SISTER STEPHANA DUGGAN (Lucie) who died in 1950 aged 75 years- professed 50 years
Sister Stephana was born in Co Wicklow, Ireland, on the 22nd of November 1922 and entered the Congregation on the 14th of November 1944. Sister made her Final Vows in July 1950.
Sister Stephana was educated by the Dominican Sisters in Wicklow where she imbibed her strong love of all things Dominican. She received her Teacher Training in Maria Assumpta Training College in London and shortly afterwards she was sent to Lowell, Michigan, USA to teach in a Parochial Grade School, a newly initiated project by Mother Bruno. During that time she obtained a BA Degree at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Seven years later on returning to England she obtained an Advanced Diploma in the Education of Children with Special Needs and put this to good use in St Elmo’s, Umzumbe. Always a student Sister attended the Angelicum University in Rome and later during a Sabbatical followed a Spiritual Renewal Course at the Siena Centre of Spirituality in New York. Sister Stephana’s final years of teaching were spent in Fatima Convent School, Durban. Whilst in hospital in Durban Sister suffered a fatal heart attack and died on the 30th of March 1997, she was buried in St Dominic’s cemetery, Boksburg on the 4th of April 1997. Her Community wrote of her:
We, her Sisters, wish to pay a special tribute to Sr Stephana whom we will all remember as a person of high integrity, so versatile, so erudite, a lover of nature, a dedicated teacher, always the student and finally a most prayerful Religious steeped in the Holy Scriptures.
SISTER MAGDALEN MURPHY (Anne) who died in 1950 aged 74 years professed 52 years
Sister Magdalen was born in Caherbane, Co Clare, Ireland, on the 9th of November 1876 and entered the Congregation on the 29th of September 1896 and made Profession on the 10th of April 1898
Sister was one of the first postulants to enter the Congregation after its foundation in 1896.
Sister bore heroically all the hardships and difficulties of the early years (her entry is on page 2 of the Register). In addition to the difficulties of the early years was added the cares of responsibility. Sister Magdalen was appointed Superior of the first branch house, Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee
Sister Magdalen ’s characteristics were her spirit of prayer and love of work. She was present at every spiritual exercise and gave music lessons to the very last day of her life. On the 25th of March she retired as usual with the Community, but though always the first in Choir in the mornings she failed to appear. The Prioress found her unconscious in bed. The priest was called and while he administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction Sister. Magdalen gave her soul to God on the 30th of March 1950. Sister was buried in the cemetery in Lennoxton.
SISTER PHILOMENA McCALL (Nellie) who died in 1966 aged 59 years professed 38 years
Sister Philomena was born hi the Rotundra Hospital, Dublin City, Ireland, on the 20th of November 1907 and entered the Congregation on the 24th of September 1926. She made her Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1933.
Sister Philomena was of a gentle kindly disposition, an exemplary Religious, silent and prayerful. She spent many years as Bursar in St Dominic’s Convent, Ponsbourne Park where she also fulfilled many other duties in the house. The last years of her life were spent in St Albert’s, Cork where she endeared herself to all by her sisterliness and generosity. Sister underwent major surgery in November 1965 which revealed an incurable condition. When Sister Philomena was well enough to travel she was taken to Rosary Priory where she could have daily Mass; she edified all by her spirit of prayer and resignation. Sister suffered an acute attack on the 25th of March 1966 and fortified by the Rites of Holy Church she passed to her eternal reward on Sunday 27th of March. Sister Philomena was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Rosary Priory on the 30th of March 1966.
SISTER Teresa Russell (Nancy) who died in 2013 aged 95 years professed 70years
Sister Teresa was born in Johannesburg in April 1918. She entered the congregation on 13th April 1941 received the habit in January 1942 and make her first profession of Vows in January 1943.
Sister attended school in St Catherine’s, Germiston, Assumption Convent Grahams town and University in Pietermaritzburg. She taught in Germiston Pietersburg, Dundee, Primrose and Boksburg.
Sister retired to Marian House and lived a fruitful twenty two years helping some students improve their English and mathematics, she made cards and wrote many letters together with her twin sister and they called their writing “the apostolate of the pen”.
Sister Teresa had a great zest for life, for knowledge and for people. A few days before she died she enquired as to how many inches of rain had fallen the previous day. The Russell twins came from a family that was full of life and they showed this by the way they dedicated their lives to God and others ,they believed that God could bring about a new heaven and a new earth. Their lives in community, in schools, their prayer lives showed their response to God’s call. Their 90th birthday was a wonderful celebration. Sister Teresa went to her eternal reward on 26th March 2013.
The requiem Mass for Sister Teresa was celebrated in Marian House on Easter Monday April 15th. Fr Lewis Torso O.P. was the chief celebrant. A large crowd of friends and past pupils, Sisters of Mercy, Franciscans and Salesians joined with us in the celebration of the life of Sister Teresa. Sister was buried in Marian House cemetery. May she rest in peace.
SISTER MARTHA FOUHY (Julia) who died in 1983 aged 32 years professed 1 year
Sisterr Martha was born in Watergrasshill , County Cork, Ireland, on the 17th of April 1873 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of January 1902. Sister made her Profession on the 22nd of May 1904 and died on the 26th March 1905. Sister was buried in the cemetery in Lennoxton on the 27th of March 1905.
SISTER CHRISTINA TROMP (Neeltze) who died in 1961 aged 83 years professed 50 years
Sister Christina was born in Spierdyk, Holland, on the 14th of March 1879 and entered the Congregation on the 22nd of October 1909.Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of July 1914.
Sister Christina worked in South Africa for many years and later was assigned to St Dominic’s Priory, Ponsbourne Park, Hertfordshire. Sister was an exemplary Religious, prayerful, humble, obedient and hardworking. Her peaceful quiet disposition endeared her to everyone with whom she came in contact. She may be said to have died in harness as she performed her daily duties (in spite of her eighty-two years) to within a week of her death. Sister died fortified by the Rites of Holy Church on the 26th of March 1961 and on the 18th of March after Requiem Mass her body was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery.
SISTER BON SECOURS CANNON (Katie) who died in 1983 aged 76 years professed 56 years
Sister Bon Secours was born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland, on the 15th of January 1907 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1925 and made Final Vows on the 2nd of February 1931.
Sister had been at our boarding school in Launceston, Cornwall and entered the Novitiate there, shortly afterwards the Novitiate was transferred to Rosary Priory and Sister completed her religious training there. In 1931 Sisterr Bon Secours did her teacher training in St Charles Square, London and was assigned to St Rose’s Convent, Burnt Oak where she taught in the Annunciation and St James’ School. In 1949 Sister was sent to Ponsbourne Park as Prioress and Head Teacher. In 1952 she was assigned to St Thomas’ Stanmore as Deputy Head Teacher, and later to Holy Rosary Convent, Eastbourne as Superior. Sister was an able teacher, kind to all, and very hardworking. She was a prayerful person. When her health broke down she had to battle with illness for the rest of her life, she lived in Rosary Priory. It was while Sister was in the Royal Free Hospital, London that she died on the 25th of March 1983. Her funeral Mass was concelebrated in Rosary Priory on the 29th of March followed by her burial in the Convent cemetery.
SISTER REGIS TONE (Marguerite) who died in 1977 aged 94 years professed 69 years
Sister Regis was born in Clara, County Offaly, Ireland, on the 19th of June 1883 and entered the Congregation in South Africa on the 16th of September 1906.Sister made Final Vows on the 21 of April 1911.
Almost all of Sr Regis’s Religious Life was spent in Newcastle Convents; the Town Convent, St Dominic’s Academy and St Thomas’s School. Sister was Prioress in St Thomas’s and Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee. She was remembered as an excellent teacher and she kept in contact with past pupils. Sister was also Councillor to Mother Rose. In 1976 Sister Regis asked to be allowed to join the older Sisters in St. Elmo’s and it was there she died the following year. His Grace archbishop Hurley wrote of her;
What a wonderful person she was. My memories of her go back just about fifty years to the time when I first met her at St Thomas’ Lennoxton. She was a very powerful influence in that school. And what a wonderful recollection she preserved of so many of the boys who came under her care there. She radiated dignity, charm and joy and I am sure these qualities had a profound effect on the scruffy little schoolboys that we were.Sr Regis died on the 25th of March 1977 she was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery in Umzumbe on the 27th of March.
SISTER MONICA LIPPER (Mary Ann) who died in 1969 aged 95 years- professed 69 years
Sr Monica was born in Kilkesen, County Clare, Ireland, on the 13th of January 1875 and entered the Congregation in Newcastle, Natal on the 1st of September 1898 and received the Habit on December 25th of the same year. She was professed on June 14th 1900.
Sr Monica’s entry in the Register is on page 5 indicating that she was one of the very early Sisters in the Congregation. The whole of Sr Monica’s long life was generously devoted to the work of the Congregation; she shared wholeheartedly in the work, hardships and struggles of the pioneer days. Sr Monica’s keen business ability made her the travelling companion of Mother Foundress on the many long journeys that Mother Rose made on behalf of the Congregation. Sr Monica’s forthright manner, created perhaps an unfavourable impression, which cast a shadow over her many good intentions and many virtues.
In 1947, after the death of Mother Foundress, Sr Monica retired to the regular life of the community and spent many long hours in the chapel before the Blessed Sacrament; this habit of prayer and faith went with her to the last. Aged ninety-five years Sr Monica died on the 24th of March 1969 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 26th of March 1969.
SISTER NOTBURGA DZIEMBALLA (Catherina) who died in 1967 aged 72 years- professed 43 years
Sister Notburga was born in Poland at Zuborze, Pr Oppeln, O Schesien on the 23rd of November 1895 and entered the Congregation on the 23rd of July 1927.
Sister Notburga spent most of her Religious Life in our Convents in Natal where she devoted herself to various domestic duties. Sister led a hidden and prayerful life; she was always sympathetic towards the sick and ready to help the poor and needy.
On her way to Chapel, on the Monday of Holy Week, Sister had a sudden attack, she received the Last Sacraments and lingered on until the evening of Holy Thursday March 23rd 1967 when she passed away without a struggle. On Good Friday Sister was laid “in state” in the Convent chapel until her funeral on Holy Saturday at Lennoxton cemetery.
SISTER BARBARA MENKE (Josephine) who died in 1981 aged 94 years professed 67 years
Sister Barbara was born in Cloppenburg, Oldenburg, Germany on the 14thApril 1887 and entered the Congregation on the 6th of November 1911 and made Final Vows on the 17th of July 1916
Sisterr Barbara entered our Congregation in Blerik, Holland in 1910 and in 1911 went to South Africa where she made her first vows in Newcastle in 1913. Sister was assigned to several of our houses in Natal and Transvaal until in 1928 she was transferred to Holy Child Convent, Benoni where she spent the greater part of her life caring for the Junior Boarders.
In 1977 because of advanced age and failing eye sight Sister Barbara was transferred to St Elmo’s, Umzumbe where she could enjoy the privilege of attending Holy Mass daily in the Convent. There sister spent many happy hours in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; she never lost interest in the affairs of the Congregation and continually prayed for the success of our schools. Sister Barbara died aged ninety-four years on the 22nd of March 1981 and two days later was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery in Umzumbe.
SISTER CATALDA WALSHE (Bridie) who died in 2003 aged 94 years professed 64 years
Sister Catalda was born in Bushey Park, Ballagh, County Gal way, Ireland, on the 19th of January 1909 and entered the Congregation on 5th of January 1938 and made Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1942.
Sister Catalda began her preparation for the Religious Life in the Novitiate in Rome but as war was imminent the Novices were recalled to Rosary Priory and Sister Catalda made her First Vows on the 2nd of August 1939. Sister taught in our schools in Launceston and Stanmore and was sent to the United States to Lowell Michigan where she taught in a Parochial School. Sister became an American citizen and attended Summer School at the Dominican Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. When the Sisters were withdrawn from the United States Sister Catalda was assigned to St Rose’s Convent, Burnt Oak where she taught History in St James’ School until her retirement. Sister was a competent and much loved teacher; she had an enthusiastic approach to life and carried out all her tasks cheerfully and to the best of her ability. Later she was assigned to our convent in Eastbourne and then to Harpenden where she taught Catechetics and engaged in SVP work, and finally she came to retirement in Rosary Priory where she died aged ninety-four on the 22nd of March 2003. Sister was buried in our Convent cemetery on 27th March 2003.
SISTER OTTERAN POWER (Mary) who died in 1977 aged 83 years professed 61 years
Sister Otteran was born in Clonea,Dungarvan, Co Waterford on the 30th of April 1894 She entered the Congregation on the 27th of May 1914. Sister made Final Vows on the 5th of January 1920.
Sister Otteran went to South Africa in 1914 and made her Novitiate in Newcastle, Natal. She was assigned subsequently to Benoni, Boksburg and Durban North where she taught the Kindergarten children and proved to be an excellent teacher. Sister was superior of Villa Rosa, Rome for some time.Shortly after her return to South Africa she fell and fractured her leg which necessitated a stay in Port Shepstone Hospital for some months, there she carried on her apostolate of prayer and instruction among the nursing staff and patients. Her patience and gentleness endeared her to all. Sister spent her long years of poor health at St Elmo’s where she occupied herself in making decorative pictures for the Missions.
Sister Otteran suffered a major stroke on the 20th of March and died peacefully on the 21st of March 1977 and was buried hi the Convent Cemetery at Umzumbe on the 23rd of March.
SISTER KIERAN CAHILL (Catherine) who died in 1932 aged 38 years professed 17 years
Sister Kieran was the fifth member of her family to embrace Religious Life on the Foreign Missions. She was assigned to Holy Rosary Convent Dundee for the last twelve years of her life; during the greater part of this time she filled the office of Sacristan, a task which she performed as a labour of love.
An outstanding feature of her life was her great zeal for souls. She edified not only her community but also the seculars with whom she came in contact. On St Patrick’s Day she underwent an operation in Durban Sanatorium but never regained full consciousness. Sister died on the feast of St Joseph 1932 and was buried in Umzumbe cemetery.
SISTER RAPHAEL STOCKLER (Josepha) who died in 1944 aged 69 years- professed 49 years
Sister Raphael was born in Imenstadt, Germany on the 7th of October 1876 and entered the Congregation on the 23rd of June 1896. She made Final Vows on the 14th of January 1898.
Sister Raphael was one of the pioneers who went through the hardships of the early days of our Congregation. She was an obedient and self-sacrificing Religious who was always ready to help the common good. Sister suffered from a lingering illness and although all possible medical remedies were tried they did not relieve her suffering. which she bore with patience and resignation. Sister Raphael was very devoted to her work and had a childlike love and respect for her superiors. Sister died in St Dominic’s Convent, Port Shepstone on the 19th of March 1944 and was buried in St Elmo’s cemetery.
SISTER BAPTIST POWER, (Annie) who died in 1982 aged 92 years professed 74 years
Sister Baptist was bora in Kilmacow, Co Waterford, Ireland on the 17th of April 1890 She entered the Congregation on the 16th of September 1906 and made Final Vows on 21st of April 1911.
Soon after making her Final Profession, Sister Baptist was assigned to St Catherine’s Convent Germiston where she was appointed Prioress. Later she was sent to St Dominic’s Convent Newcastle and in 1931 she was assigned to England to St Rose’s Convent, Burnt Oak.
Throughout her life Sr Baptist held posts of responsibility and in the main she was the liaison person administering the Schools and working in close contact with the local Education Authorities. Sister Baptist was a very good teacher, firm but understanding, and in the early days in South Africa she helped many young Sisters and taught them the ethics of the classroom.
Sister Baptist’s life style of work, prayer and obedience was determined and strongly activated by Dominican ideals. During the last years of her life she suffered much from illness which was patiently borne and she was most grateful for the care and attention of the Sisters. She clung to the Rosary and Holy Mass as blindness rendered her incapable of reading. In those years too her character mellowed much. Sister died in St Mary’s Dominican Nursing Home, Stone, Staffordshire on the 18th of March 1982 Sister was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 22nd of March 1982.
SISTER RAYMOND COLLINS (Mary) who died in 1929 aged 83 years professed 46 years
Sister Raymond was born in Beaupaec, Co Meath, Ireland on the 18th of April 1885. She entered the Congregation in Launceston on the 5th of August 1920. Sister made her Final Vows in July 1925.
Sister Raymond was already a trained teacher when she entered and even though older in years than other postulants yet she was always obedient and docile. She was . a great raconteur and enlivened many a recreation. She was one of the pioneers sent to our mission in Canada and because of her qualifications and experience she was accepted by the Edmonton Board of Education. When the Sisters were withdrawn from Canada, on her return to England, Sister Raymond was appointed Head Teacher of the newly opened St Joseph’s Primary School, Wembley, a Diocesan school. In 1934 when the Annunciation School, Burnt Oak, was built by our Congregation, our conventv in Wembley was closed and Sr Raymond was appointed Head Teacher of The Annunciation School, Burnt Oak; a post she held until her retirement when she reached sixty-five years of age. Sister had much uphill work in establishing that School especially during the war years; she was loved by Staff, pupils and parents. Sister Raymond then went to South Africa where she remained for one year and on her return she took charge of the Boreham Wood Annexe in St. Thomas’s Stanmore. In 1954 Sister was sent as Sub-Prioress to Launceston where she remained until she was assigned to St Thomas’s Convent, Stanmore.
Sister Raymond suffered much during the last years of her life but was ever grateful and patient to those who nursed her. On St Patrick’s Day 1968, she was anointed. On 18th of March she passed peacefully to God in her sleep. Sister was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 19th of March 1968.
SISTER Maria Julia Rohan (Catherine) who died in 2010 aged 86 years professed 52 years
Sister Maria Julia was born in Ballintotis Midleton Co Cork on 6th August 1924. Sister Maria Julia entered the Congregation in 1946, received the Habit in 1947 and made her first profession of vows in 1948.
Shortly after profession Sister was assigned to South Africa where she remained for several years before returning to England and joining the community in Ponsbourne Park. During Sister Maria Julia’s time at St James School Burnt Oak she faithfully fulfilled her supervision responsibilities regardless of weather conditions. Sister cleverly understood the minor misdemeanours of the pupils and enjoyed being with them. They in turn appreciated her concern and the kindness shown to them. Sister was a woman of deep faith who had a great love for the poor. She often visited the elderly in their homes and brought some cheer and light into their lives.It was with great delight that she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee of Profession in 2008.Sister suffered ill health for a number of years. She was lovingly cared for by the Sisters and the Care team in Rosary Priory before her transfer to St Augustine’s where the staff could give her the nursing care which she needed.Sister Maria Julia died peacefully on Wednesday 17th March 2010 in St Augustine’s Residential Care Home 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 ANTONIA COUGHLAN (Susan) who died in 1919 aged 30 years professed 1 year
Sister Antonia was born in Waterford , Ireland on 14th October 1889 and entered the Congregation in Launceston, Cornwall, England. Sister was clothed in the Habit on the 18th of October 1918 and professed on her deathbed on the 17th of March 1919. Sister was buried in the Convent Cemetery but later her remains were translated to the plot in St Cuthbert Mayne Church. Launceston.
SISTER KILLIAN BYRNE (Rita) who died in 1929 aged 24 years professed 2 years
Sister Killian was born in Ballybunion, Co Kerry, Ireland on June 29th 1905 and entered the Congregation on the 30th of April 1925. Sister made her Final Vows on 2nd of August 1927 and died in Boksburg Convent on the 17th of March 1929 Sister was buried the following day, in the convent cemetery at Boksburg.
SISTER STEPHEN BRIODY (Mary Brigid) who died in 1953 aged 68 professed 33 years
Sister Stephen was born in Navan, Co Meath, Ireland on January 18th 1886 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of October 1918. Sister made her Final Vows on the 26th of July 1924
Sister Stephen spent the last years of her life at St Dominic’s Convent, Boksburg. She had charge of the Junior Boarders whom she looked after lovingly and bestowed on them a mother’s care. Sister was a good religious and had a great love of the common good, she suffered from heart trouble for some years. Sister died on the 16th of March 1953 fortified by the Rites of Holy Church and was buried in the cemetery at Boksburg.
SISTER VIANNEY MOORE( Breeda) who died in 2003 aged 66 professed 47 years
Sister Vianney was born in Cork on the 29th of May 1936, she was one of a family of six children, four boys and two girls. Sister received her early education at St Vincents Secondary School, Cork. Bridget Mary Moore entered the Congregation at Rosary Priory on the 8th of September 1953 she received the Habit on the 31st of July 1954 and was given the name Vianney. Sister made her First Vows on the 1st of August 1955 and Final vows on the 1st of August 1958.1n 1958 Sister Vianney graduated from Cork University with a Baccalaureate in Arts and so began her teaching career in Rosary Priory. Eight years later she obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Education at London University. Sister was a competent and dedicated teacher loved by students and staff as she taught English and French in the High School at Rosary Priory from 1958 to 1960. In 1960 Sister was appointed Head Teacher of Rosary Priory High School, a post which she held until 1974. In the year 1974-5 Sister attended Regina Mundi College in Rome, where she had the opportunity of following an in depth Course in Religious Studies, a subject very dear to her all her life.
Sister Vianney was very involved in the world of Post VaticanII changes and updating; she was Secretary General of the Congregation 1975-81. Secretary and Vicaress 1981-87 and Prioress General of the Congregation 1987 to 1993. During those years Sister followed Courses in Leadership, and in Psychosynthesis. She came round to our Convents to share with us some of the content of those Courses. When Sister Vianney moved out of the Administration milieu she took two years of Sabbatical leave in Canada and in the USA where she pursued further studies in holistic programmes. On her return to England Sister was assigned to St Catherine of Siena Convent in Oxford where she enjoyed doing pastoral work in the parish of Blackbird Leys for some years. In October 2001 Sister Vianney was elected Prioress of St Rose’s Convent in Cricklewood and was there until illness (Motor Neuron Disease) necessitated her transfer to Rosary Priory. Sister was lovingly nursed in Rosary Priory until shortly before her death when she was transferred to the Peace Hospice, Watford, where she died on the 15th of March 2003 assisted by several Sisters who watched and prayed with her throughout her time there. Father Michael Platts, our Chaplain was attentive in his many visits and administered the Last Rites of the Church.
At Sister’s funeral and Requiem Mass on the day of her burial, Monday the 24th of March 2003, her family was present, as were dozens of past pupils and friends Sister Vianney had the gift of kindness and helpfulness which attracted people to her and this she continued to exercise even when she was very ill during the last months of her life. Sister Vianney was laid to rest in the cemetery at Rosary Priory on the 24th of March 2003.
SISTER WENDELEN LUSUNR (Ratsnvina) who died in 1974 aged 92 years professed 68 years.
Sister Wendelen was born in Vnitpjlour on November 12th 1882 and was baptised in the Catholic Church at Deggendorf. Sister Wendelen entered the Congregation on the 11th of October 1904 and made Final Vows on the 15th of July 1910
In 1904 Catherine Lehner and her nineteen companions came to Newcastle, Natal to give themselves to God in the Congregation. They were the earliest helpers of our Mother Foundress and formed the nucleus of the Congregation. Catherine Lehner came from Niederhard, Bavaria, Germany. Her families were landowners living comfortably off their own property.
The Lehner family were munificent benefactors of our early and struggling Congregation. Much of the church furniture, sacred vessels, altar linen and vestments still used in our convents in South Africa were donated by Sister Wendelen’s family
Sister Wendelen spent all her active years in Newcastle; first at the “Town Convent” and then when that was burnt down in 1935, at Lennoxton. The Sisters still remember how she taught them to mow with scythes that her brother sent her from Bavaria. At St Thomas’ Convent, Lennoxton her task was cultivating fruit and vegetables which she did with unfailing care and devotion, supplying the Academy and St. Thomas’s and later St. Lewis Bertrand’s and St Bruno’s with vegetables and fruit. In those early days the gardens had to be laboriously watered by hand and as Sister carried water she prayed that the Word of God be carried to souls thirsting for the food of life.Sister Wendelen had a very keen and alert mind; she read widely and had a fund of information on the history of her native Germany. God was her life. His presence was real to her. She conversed with Him as she carried her buckets of water or hoed her drills of tomatoes. Her interest extended to the work of the teachers in school, she offered up her daily toil to invoke God’s blessing on the children and their teachers. She was always pleasant and cheerful, a peacemaker and a trusted confidant, her generous sense of humour made her a favourite companion.
When St Thomas’s Convent closed Sr Wendelen retired from the garden. At the Academy she occupied herself with knitting and crocheting for the poor and as long as her eyes served she read. A great deal of her tune was now spent in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament – and like St Dominic, she either conversed with or about God. Becoming completely invalided Sister was moved to Umzumbe where she spent the last two years of her life. Her hearing and her sight failed. She still attended Holy Mass daily to within a week of her death. The week prior to her death she suffered much; praying aloud she offered her loneliness and her pain to ‘Christ lonely in so many tabernacles’. In spite of pain and discomfort she thought of others; she asked for Mother General and sent her greetings. To the last she was interested in the welfare of the Congregation.Having said farewell to her native land in 1904 she never again returned. Her brother sent her money to pay her way for a home visit but she declined to go saying that she would not take back from the Lord what she had once given and asked that the money be spent on the Church. Sister Wendelen’s mind was clear to the last. She received Holy Communion even on the day of her death, the 15th of March 1974. Her death was quiet and peaceful and she was buried at St. Elmo’s on the feast of St. Joseph.
SISTER BERTRANDA MULRYAN ( Mary) who died in 2016 aged 78 years professed 61 years.
Sister Bertranda was born in Derry Glenamaddy County Galway on 2nd May 1936.She was baptised at The Parish Church in Glenamaddy and given the name Mary on 9th May 1936.she was confirmed at St Joseph’s Glenamaddy on 15th April 1946. Sister Bertranda entered the Congregation on 13th January 1953, she received the habit and the religious name Sister Mary Bertranda on 26th July 1953. Sister made her first profession of vows on 1st August 1954
Sister was a dedicated and brilliant teacher; she taught in several of our Schools – Launceston, Rosary Priory, Ponsbourne and Boxmoor. She received the MBE for her sterling work as Head of St Rose’s School, Boxmoor. Sister volunteered to go to Liberia in 1979 where she worked in St Dominic’s Bomi Hills and in the Rubber Plantation School. When Sister Bertranda returned to England from Her mission in Liberia she began her ministry as “Novice Mistress.” In her role as Formator she mentored a number of young Sisters. In every sense of the word, her Dominican vocation meant so much to her, this was so evident by her spirit of prayer and contemplation; her love of study and debate her passion for and commitment to justice and peace was an inspiration; as was her deep appreciation of the Liturgy. She had an enquiring mind and a great interest in what was happening around her, in the world…in the Church…in the Dominican Order.
Dominican Collaboration was of utmost importance to her. For six years she both hosted and organised the “Inter-Dominican” course for Formators in Boxmoor – a challenge which she embraced with enthusiasm and generosity. In the mid-nineties, when, as a Congregation we joined with our Sisters from the Stone Congregation to form a “Joint Novitiate,” Sister was the first appointed Novice Mistress. Another collaborative venture was when Bertranda willingly agreed to be the secretary of Timothy Radcliffe when he was the Master of the Order.
When recalling her many gifts, one remembers her unassuming nature, her compassion, loyalty and resourcefulness. She was a steadfast friend and a confidante to whom one could go to in times of stress or crisis, she was always ready to go the extra mile; was a wonderful companion and easy to be with. As Prioress or Superior in any of our Convents she was a homemaker as well as being competent, hardworking and aware of how to deal with the practicalities in running a home. She was a gifted hostess, her hospitality knew no bounds, everyone who entered the house was warmly welcomed. Her warm personality drew people to her and they were imbued with joy through this contact with her.
Sister also served in several parishes where our communities were situated. She was much loved by all the Parishioners of Stevenage, St Dominic’s London and Boxmoor. In Boxmoor Bertranda was responsible for various Scripture groups which she ran in the Convent.
She loved the Congregation with every fibre of her being, she was ever so grateful for all the opportunities the Congregation gave her.
Sisters from the community were at her bedside when Sister Bertranda died peacefully on Saturday morning 14th March at Watford General Hospital.
Father Peter Preston SDS and several Dominican Brethren concelebrated Sisters Requiem Mass at Rosary Priory on Saturday 21st March. Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. May she rest in peace.
SISTER DOROTHY BOURKE (Ellen) who died in 1942 aged 85 years professed 68 years
Sister Dorothy was born in Kilrustin, Co Roscommon on the 21st of June 1893 and entered the Congregation on the 1st of November 1910. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of July 1915.
In 1915 Sister Dorothy was assigned her first teaching duties at St Rose’s Convent La Rochelle where she taught many Junior pupils continuing her teacher training at the same time. From St Rose’s she was transferred to Benoni and Germiston Convents where she was Prioress. Sister also taught Junior High School pupils at St Dominic’s Academy, Natal, at Dundee and Port Shepstone where she will ever be remembered by the girls that passed through her hands. As a teacher she was considerate and kind. In later years her greatest love was to prepare the little ones for First Holy Communion. Sister suffered much from a form of asthma and only with the help of an oxygen supply could she breathe freely. Her last illness was borne patiently and with gratitude to God for her long and happy life. On March 14th 1980 she passed away almost unnoticed, calm and peaceful to the end.
SISTER LIGUORI GALLAGHER (Katie) who died in 1966 aged 79 years professed 58 years
Sister Liguori was born in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo on the 3rd of April 1887 and entered the Congregation on the 14th of September 1906. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Liguori taught in our schools in South Africa until 1919 when she was appointed as Novice Mistress in our newly opened Novitiate house in St Joseph’s. Launceston, Cornwall. Later she was recalled to South Africa where as Superior Sister was much esteemed by her Sisters and by the seculars with whom she came in contact. Sister was a devout religious, always peaceful and gentle as was so remarkably evident when her memory failed and she was no longer able to care for herself. During her many years of suffering and helplessness she was lovingly cared for by the Sisters in St Rose’s Convent La Rochelle where most of her religious life was spent. In spite of great suffering, her death, like her life, was calm and peaceful as she breathed her last on the 14th of March 1966 surrounded by her Sisters and the priest. A solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated in St Patrick’s Church, La Rochelle, followed by her interment in the convent cemetery in St Dominic’s, Boksburg on the 16th of March 1966.
SISTER MARY MARTHA O’HARA (Nora) who died in 1957 aged 74 years professed 40 years
Sister Mary Martha was born at Mount Belle County Galway on the 14th of December 1883 and entered the Congregation on the 27th of May 1914. Sister made her Final Vows on the 5th of January 1920.
Sister Martha died a singularly happy death on the 13th of March 1957 having received the Last Sacraments a few hours previously. During the preceding days she often expressed her longing to die and meet her Divine Lord. She was rewarded for her simple well-spent life by the absence of all fear. Sister Martha was buried in the cemetery in Umzumbe after Solemn Requiem Mass.
SISTER AQUINAS POWER (Bridget)who died in 1942 aged 50 years professed 30 years
Sr Aquinas was born in Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny on the 4th of March 1892.She entered the Congregation on the 1st of November 1910, she made her Final Vows on the 13th of April 1916.
At the time of her death Sr Aquinas was Novice Mistress having filled many important offices in the Congregation. Sr Aquinas was of a gentle unselfish disposition and loved by all under her care. Her whole religious life was characterised by her obedience and unswerving fidelity to duty and her loyalty to her higher Superior. She was always ready to accommodate herself to the wishes of others. Although not of robust health Sister carried on her work up to the last day of her life. Sister bore her sufferings with edifying; patience and resignation and remained cheerful up to her last moment. Sr Aquinas died on the 12th of March 1942 and was buried in the cemetery at Rosary Priory on the l4th of March1942.
SISTER CARTHAGE O’DONNELL (Ellen) who died in 1982 aged 88 years professed 71 years
Sister Carthage was born in Cappaquin, Co Waterford on the llth November 1894 and entered the Congregation on the 22nd of October 1909. Sister made her Final Vows in St Dominic’s Newcastle on the 17th of July 1914.
After eight years work in South Africa Sister Carthage was transferred to England where she taught the Novices, at first in Launceston and then in Rosary Priory. In 1947 Sister returned to South Africa as Superior of St Pius Convent, Petersburg where she taught Maths and Science. Sister Carthage was an exemplary religious, forthright, honest and happy. Her “apostolate of the pen” brought joy to many. When no longer able for active work Sister retired to St Elmo’s, she suffered
much and was always patient and grateful for any service rendered to her. Sister Carthage passed away peacefully on the llth of March 1982 as the Sisters prayed at her bedside. After Requiem Mass on the 12th of March Sister was laid to rest in the cemetery in Umzumbe.
SISTER HILDA O’GRADY (Kathleen) who died in 1992 aged 78 years professed 60 years
Sister Hilda was born in Feenagh, Charleville, Co Limerick on the 6th of June 1914 and entered the Congregation on the 1st of September 1930. Sister made her Final Vows on the 30th of June 1935.
Sister Hilda was one of a group of postulants who entered the new Novitiate in ‘ViIla Rosa, Rome in 1931. In 1933 she was sent to South Africa and assigned to St Donnnic’s Academy, Newcastle where she taught for many years and also in many o:f our other schools in Natal and the Transvaal. Sister Hilda embraced the Religious Life wholeheartedly and was assiduous in observing the Rule at all times, she was a naturally decorous person – an asset that left a lasting impression on those with whom she worked. Sister filled the office of Novice Mistress for some years.
During the last few years of her life Sister was in failing health and was lovingly cared for by the Sisters in her community. On the 4th of March she was admitted to hospital where she suffered a massive heart attack and died peacefully on the 11th of March 1992 after receiving the Last Sacraments. After Requiem Mass in Marian House Sister Hilda was laid to rest in Boksburg convent cemetery.
SISTER BERNARD DUNBAR (Martha Mary) who died in 1990 aged 72 years professed 53 years
Sr Bernard was born at Wooden Bridge, Wicklow on the 12th 1918 and entered the Congregation on the 12th of April 1935. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of November 1939.
Sister Bernard entered in Cork hi 1934 and made her novitiate in Rome and after making First Vows was sent to South Africa. Sister worked in turn in our convents in Newcastle, Primrose, Benoni and Umzumbe where she taught Music and Singing. Sister was a gifted Organist and her services were highly valued at the parish Churches in the neighbourhoods of those Convents.
Sr Bernard is remembered for her kindly concern for her Sisters, her pupils and their parents. Remembered too is her care for the poor, every free moment was spent
knitting garments for the children of Dikatole, and the” Travellers on the Road” knew heras a real friend.” Sister bore her painful illness with great courage and was most grateful for every help and kindness she received. Sister died in Germiston Hospital 10th of March 1990 and was buried in the convent cemetery in Boksburg.
SISTER HEDWIG JUNG (Sophie) who died in 1983 aged 86 years professed 67 years
Sister Hedwig was born in the parish of Laborze, Germany on the 20th of February 1896 and entered the Congregation on the 10th of December 1913. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of July 1918.
Sister Hedwig was of Polish descent and together with her sister, Sister Casimir, entered in Blerick, Holland and went to South Africa as a postulant. Sister Hedwig was a devout, prayerful religious totally dedicated to her commitments as Chantress, Organist and Music teacher. She spent the greater part of her religious life at St Elmo’s where she endeared herself to all. When her health deteriorated she went to St Andrew’s Hospital, Harding where she received every comfort spiritually and physically. Sister passed away peacefully on the 9th of March 1983 and was buried in Umzumbe on the 10th of March 1983.
SISTER LOUIS KEANE (Margaret) who died in 1995 aged 94 years professed 73 years
Sister Louis was born in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo on the 26th of January 1901 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of March 1920. Sister made her Final Vows on the 15th November 1924.
Sister was a gifted and very popular teacher who taught in our South African schools and endeared herself to parents and pupils alike by her gentleness, courteous manner and her interest in people. It was in St Elmo’s, however, that she left her mark. She had an exceptional gift for helping children who had learning difficulties. Her creative artistic talents, as well as her delightful sense of humour, helped to enhance her pupils’ education. Sister retained her keen mental faculties right to the end of her long life. She died on the 9th of March at the age of 94 and was buried in Marian House cemetery, Boksburg, on the 13th of March 1995.
MOTHER MARY ROSE NILAND (Agnes) who died in 1947 aged 87 years professed 65 years
Rose Niland our Foundress was born on July 21st 1860 at Fort Beaufort, Cape Province, South Africa where her father Thomas Niland had settled in 1820. She inherited a strong ardent faith from her Irish ancestry, and this, coupled with her early Dominican education nurtured her vocation to the religious life. In August 1880, a few days after her twentieth birthday, she entered the Dominican Novitiate, Kingwilliamstown as a Postulant, thus consecrating her young life to God’s service. On January 19th of the following year she was clothed in the white habit of St Dominic, and on January 25th 1882, our future Foundress with four other Novices, made her Holy Profession in the chapel of the Mother House, Kingwilliamstown.
For the next seven years she lived the life of a simple teaching Religious. In the year 1889 she was sent as Superior of the newly founded Mission at Potchesfstroom, and subsequently she was in charge for successive periods of the Mission at Klerksdorp, Oakford, and finally that of Newcastle. When the last named Mission became involved in financial difficulties, Mother Rose, who was Superior there, was asked to take over the Mission as an independent Foundation. Thus it was in the Providence of God, that St Dominic’s Convent at Newcastle became in 1896 the Cradle of the Congregation under the care and guidance of Mother Rose who from this time we recognize as MOTHER FOUNDRESS
But as all beginnings destined to bear rich fruit for souls are marked with the Cross, so was this first foundation of our Congregation. In the course of the Boer War, our beloved Mother with her first companions was forced to flee from Newcastle as refugees, and what must her sorrow have been on returning later to find the Convent partly in ruins. But at this crisis Mother Foundress shows herself already a valiant woman. Nothing daunted she puts her trust in God. “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” (Phil.) She set to work courageously and from out of the ruins of her first foundation God would have her reconstruct the ALMA MATER of her Congregation destined to flourish and extend its branches far and wide. “The Lord is my helper and my protector; in Him hath my heart confided and I have been helped.” (Psalm XXXII, 7)
For the next forty-seven years Mother Foundress worked indefatigably for the Congregation she had founded and spared no effort in consolidating it and having it affiliated to the Dominican Order by the Venerable Father Cormier O.P. who was then Master General. She organised the Congregation on such a solid basis that already in 1911 it was granted its Final Approbation by the Holy See, and the Constitutions received the same Approval in 1925
The fruits of her Apostolic life may be seen from the foundations she established. At the time of her death these numbered — six in Natal, five in the Transvaal, five in England, one in Rome which was the Mother House from 1931 to 1937. In 1934 a house was rented in Cork for the purpose of receiving Postulants. She left nothing undone in her efforts to bring to perfection her great work to the honour and glory of God for the salvation of souls.
Mother Foundress died in Rosary Priory on 8th March1947. Her body was laid to rest in the Convent cemetery. On 12th March 1949, her body was transferred to the Mortuary Chapel adjoining the Choir in Rosary Priory.
SISTER IONA BRADY (Bridget) who died in 1978 aged 82 years professed 61 years
Sister Iona was born in Dublin in 1895 and entered the Congregation on the 27th of May 1914. Sister made her Final Vows on the 5th of January 1920.
Sister Iona was a talented person who put her whole heart into whatever she did and spared no pains to lead her pupils to success; she excelled in the Afrikaans language and used it to great advantage in St Pius’ Convent School, Pietersburg, a great Afrikaans stronghold. Her versatility was such that no matter what subject she taught she attained success. Sister was Principal in several of our schools. When she was too old to teach in school Sister gladly helped Fr Peters O.P. with the Theology Courses undertaken by the Fathers. Sister Iona went to Ireland in 1975 and spent time in Lourdes on the way back. When Sister’s health declined she went to St Elmo’s where she was lovingly cared for and where she went peacefully home to God on 8th March 1978. Sister is buried in the cemetery in Umzumbe.
SISTER ADRIAN HANNA (Josephine) who died in 2004 aged 93 professed 67 years
Sister Adrian (Josephine) Hanna was born in 1910 in Belfast, Ireland and grew up in a very happy family. After finishing her schooling she worked for the Civil Service, then went to try her religious vocation in the Dominican Novitiate in Bushey England. She and others completed their Novitiate at Villa Rosa in Rome, where she made Profession of her vows in1936.
Sr Adrian remained in England for some years. After her teacher’s training she was assigned to Burnt Oak and then to Ponsbourne Park, where she taught and was in charge of the boys. She was well liked and many past pupils kept in touch with her over the years. They did not forget sister’s kindness and concern. In 1951 she came to South Africa and was assigned first to St Catherine’s Convent, Germiston. From there she travelled daily to the newly acquired property in Primrose. Here she took commercial classes in the cottage for a while. This marked the beginning of St Joseph’s Convent, Primrose. Subsequently she was transferred to Pietersburg Convent, back to Germiston and then to Boksburg Convent. It was from here that Sr Adrian got involved with the newly started St Anthony’s Adult Education Centre. In her work with Fr Stan Brennan OFM she came in contact with many people at Reiger Park. Her next involvement was at Springs at the Blessed Martin’s Centre, run by the Dominican Fathers. Sister then taught for some years at St Rose’s Convent School, La Rochelle, before going to St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle.
After all her active apostolic work Sr Adrian retired to Marian House, Boksburg. Sister was now able to devote more time to prayer and to correspondence with a wide circle of past-pupils and friends. Despite her age and illnesses Sister kept up a wide interest in people and community affairs. She was very sociable and concerned about others. This characterised her up to a fortnight before she died peacefully on 8th March 2004 at Marian House in the presence of the whole community and the chaplain Fr Martin OP. Sister is buried in our cemetery at Marian house.
SISTER CORNELIA BUHL (Gertruda) who died in 1983 aged 88years professed 59 years
Sister Cornelia was born in Vogtsdorf, Oppelen, O Schlesien, Germany on the 12th of March 1895 and entered the Congregation on the 23rd of July 1922. Sister made her Final Vows on the 23rd of July 1927.
Sister Cornelia was of Polish descent and went to South Africa where she made her First Profession in July 1924. Sister worked long and lovingly in our Convents. When Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee was closed Sister was sent to St Elmo’s where she spent her years of retirement in prayer and adoration until she went to St Andrew’s Hospital, Harding where she died on the 8th of March 1983. Sister was buried in Umzumbe on the 10th of March 1983.
SISTER PAULINE MURPHY (Catherine) who died in 2015 aged 92years professed 65 years
Sister Pauline was born in Derry Banteer County Cork on 24th June 1922. She was baptized at The Parish Church in Banteer and given the name Catherine on 25th June 1922, she was confirmed at St Mary’s Banteer on 20th May 1935.
Sister Pauline entered the Congregation on 15th July 1947. She received the habit and the religious name Sister Mary Pauline on 10th February 1948. Sister made her first profession of vows on 28th July 1949.
Sister Pauline was a true Dominican. She had a deep spirit of prayer; had a special devotion to Our Lady and daily prayed her rosary; she was always interested in what was happening in the world and kept abreast with current affairs.
Throughout her active years, Sister Pauline was assigned to several of our Convents. She spent very happy years in Ponsbourne and Storrington where she taught in our Schools. She was a most dedicated teacher who had the interest of her pupils at heart. She had a great gift of helping pupils in school who struggled with their studies, with her encouragement they blossomed and achieved great things in life.
Pauline had a wonderful way with people and was always ready to warmly welcome visitors to the Convent. Her caring sensitive nature, her ability to listen, and her sense of humour and compassion endeared her to others. She often visited the sick and the housebound and people loved her. She also carried in her heart the many requests for prayers she received and whenever it was possible would follow up with people, often making friends that lasted a life time.
She was assigned to Rome for a number of years. Pauline loved the “Eternal City” and the Italian people, when she was in Rome she mastered the Italian language and amazed many a visitor with her knowledge of historical sites, from the ancient wonders to the fashionable shop windows and streets. There wasn’t a Church or Basilica she hadn’t been to, she was ever so knowledgeable when it came to the history of Italy and the history of art.
Sister Pauline was a unique character; her innate kindness, her sharp intelligence, her many gifts, a gracious, generous and grateful woman, who will always be remembered for that spark of joy and her radiant smile that just lit up her face.
We’ll continue to be inspired by Sister Pauline’s love and her faith in Jesus, her understated spiritual nature, her kindness, good humour, and her energy.”
A couple of days before her death Sister Pauline said: to one of our Carers “I am very happy.” Those were Sister Pauline’s last audible words.
Our Sister Pauline was surrounded by the love, care and the support of her Sisters, and Community. The last couple of days before her passing, the Sisters never left her bedside.
Sister Pauline died peacefully on Saturday 7th March.
Father Peter Preston SDS celebrated Sisters Requiem Mass at Rosary Priory on Thursday 12th March. Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. May she rest in peace.
SISTER CELSUS WALTER (Anna) who died in 1962 aged 82 years professed 53 years
Sr Celsus was born in Kleinitz on the 30th October 1895. She entered the Congregation on August 1st 1922 and made her final Vows on November 21st 1928. Sr. Celsus spent many years of her Religious Life at Lennoxton and at the Sacred Heart Mission. Sister was also assigned to Villa Aquinas and finally to St. Elmo’s; she was always gentle and sisterly. She was Guest Mistress and Infirmarian for some years and was always glad to be of service to others. Her spirit of prayer and recollection was remarkable. She had a long struggle before the end came and was devotedly cared for during her last days; nothing was left undone which could alleviate her sufferings. Sister had the joy of daily Communion and of every spiritual gift. Sister Celsus died at St. Elmo’s Convent on the 7th of March 1978 and was buried in the cemetery in Umzumbe
SISTER PERPETUA HEPPLER (Caroline) who died in 1962 aged 79 years professed 48 years
Sr Perpetua was born on the 7th of January 1884 in Sigmaringen, Hohenzollern, Germany and entered the Congregation on the 27th of July 1912. Sister made her Final Vows on the 14th of April 1917.
Sister Perpetua spent some years in England at St Roses’ Burnt Oak and in Rosary Priory and then in South Africa. Sister was an exemplary religious, devoted to whatever duty was placed upon her and loyal to her Superiors. She endeared herself to all by her sweetness and kindliness of disposition. Sister Perpetua was in failing health for many years and was lovingly cared for by the Sisters of St Elmo’s convent. Sister died on the 7th of March 1962, Mass was offered for her on the 8th and her funeral took place in the afternoon, she lies buried in St Elmo’s, Umzumbe.
SISTER TERESA COTTER (Catherine) who died in 1984 aged 70 years professed 48 years
Sister Teresa was born in Ballytigue, Co Limerick on the 24th of March 1914 and entered the Congregation on the 12th of April 1935. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of November 1939.Sister Teresa was always a most conscientious teacher with an active interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of her pupils particularly in preparing them for the reception of the sacraments. Sister had a deep spirit of prayer and religious commitment. She served as Prioress or as school Principal in several of our Convents. Everywhere she was assigned she earned a great reputation as a dedicated Religious and efficient teacher and countless pupils and their parents were most appreciative of all she did for them. Sister Teresa had not been in good health for some years and suffered from a heart complaint. Plans had been for her to visit her family in Ireland and attend a Spiritual Renewal course in England but God planned otherwise. On the 5th of March 1984 Sister suddenly had heart failure and died in Benoni hospital. Sister was buried in Boksburg Convent Cemetery on the 7th of March 1984.
SISTER LUCERA SANDS (Hedwig) who died in 1982 aged 85 years professed 56 years
Sister Lucera was born in Reche, Westphalia, Germany on the 24th of October 1896 and entered the Congregation at Blerik, Holland on the 23rd of July 1922. Sister made her Final Vows in Newcastle on the 23rd of January 1929.
There was something exceptional about Sr Lucera’s linguistic skills — she recalled how she learned French from a young French prisoner of war during the First World War! After Hedwig had attended a special Domestic course for a couple of years she felt the call to the religious life and went to Blerick, Holland, where she joined eight other German Aspirants and eventually they set sail for South Africa and Newcastle. Everything en route to there was so new to them but when they arrived they had to learn the English language the hard way. Hedwig brought with her a deep spirit of prayer, a gentle disposition and a quiet sense of humour. For many years Sister was in charge of the chapel keeping it spotless and fit for Divine Worship. Sr Lucera worked at caring for the spiritual and physical needs of the boarders and during vacation organised outings for those who had to remain at the Academy. In 1977 when Sister was relieved from her work of caring for the boarders she turned her hand to gardening and by selling pot plants raised money for the Church and school. When in her last illness in hospital the words “Thank you” were constantly on her lips. The Lord called her from this world on the 4th of March 1982 and she lies buried in Lennoxton cemetery.
SISTER RAPHAEL DEVINE (Margaret) who died in 1933 aged 61 years professed 37 years
Sr Raphael was born on the 28th of February 1873 at Kilmihill, Co Clare. Sister Raphael entered the West Grinstead Congregation on the 1st of October 1891 and made her Final Vows on the 7th of March 1899.
In 1900. as a young religious, Sister Raphael was sent to Angmering in Sussex to open a new foundation; she was appointed Head Teacher there in the Elementary School. After fifteen years she was recalled to West Grinstead to take up the office of Prioress. With her usual clear-sightedness she saw that as the Sisters did not have tenure the only hope of saving the community was amalgamation; in this she encountered much suffering and opposition but when the amalgamation became an accomplished fact her joy was great as she entered into the spirit of the new Congregation. Sister was assigned to St Rose’s Convent, Burnt Oak, where she said she spent the happiest months of her life free from all responsibilities. The Chronicler tells us:
Hers was a soul of rare metal. Her manner perfectly straightforward and outspoken gained for her many friends and not a few enemies. Her great devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Blessed Sacrament and her ardent zeal for everything relating to the service of God were her outstanding virtues.
Her death was rather sudden, she died as the Sisters were singing the Salve on Saturday the 4th of March 1933 and was buried in the cemetery at Rosary Priory on 6th march 1933
SISTER STANISLAUS MURPHY (Bridget) who who died in 1948 aged 68years professed 47 years
Sr Stanislaus was born in Drumcondra, Co Dublin on the 30th of August 1880 and entered the West Grinstead Congregation on the 30th of August 1899 and made her Final Vows in 1906.
Sr Stanislaus, on amalgamating with our Congregation, made her Vows on the 13th of September 1928. Sister’s religious life was characterised by simplicity and unselfishness and a readiness to take on any work assigned to her. Sister was a charitable person and noted for her kindliness to the sick, she had a great spirit of prayer. Sister Stanislaus’ death was rather sudden; she received the Last Sacraments and afterwards was constantly thanking God for His great goodness to her as the Sisters prayed continuously round her bedside. She died on the 3rd of March 1948 and was buried in the convent cemetery at Ponsbourne.
SISTER LUKE O’MAHONY (Ethel) who died in 1980 aged 82 years professed 67 years.
Sister Luke was born in Cork on the 9th of January 1897 and entered the Congregation in Launceston on the 3rd of August 1918. Sister made her Final Vows on the 19th of July 1923.
In South Africa Sister worked conscientiously for fifty-three years in our schools taking a deep interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of her pupils training them to fill good posts in later life. Sister Luke made her prayer life a priority and had a great love for the Mass, the Rosary and the Divine Office, which she recited almost to the end. In 1973 while on holiday in Ireland she suffered a stroke from which she never fully recovered and on her return from Ireland she was assigned to Rosary Priory. Sister suffered from this disability for nearly seven years but even then tried to give what help she could in the daily work. Sister suffered much for one month before her death. Fortified by the sacraments of the Church Sister went into everlasting life on the 3rd of March 1980 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery.
SISTER MARTINA GILLERAN (Kathleen) who died in 1962 aged 73 years professed 44 years.
Sr Martina was born in County Galway on the 3rd of May 1889. She entered the Congregation on the 29th of November 1916 and made her Final Vows on the 3rd of July 1921.
Sr Martina gave devoted service to the Congregation, she was a good religious prayerful and hardworking and in spite of increasing ill-health she carried on bravely. For the last eight years of her life she was a complete invalid and edified all by her patience in very intense suffering. The Sisters in the Holy Rosary Convent Dundee tended her lovingly for many years but for some months before her death she was a patient in the hospital in Ladysmith and it was there she died on the morning of the 2nd of March 1962. Sister’s remains were brought back to the Lennoxton Convent where Requiem Mass was celebrated in the morning and her burial took place in the convent cemetery in the afternoon.
SISTER RAYMOND BLAKE (Mary)who died in 1983 aged 92 years professed 68 years.
Sr Raymond was born at Clonave, Coole, County Westmeath on the 3rd of May 1891. Sister entered the West Grinstead Congregation in Sussex on the 19th of March 1910 where she received the Habit on the 23rd of January 1912 and made Final Vows on the 10th of February 1918.
Sister was assigned to the Convent in Angmering, Sussex, where she helped with various community duties. When the West Grinstead Sisters amalgamated with us in 1927 Sister Raymond, using the formula of Profession of our Congregation, made her vows on the 21st of March 1928. Sister was then assigned to Ponsbourne Park. Hertfordshire, to the convent, which had been bought for the West Grinstead Sisters. Later, at various tunes, she was assigned to Launceston, Stanmore and Burnt Oak. Sister was a great raconteur and a mine of information about Catholic Sussex and about the Sisters who came from Chatillion, Paris, and worked in West Grinstead at the invitation of the Bishop of Southwark. Sister was kind and prayerful, her love of the Mass and the Rosary were outstanding and she lived community life to the full to the best of her ability to the end. Sister Raymond was confined to bed for the last two months and was lovingly cared for by her community to whom she showed a deep appreciation for all that was being done for her. Sister Raymond died in Burnt Oak on the 2nd of March 1983, and her Requiem Mass was celebrated by her nephew, Fr. Blake, Sister was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery.
SISTER HYACINTH GILHEANY (Maisie) who died in 1984 aged 84 years 61 years professed
Sr Hyacinth was born at Cloker, Ballinmore, Co Leitrim on the 29th of April 1900 and entered the Congregation on the llth of January 1922. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of November 1926.
Sister Hyacinth made her novitiate in Launceston and went to Newcastle, Natal in December 1923. Sister’s first assignment was to St Rose’s Convent La Rochelle and subsequently to St Louis Bertrand’s African School, Lennoxton where she spent the greater part of her life. She also taught in the schools in the Transvaal until her retirement to St Elmo’s in 1981. Sr Hyacinth was a very dedicated teacher and worked untiringly and prayerfully for the spreading of God’s Kingdom. After many months of ill health and the weakness of advancing years Sister passed peacefully away on the 1st of March 1984 and was buried in the cemetery in Umzumbe.
SISTER PAULA HEUPEN (Adele) who died in 1990 aged 89 years 67 years professed
Sr Paula was born on the 20th of May 1900 in Kalden Kirchen, in the Rhineland and entered the Congregation on the 7th of August 1921. Sister made her Final Vows on the 1st of May 1927.
Sister Paula entered the Congregation in Blerick, Holland and then made her novitiate in St Dominic’s Newcastle. Sister’s first assignment was to the Mission School in Dundee, later she was sent to St Joachim’s School, Umsinsini, and then to St Lewis Bertrand’s, Lennoxton. Sister’s entire religious life was spent in Mission Schools, she was a fluent Zulu speaker and endeared herself to all. Sister had a great spirit of prayer and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. When Sister retired to St Elmo’s Umzumbe she continued to teach and catechise the African people. In 1988 when her health began to deteriorate she was transferred to a Nursing Home in Durban where she was frequently visited by the Sisters. Sister died on the 1st of March 1990, her body was flown to Boksburg and her body interred in St Dominic’s cemetery, Boksburg on the 7th of March 1990. Representatives of her past pupils and teachers travelled to Boksburg to be present at her Requiem Mass and funeral at Marian House Boksburg.