canice held many posts of responsibility being Prioress in a number of convents in South Africa. She combined the active apostolate of teaching with a contemplative prayer life. She devoted herself untiringly to teaching the pupils in school and helping the young Sisters with their studies, she instructed many converts. Sister Canice was busy to within a short time before her death; during herlast illness she received every spiritual help and was conscious to the last. Sister died at St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle on the 17th of January 1969 and was buried in the nearby cemetery at Lennoxton.
SISTER AMBROSE O’TOOLE (Delia) who died in 1937 aged 50 years professed 29 years
Sister Ambrose was born at Spiddal, Co Galway on the 22nd of December 1887 and entered the Congregation on the 16th of September 1906 and made Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Ambrose held many important offices in the Congregation having been Prioress at different periods. She was of a quiet disposition, wholehearted in work, obedient to the letter. Charity was her outstanding virtue, she was loving and patient in her dealings with those in her care. Sister had a serious operation from the results of which she suffered much and was left in poor health. Sister Ambrose died on the 18th of January 1937 at St Dominic’s Convent, Ponsbourne Park, and was laid to rest there in the Convent Cemetery.
SISTER MARCELLE RYLE (Margaret) who died in 1986 aged 67 years professed 48 years
Sister Marcelle was born in Snipefield, Ardfert, Co Kerry on the 10th of December 1918 and entered the Congregation on the 21st of August 1936. Sister made her Final Vows on the 5th of January 1942.
Sister Marcelle worked in England until January 1977; she was then sent to South Africa to St Elmo’s, Umzumbe where she worked wholeheartedly until within a few months of her death. Sister was a joyful happy person, full of affirmation and encouragement for her Sisters and those with whom she came in contact. Her outstanding qualities were her spirit of prayer and devotion to duty – especially that of Sacristan; she spared no pains in preparing everything connected with the Holy Mass and Divine Office. Likewise she was a meticulous Book-Keeper while at Benoni Convent. After months of patient suffering and endurance in hospital, she expressed the wish to be with her Sisters. Sister was taken to Durban North Convent where she died peacefully surrounded by the community on the 21st of January 1986. Sister was buried in Umzumbe on the 24th of January 1986.
SISTER AQUIN FENNELLY (Mary) who died in 1928 aged 27 years professed 5 years
Sister Aquin was born at Cloongowla, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo on the 26th of July 1901 and entered the Congregation on the 2nd of May 1922 and made Final Vows on the 21st of November 1926.
Sister Aquin was assigned to Germiston and went to La Rochelle Convent to make her retreat and on the last day of the retreat she contracted enteric fever and was taken to the Kensington Sanatorium, Johannesburg where she died on the 22nd of January 1928 aged twenty-seven years. Sister was buried in Bramfontein cemetery Johannesburg.
SISTER VIRGILIA O’REGAN (Ellen) who died in 1990 aged 67 years professed 43 years
Sister Virgilia was born in Cobh, Co Cork on the 25th of July 1922 and entered the Congregation on the 31st of January 1945. Sister made her Final Vows on the 15th of November 1950.
Sister Virgilia was assigned to St Rose’s, Burnt Oak, after first profession and then to Villa Rosa, Rome, where she made her Final Vows. It was in St Rose’s and Rosary Priory that Sister spent most of her religious life. Sister suffered much as she became partially blind and underwent an unsuccessful eye operation. She bore her handicap with patience and resignation. Sister Virgilia was assigned to Storrington where she became ill with cancer. Her resignation and peace as she awaited her death was an example to all; she had always been kind, caring and courteous to her community and to those with whom she came in contact. The Norbertine Fathers were a great support. Sister Virgilia died in the Franciscan Nursing Home in Littlehampton, Sussex on the 23rd of January 1990 and was buried in the Catholic cemetery in Storrington on the 31st of January 1990.
MOTHER BRUNO O’GRADY (Winifred) who died in 1975 aged 78 years professed 59 years
Reverend Mother Bruno was born in Kilmare, Kilkelly, County Mayo on the 31st of December 1897. She entered the Congregation as an Aspirant in our house in Blerik, Holland in June 1914. She was sent to St Joseph’s Convent Launceston, Cornwall when that house opened in 1915. Shortly afterwards she left for Newcastle, South Africa where she was received as a Postulant on August 3rd 1915. She received the Habit in St Dominic’s Convent, Newcastle on the 5th of January 1916 and made First Profession there the following year — the 5th of January 1917. She took Final Vows on January 5th 1920 at St Elmo’s Convent, Umzumbe.
Throughout her life Mother Bruno held many important offices in the Congregation including Prioress, Councillor, Novice Mistress and at the General Chapter in January 1947 she was elected Superior General of the Congregation, succeeding our Foundress, Mother Rose Niland. In these capacities she rendered invaluable service to the Congregation. When Villa Rosa, Rome opened in 1931 the Mother House was transferred there and Mother Bruno was appointed Novice Mistress. During the difficult years of the War she, with a few Sisters, remained there until 1947. She was never a woman of robust health; part of this period was one of extreme difficulty as direct communication with England and South Africa was cut off and even the bare necessities of life were unobtainable. Deeply religious with a sincere and ardent love of God, Mother Bruno strove to continue the mission of Christ whose way of life was not only a service to man but primarily a witness to God.
In 1947 Rosary Priory, which was severely damaged as a result of wartime bombing, was extensively repaired. The School which was temporarily disbanded was reorganised in 1949. The staff and students from St Thomas’ Independent Girls school in Stanmore were then transferred to Rosary Priory and the school in Stanmore became an Annexe to St James’ School, Burnt Oak. A site was acquired and work was begun on St Michael’s School Garston; St Mary’s Convent Boxmoor, and St Joseph’s Convent, the Abbey, Storrington Sussex were purchased.
In South Africa St Catherine’s Convent, Germiston, was rebuilt and work was begun on St Joseph’s School, Germiston. Extensions were made to St Thomas’ Mission School, to Holy Rosary Convent Dundee, and St Bruno’s College for African teachers was opened. In 1952 the foundations of a large Convent School for Durban, North Natal were laid. Mother Bruno’s missionary zeal was not confined to England and South Africa. She accepted two missions in the USA, one in Luverne, Minnesota, and the other in Lowell Michigan where she and five members of the Congregation taught for six years.
Mother Bruno always endeavoured to convey to others her personal conviction of the reality of God with whom she was familiar through prayer and contemplation. Her deep reverence for the religious life was apparent in all her teaching. She was especially particular about the way the Divine Office was recited. Never did she permit those under her care to forget that the foundations of the highest spirituality were rooted in the virtues of obedience, loyalty and regularity.
On her return from the USA in 1959 Mother Bruno was assigned to St Dominic’s Convent, Ponsbourne Park where for some years she taught the children in whom she was deeply interested. In the summer of 1972 she was assigned to St Mary’s Convent, Boxmoor where she spent many hours in the presence of God in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
On the 2nd of February 1974 she was one of the number commissioned by Cardinal Heenan to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion. This, for her who fully co-operated with the gifts and opportunities willed for her by God, was the greatest privilege of her life.
All Mother Bruno’s life was a preparation for death and her intense longing to be eternally united with God was fulfilled on January 24th 1975 when she died in West Herts Hospital, Hemel Hempstead. This lover of all God’s Creation passed to the love of One whom she loved yet more having been fortified by the last Rites of the Church and conscious to the end. She died as she had lived displaying that essential simplicity through which shone greatness of faith, greatness of tradition, greatness of culture. After Requiem Mass in Rosary Priory on the 27th of January 1975 Mother Bruno was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery.
SISTER COLUMBAN O’GRADY(Christine) who died in 1993 aged 80 years professed 61 years
Sister Columban was born in Feenagh, Co Limerick, on the 30th of October 1912 and entered the Congregation on 30th of January 1931 and made her Final Vows on the 14th of August 1935.
Sister taught in several schools, she had a kindly firm natural discipline and gave her pupils a solid grounding in Religious Education and English. Many of them recall her enjoyable productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Sister was a committed religious and a reflective prayerful person who loved the Liturgy. For the last years of her life, in spite of prolonged and progressive illness, she battled on bravely and was lovingly cared for, at first in St Mary’s Boxmoor then, in Rosary Priory where she died. It was inspiring to hear her brief meaningful prayers in her lucid moments as death approached. Sister Columban died in Rosary Priory on the 27th of January 1993. After a Mass of Thanksgiving she was buried in the Convent Cemetery.
SISTER GERARD TOUHY (Margaret) who died in 1990 aged 83 years professed 63 years
Sister Gerard was born in Whitegate, County Clare on the 22nd of April 1907, and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1925. Sister made her Final Vows on the 2nd of February 1931.
Sister Gerard went to South Africa in August 1928 and taught in several of our Convent schools where she endeared herself to all by her gentle, kind disposition. Sister was a most conscientious teacher who took an active interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of her pupils, she was imbued with a deep spirit of prayer and religious commitment. When Sister. Gerard retired from teaching she worked wholeheartedly at “operation Up Grade” in Newcastle. Shortly after her transfer to Marian House her health deteriorated rapidly and she was admitted to Boksburg/Benoni Hospital where she died on the 27th January 1990. After Requiem Mass at Marian House Chapel Sister was interred in the Convent Cemetery on the 1st of February 1990.
SISTER EMILY MCCARTHY (Josephine) who died in 1993 aged 80 years professed 53 years
Sister Emily was born in Cork on the 20th of November 1912 and entered the Congregation on the 7th of January 1939, on the 3rd of August 1943 she made her Final Vows.
Sister Emily trained as a nurse before entering and her nursing skills were in constant use in the Convent. Her professional skills were much appreciated throughout her life, but it was her compassion, gentleness and cheerfulness and above all her trust in God that endeared her to her patients and brought to all spiritual as well as bodily comfort. Later when Sister was in Eastbourne she found an apostolate in visiting the sick in their homes and to them also she brought comfort.
Sister Emily held several offices in the Congregation, Prioress, General Councillor and Secretary General. Sister Emily was a woman of prayer with a great devotion to the Mother of God and a love of the Liturgy. Sister kept herself aware of current thinking and trends in the Church and was able to adapt to and help implement changes in the Religious Life in the post Vatican II era. On the morning of the 27th of January Sister suffered a massive stroke and died in Watford Hospital on the 29th of January 1993. Sister was buried in the convent cemetery in Rosary Priory on the 1st of February 1993.
SISTER JOHN BARRY (Maureen) who died in 2012 aged 92 years professed 63 years
Sister John was born in Cork on the 15th of June 1920. She entered the Congregation in October 1947. Sister received the Dominican Habit in July 1948 and made her profession on 28th July, 1949. She came to South Africa in August 1952. She committed herself to live an obedient, chaste and poor life until her death.
Her first assignment was at Holy Rosary Convent in Dundee, where she taught music. Sr John had a deep love of the liturgy and inspired others to do the same.
She was a woman of great faith. Her teaching ability was evident and led to the furthering of her academic studies.
She became a committed and capable teacher in each of ourcongregation’s schools in Dundee, Benoni, Newcastle and Boksburg.
In her latter life she joined the Pietermaritzburg community and assisted in the liturgical training of younger sisters, as well as doing catechical work in the parish.Sr John retired to Marian House in Boksburg, but remained active and involved in the liturgy until her last days of active life in the community.
On the 18th of January Sister had the fall which precipitated her final journey of suffering. She was taken to “Sunward Park Hospital” where she underwent surgery. In her pain she was an exemplary patient. The Lord called her on Monday the 30th at 9.45 p.m. We thank and praise God for the witness of Sister John’s life, for her peaceful death and for her resurrection.
Her brother, sister-in-law and her five nieces and a nephew came from Ireland to attend her Requiem Mass on February 3rd which was celebrated by Fr Martin Roden OP and Fr Raphael Ntlou OP.
Sr John was buried in St Dominic’s cemetery, Boksburg. May she rest in Peace
SISTER CUTHBERT KEVELEHN (Mary Brigid) who died in 1938 aged 44 years professed 19 years
Sister Cuthbert was born in Sligo on the 13th of August 1894 and entered the Congregation on the 24th of October 1917 and made Final Vows on the 17th of September 1922.
Most of Sister Cuthbert’s religious life was spent at Benoni Convent where she worked untiringly in the laundry; an arduous task as there was a large boarding school to be serviced. Her special interest was in doing the Church linen for the Convent, the Parish Church and two African Missions. When her health failed she was sent to St Elmo’s where she tried to help a little in the laundry but soon had to abandon that task. Sister Cuthbert had a great spirit of prayer and spent hours in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. She died on the 30th of January 1938 and was buried in the cemetery at St Elmo’s, Umzumbe.
SISTER TERESITA O’BRIEN (Rose)who died in 1982 aged82 years professed 60 years
Sister Teresita was born on the 24th of April 1900 at Warrenpoint, Co Down She entered the Congregation in Launceston on the 9th of March 1920 and made her novitiate at St Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle where she made her Final Vows on the 31st of July 1925.
Sister Teresita was assigned to several convents and gave of her best, she was very outspoken but just, and loved to be of service to her Sisters. Sister suffered from ill health for many years and retired to St Elmo’s where she prayed much and spent hours in the presence of the BlessedSacrament. Sister developed pneumonia while on holiday at St Catherine’s Convent Germiston and was taken to hospital where she died peacefully on the 30th January 1982 and was buried in the cemetery of St Dominic’s Convent Boksburg.