June

June

JUNE 1st

SISTER HELENA BOHANE (Helena Christina) who died in 2013 aged 84years professed 64years

Sister Helena was born in Kilderry Skibereen Co Cork on 7th January 1929. She entered the Congregation on 20th September 1947 received the habit and the religious name Sister Mary Innocent  on 25th July 1948 and made her first profession of vows 28th July 1949
Helena was a great community person and house Bursar in Cricklewood up to three months before her death. She was a volunteer at Holloway prison until she became ill.  She reluctantly handed over the keys when she realized that she could not continue carry out this ministry. Even when ill herself, she regularly visited an old man, named Tom and took an “old lady” shopping.  She served in a number of our schools.  She was Head teacher in Launceston, and Storrington. Sister also taught at St Cuthbert Mayne School. It was said of her “Sister is an energetic and enthusiastic teacher able to infuse children with her own pleasure in learning new knowledge and new skills she has that remarkable blend of affection and firmness so helpful in encouraging a happy purposeful atmosphere”
Sister loved life and made the most of any situation, she always saw the positive side of life – life was great- all was “tip-top.”  Her deep faith sustained her awareness that the Lord was with her. Helena had a great devotion to our Lady and was faithful to the recitation of the Rosary every Day.
Sister Helena was a true Dominican.  She had a deep spirit of prayer. In her dealings with others, Helena was empathetic, and had a keen intuitive sense.    Sister moved to Rosary Priory some weeks before her death. The more the carers at the Priory got to know her, the more they were moved by her qualities.
“As a care team, we only knew Sister Helena for a short time, yet in that time, she was able to touch the lives of all of us. Although she was nearing the end of her life, and struggling with unimaginable pain, her kind heart and infectious sense of humour, bounded every moment we shared with her. One of the care staff described Sr Helena as a ‘woman of unique beauty,’ and another said ‘she was so funny and so brave – it was a pleasure and a blessing having known her.’
Sister Helena ended her life as a Dominican where she began it  in Rosary Priory. During the last few months of her life, as Helena became more and more frail, her silent witness of patient suffering challenged us to enter into the deepest meaning of life.  Sister Helena passed away as she lived peacefully and gently.  God called her home on Saturday evening the 1st June .Fr. Piers Linley OP and Fr Gabriel concelebrated Sisters Requiem Mass at Rosary Priory on Friday 7th June. Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. May she rest in peace.

SISTER THECLA HINZ (Pauline) who died in 1957 aged 78years – professed 41years
Sister Thecla was born in Preeklau, Germany on the 16th of April 1880 and entered the Congregation on the 27th of May 1914. Sister made her Final Profession on the 5tt of January 1920.
Sister Thecla had been in poor health for several years and during the last three years of her life she was an invalid. Sister attended the Easter ceremonies and from then on she was confined to bed well aware that she would not get better as she awaited death with great calm and resignation. She prayed constantly, the Rosary beads were never out of her hands. All who lived with her spoke of her devotion to duty, her regularity and her exactitude in the observance of the Rule. During her last days when she could no longer make herself heard she formed the words with her lips and repeatedly kissed her crucifix. All of the Sisters were present when she died on the 1st of June 1957 and on the 2nd of June she was buried in the last available place in the cemetery at Lennoxton.

SISTER BERTRANDA STACK (Nellie) who died in 1951 aged 50years – professed 31years
Sister Bertranda was born in Ballylooby, County Waterford, Ireland on the 26th of October 1901 and entered the Congregation on the 24th of October 1917 and made Final Vows on the 19th of July 1923
It was the feast of the Sacred Heart when the two Sisters were accidentally killed on the way to Church in Pietersburg. It was the Titular feast of the Parish Church and Sister Bertranda and Sister Albius were on their way to Church with the Boarders to participate in the Holy Hour and Benediction. In the darkness the two sisters were knocked down by a luxury bus and were killed instantly. The Last Rites of the Church were administered on the spot by a Benedictine priest.
The two Sisters were kindred spirits. Sister Albius was in the fifty-third year of her life and the thirty-first of her Religious Profession. At the time of her death she was Prioress of St. Pius’ Convent where she did splendid work in the school and in the Convent. Sister Bertrand was fifty years of age and thirty-one years Professed, she was Sub-Prioress of the Convent. Both Sisters were excellent religious and excellent teachers, kindred souls in life and death. Their influence for good extended far beyond the confines of their convent home as was evidenced by their tremendous funeral and by the Mass offerings which poured in for weeks afterwards, non Catholics also contributing. On the day of the funeral the Apostolic Delegate arrived in the town and said the prayers at the graveside. The Sisters were interred in the local cemetery but later, when the Convent was closed, the Sisters’ remains were exhumed and transferred for burial to the Convent Cemetery, Boksburg.

SISTER ALBIUS O’DONOVAN (Alice)
who died in 1951 aged 53years – professed 31years
Sister Albius was born on the 20th of December 1898 in County Tipperary, Ireland on the 20th of December 1898 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1918 and made Final Vows on the 19th of July 1923. It was the feast of the Sacred Heart when the two Sisters were accidentally killed on the way to Church in Pietersburg. It was the Titular feast of the Parish Church and Sister Bertranda and Sister Albius were on their way to Church with the Boarders to participate in the Holy Hour and Benediction. In the darkness the two sisters were knocked down by a luxury bus and were killed instantly. The Last Rites of the Church were administered on the spot by a Benedictine priest.
The two Sisters were kindred spirits. Sister Albius was in the fifty-third year of her life and the thirty-first of her Religious Profession. At the time of her death she was Prioress of St. Pius’ Convent where she did splendid work in the school and in the Convent. Sister Bertrand was fifty years of age and thirty-one years Professed, she was Sub-Prioress of the Convent. Both Sisters were excellent religious and excellent teachers, kindred souls in life and death. Their influence for good extended far beyond the confines of their convent home as was evidenced by their tremendous funeral and by the Mass offerings which poured in for weeks afterwards, non Catholics also contributing. On the day of the funeral the Apostolic Delegate arrived in the town and said the prayers at the graveside. The Sisters were interred in the local cemetery but later, when the Convent was closed, the Sisters’ remains were exhumed and transferred for burial to the Convent Cemetery, Boksburg.

JUNE 2nd
SISTER AQUINAS EYRE (Josephine)
who died in 1911 aged 39years – professed 13years
Sr Aquinas was born on the 12th of March 1872 in Galway, Ireland, and entered the Congregation on the 29th of September 1896; she made her Vows on the 10th of April 1898.
Sister Aquinas died at Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee on the 2nd of June 1911.Sister was buried in Lennoxton cemetery on the 4th of June 1911.

JUNE 3rd
SISTER AUGUSTINE TILLEMAN, (Wihelmina)
who died in 1962 aged 65years – professed 44years
Sister Augustine was born in St Amandsberg, East Flanders, Belgium on the 14th of December 1889 and entered the Congregation on the 21st of January 1920. Sister made her Final Profession on the 19th of July 1924.
Although Sister Augustine was born in Belgium the family later returned to Holland where Sister grew up and remained until she entered the Novitiate in South Africa in 1923. Sister was assigned to St Rose’s Convent, La Rochelle where she cared for the Sister’s needs as laundress, seamstress and general helper in the house. Sister was transferred to St Catherine’s Convent. Germiston in 1944 and willingly took on the duties of cook and seamstress. When the original Convent was moved to Parkhill Gardens in 1948 Sister went there and there she remained for the rest of her life. In 1977 after many years of devoted service she retired from active work but remained a bright and cheerful member of the community. She spent much time in reading and prayer as arthritis had rendered her unable to do any handwork.. Though small of stature Sister Augustine had a great heart, she was a warm and generous person and loved by her Sisters and the domestic staff as well as the teachers and children of the school. The latter would delight to come and have a chat with the “Small Sister” who always gave them a cheery greeting. Past pupils also loved to visit her as did a number of priests, some of whom she had known when they were in the Oblate Novitiate in Glebe. Sister died on the 3rd of June 1986 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg on the 4th of June.

SISTER ELMO WROBEL (Victoria) who died in 1960 aged 25years – professed 1year
Sister Elmo was born on the 23rd of December at Ozarsunway, Old Sen., Sister entered the Congregation in South Africa on the 2nd of August 1921 and made her Final Vows on the 1 st of May 1927.
Sister Elmo was a cheerful, obedient and prayerful Sister. For many years before her death she suffered intensely; she became blind and almost completely deaf but the Rosary was her stay and comfort. The hearts of those who saw her suffering were torn with anguish but Sister never complained. Everything was done to alleviate her pain and it was said of her that her mission was one of prayer and suffering. Sister Elmo died in Harding Hospital on the 3rd of June 1960 and was buried in St Elmo’s cemetery Umzumbe on the 5th of June 1960.

SISTER RACCONIGI FITZSIMONS (Mary Ann) who died in 1973 aged 75years – professed 54years
Sister Racconigi was born in County Cavan on the 1st of May 1899 and entered the Congregation on the 22nd of August 1918. Sister made her Final Vows on the 19th of July 1923.
Sister Racconigi made her Novitiate in Launceston and after First Profession was sent to St Thomas’ Convent, Lennoxton; from there she went to the Rand where for many years she taught those with Special Needs in our Benoni School; her infinite patience and concern won for her many lifelong friends, her interest and love were readily appreciated by pupils and parents. Sister’s last years were spent in La Rochelle where for over sixty years she served as Sacristan in the busy Parish Church. Her prayer life was simple; trusting God completely she lived in His house, tidying, dusting, sweeping. Many a parishioner found her there to pour out problems and anxieties to and to be reassured by her living Faith and promise of prayer. Sister had time for everyone, sharing the sorrows and cares of others, but she was always cheerful and smiling knowing for a certainty God’s loving care for all. Sister died in Johannesburg General Hospital on the 3rd of June 1973 and was buried on the 5th of June in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg

June 4th

SISTER FRANCIS NEVIN (Catherine) who died in 1935 aged 48years – professed 24years

Sister Francis was born in Dublin on the 15th of January 1887 and entered the Congregation on the 1st of December 1910. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of July 1915.

Sister Francis was of a gentle disposition, her love of prayer and observance of the Rule were outstanding in her Religious Life. Sister was one of the pioneers chosen to begin our first foundation in England. Later she returned to South Africa where after a short illness she died a holy death in Germiston on the 4th of June 1935. Sr Francis was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg.

SR BENVENUTA RAMBICHLER (Marie) who died in 1958 aged 86years – professed 56years

Sister Benvenuta was born in Heinreit Palling, in Bavaria on the 3rd of March 1873 and entered the Congregation on the 7th of June 1901 and made her Profession on the 6th of June 1903.

Sister was one of the early pioneers of the Congregation.Sister Benvenuta was assigned to St Elmo’s Convent for over thirty years and was most conscientious in the fulfillment of her duties, especially in the supervision of the complicated water supply. During the last two years of her life, when increasing infirmity made active work impossible, she devoted almost all her time to prayer, spending long periods before the Tabernacle or saying her Rosary. She often said that she interceded especially for her Superiors, her Sisters and the needs of the Church. She kept the thought of death ever before her and was longing for the last summons. In character Sister Benvenuta was kind, patient and humble, and prayerful. She gave a shining example of devotion to the common life and to the then regular exercises of the community. After bearing her growing infirmity without a murmur for some months she died peacefully on the 4th of June 1958 and was buried in the cemetery in St Elmo’s.

June 6th

SISTER JOSEPHA BYRNE (Annie) who died in 1977 aged 70years – professed 49years
Sister Josepha was born in Ballybunion, County Kerry on the 19th of September 1906 and entered the Congregation on the 25th of October 1926. Sister made her Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1932.
Sister Josepha was the fourth member of her family to enter Religious Life. She was a simple prayerful person, kind and charitable to everyone. The Mass was her outstanding devotion and every spare moment was spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Sister had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart, to Padre Pio and to St Therese of Liseaux and promoted these devotions among her friends. Sister Josepha spent most of her teaching years in St Dominic’s, Ponsbourne Park; she loved the young children and they had a great respect for her; when her health broke down she gave up teaching and did light tasks about the house. Sister’s last years were spent in Rosary Priory, and when during the last months of her life she suffered intensely, all was borne with great patience. She died in Shrodells Hospital, Watford on the 6th of June 1977 and was buried at Rosary Priory.

June 7th

SISTER WINIFRED KAISER (Amalia) who died in 1997 aged 92years – professed 68years
Sister Winifred was born on the 20th of April 1905 in Esthal by Neustadt, Germany and entered the Congregation in January 1927. Sister made her Final Vows on the 12th
of July 1933.
Sister Winifred was one of the great German Sisters dedicated to teaching the African children. Sister’s teaching apostolate began with her assignation to the
Mission School, St Louis Bertrand’s, situated in the grounds of the Parish Priest’s house. The School, a wood and iron shack was opened in 1918. A past pupil of the School, Petrus Butelezi wrote:
Teaching in St Lewis Bertrand’s was done by the Dominican Sisters assisted by a black staff of ladies. I was enrolled as a scholar there in 1931.1 remember a lay black teacher, Miss Linda, who later joined the Order of Dominican Sisters as Sister John and I remember a white teacher, Sr Winifred.
In 1931 Sisters Winifred and Rita ran St Lewis Bertrand’s School and taught about a hundred pupils. At the General Chapter held in Newcastle that year it was decided to transfer the Mission School to the suburb of Lennoxton on the llth of March 1932, the school took over the former St Thomas’s Boys’ School in Lennoxton. Sister Winifred lived in the Academy and walked to Lennoxton daily to teach the pre-school children. Later she was transferred to St Thomas’s Convent and for the next two decades she taught in St Lewis Bertrand’s. In 1947 the School had grown to Secondary School level and pupils were entered for public examinations. Sisters Winifred and Alberta were the first teachers of the new class and they were assisted by Mr Petrus Butelezi. The School continued to grow and flourish until the Bantu Education Act and the Group Areas Act, which with the forced removal of the African people, necessitated the sale of the School to the Indian Community. Sister Winifred was transferred to St Dominic’s Convent, Boksburg where she taught in school and ran a repository for religious articles both in the Convent and in Reiger Park.
Sister Winifred is remembered as a very kind and generous person. At her Requiem Mass concelebrated by Fr Reginald Gunn OFM and Fr Dominic Baldwin O.P., Fr Dominic referred to Sister Winifred’s chief characteristic as her sense of gratitude: “Gratitude to God for her being, her life, and for all persons.” Sister constantly expressed gratitude for the Sacraments, for all she had received from her Dominican Order and from her many friends. Sister died on the 7th of June 1997 at the age of ninety-two and was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg on the 10th of June after seventy years of ministry in South Africa.

June 9th

SISTER MARCOLINA CARNEY (Brigid) who died in 1979 aged 81years – professed 63years
Sister Marcolina was born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo on the 27th of September 1898 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1915. Sister made her Final Vows on the 24th of December 1920.
Sister Marcolina went as an Aspirant to Blerik, Holland in June 1914 and the following year when Launceston was bought she went there for a short time to the Novitiate and from there she went to South Africa. Sister was part of the group of generous Sisters who rose daily before dawn to bake bread for the Boarding Schools and the Convent. Her unfailing cheerful kindness made her a dearly loved witness to Christ at the doorbell, the phone, the children’s refectory and laundry in Dundee. There her apostolate was to parishioners, parents, pupils and down-and-outs; her special care was for missionary priests and students. Her long life’s joy and support was the Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sister’s affection for her family was shown in the letters she wrote so faithfully all her life. Her final years were spent in Boksburg where she looked after the Sisters’ refectory. During her last year she had surgery in the local hospital where her patience and unassuming acceptance of pain and discomfort endeared her to the astonished staff. Sister died on the 9th of June 1979 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg.

SISTER LAWRENCE McDONNELL (Dora) who died in 1968 aged 85years – professed 60years
Sister Lawrence was born in Lower Oriel Street, Dublin on the 9th of January 1883 and entered the Congregation on the 14th of September 1906. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Lawrence was for many years in St Rose’s Convent La Rochelle where she was much loved by the Sisters and by the pupils. She was an excellent Music teacher although she suffered from deafness for the greater part of her life. Child¬like obedience was very much a part of Sister’s life and she sought permission for even the most trivial dispensations. Sister Lawrence excelled in the making and embroidering of vestments and altar linen both for the Convent and needy Mission Stations. Sister died in St Catherine’s Convent, Germiston and was buried in the Convent Cemetery Boksburg.

June 10th

SISTER PIUS PEEL (Elsie) who died in 1944 aged 82years – professed 47years
Sister Pius was born in Bilk, Dusseldorf on the 16th of May 1863 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of April 1897. Sister made her Final Vows on the 4th of July 1898.
Sister Pius’ outstanding devotion was to the Blessed Sacrament, her wonderful spirit of prayer showed its fruits in the perfection of her work. During the whole of her Religious Life she was a most exemplary and saintly Sister and it was said of her that she never spoke an unnecessary word. She was a perfect Religious and a living exposition of our Holy Rule. Sister Pius died on the 10th of June 1944 at St Elmo’s and was buried in the Convent Cemetery.

SISTER CLARE O’RIORDAN (Kate) who died in 1973 aged 90years – professed 62years
Sister Clare was born in Cork on the 16th of October 1883 and entered the Congregation on the 22nd of October 1909. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of July 1914.
Sister Clare entered the Novitiate in Newcastle, South Africa; she held many posts of responsibility in different houses of the Congregation. Her first assignment was to St Catherine’s Convent, Germiston; she had the joy of seeing the new Convent completed. During the last twenty years of her life strokes were frequent; despite her disability she was ever bright and cheerful with a smile for everyone. She retained her deep devotion and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary beads were never out of her hands. Sister Clare died on the 10th of June 1973 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg on the 12th of June.

June 12th

SISTER SABINA STANLEY (Mary E) who died in 1988 aged 87years – professed 67years
Sister Sabina was born hi Mullingar, County Westmeath on the 24th of November 1901 and entered the Congregation in Launceston on the 9th of March 1920. Sister made her Final Vows hi South Africa on the 15th November 1924.
After a few years teaching in South Africa, and when she had recuperated from an operation for appendix Sister returned to St Joseph’s Convent, Launceston where she used her many talents in educating the pupils, she was particularly skilled in teaching Elocution and Dramatic Art. When St Rose’s, Burnt Oak was opened as a private school in 1931 Sister Sabina was transferred there until the school closed. Sister was then transferred to St Thomas’ private school in Stanmore and when that school was transferred to Rosary Priory in 1949 Sister joined the small community there. In 1953 when St Joseph’s Convent, the Abbey, was opened Sister Sabina was assigned there and that is where she worked indefatigably for the next thirty years until her health failed and she was then transferred to Rosary Priory. Her greatest suffering then was her inability to speak. Throughout her life she had her mind steadfastly fixed on loving God and her neighbour. When it was felt that the end was near a Rota of Sisters watched by her bedside day and night. On the 12th of June 1988 Sister slipped peacefully into the welcoming arms of God. Her funeral took place on the 15th of June.

SISTER JORDAN KEOGH (Brigid) who died in 1960 aged 63years – professed 40years
Sister Jordan was born in Waterford on the 8th of October 1897 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of March 1920. Sister made her Final Vows on the 15th of November 1924.
Sister Jordan made her Novitiate in Launceston, Cornwall from where she went to South Africa. She spent many years as a Music teacher in St Rose’s, La Rochelle and at St Pius Convent, Pietersburg. Sister Jordan was a most conscientious and devoted teacher as well as being an exemplary Religious. Sister was teaching in St Rose’s when she suffered a stroke from which she never recovered, for the last six years of her life she was deprived of the power of speech. She was always bright and cheerful and the Rosary beads were ever in her hands. The habit of prayer, cultivated in the days of her health was her mainstay in the years of helpless inactivity. During the course of her long illness she was devotedly cared for and tended by the Sisters, and towards the end they never left her. She loved the Sisters to look in and nod to her as they passed, she would hold up the Rosary beads which never left her hands to let them know she was praying for them. She kissed the crucifix over and over again. Sister Jordan went to God on the 12th of June 1960, the feast of the Holy Trinity and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg on the 13th of June.

June 13th

SISTER CLAVER KEATING (Peggy) who died in 2002 aged 76years – professed 55years
Sister Claver was born in Clapham, Banagher, County Westmeath on the 15th August 1926 and entered the Congregation on the 10th of September 1945. Sister made her Final Vows in July 1950.
On arrival in South Africa Sister was assigned to Holy Child Convent, Benoni and was much loved by the children she taught in the Junior and Senior School. The
Boarders found in her a real mother in whom they could confide. She was always popular with the parents and teachers of the various schools where she taught. Sister Claver spent many fruitful years at St Catherine’s Germiston, the Academy Newcastle and Blaaubosch Mission.
Apart from her giftedness as a teacher, Sister was also gifted as a needlewoman and she loved cooking and baking. She was a competent Bursar for the Rosary Clinic Blaaubosch. Sister Claver appreciated God’s creation, caring for plants, vegetables, flowers and domestic animals; she loved community picnics in the Drakensbergs. In the Pre-Novitiate, in Blaaubosch, Sister Claver was a great example of spiritual witness and practical guidance. Owing to serious ill-health Sister spent the last six months of her life in Marian House, Boksburg where she was lovingly cared for by the community and the nursing staff. During her illness Sister had the great joy of a visit from her sisters from Ireland. On the 13th June 2002 Sister Claver died peacefully. She was buried in the Convent Cemetery. Sister Claver died as she lived, “a woman of peace”.

SISTER PAUL WHlTLEY (Eliza) who died in 1965 aged 84years – professed 62years
Sister Paul was born in Macroom, County Cork on the 20th of November 1881 and she entered the Congregation on the 9th of January 1902. Sister made her Final Vows on the 8th of December 1903.
Sister Paul joined our beloved Mother Foundress, Mother Rose, in the arduous early years of the Congregation. While still a young Religious she was appointed Superior, and thereafter for the greater part of her life acted as either Prioress or Sub-Prioress in many Convents. She did excellent work as a Primary School teacher and as a Music teacher; likewise she did excellent work in preparing both adults and children for the sacraments.
Sister Paul’s Religious life was one of strict observance. She loved and practiced each point of the Rule and each seemingly small custom from the day of her Profession till her last illness and when bodily weakness caused her to relax her outward observance she still cherished everyday of her consecrated life. Sister Paul died in St Catherine’s Convent Germiston on the 13th June 1965 and was buried in St Dominic’s cemetery on the 15th of June.

June 15th

SISTER LOUIS THORNTON (Mary) who died in 1979 aged 67years – professed 48years
Sister Louis was born on the 29th of January 1912 in Carnakib, Headford, County Galway and she entered the Congregation on the 12th July 1929. Sister made her Final Vows on the 17th of February 1934.
Sister Louis spent the early years of her Religious life in St Rose’s Convent, Burnt Oak. When she had finished her Teacher Training Course Sister taught in St James’ School, she was a devoted and painstaking teacher who gave a thorough foundation to boys and girls for their life’s work. Sister suffered from ill health for most of her life but she never neglected her work. In 1947 she was appointed Novice Mistress in Rosary Priory until 1953. When Storrington Convent was newly opened Sister Louis was transferred there where her spirit of hard work continued in both school and Convent. In 1970 Sister spent a few years in South Africa and on the return again taught in St James’. Later she was again sent to Storrington where she worked almost every day to her death. Sister Louis suffered much during her last days on earth;she died in the Franciscan Nursing Home in Littlehampton on the 15th June 1979. On the 21stJune Sister Louis was buried in the Catholic cemetery, Storrington.

June 16th
SISTER BARTHOLOMENA McLaughlin (Helen) who died in 1999 aged 99years – professed 87years
Sister Bartholomena was born in Moher, County Leitrim on the 14th of February 1901 and entered the Congregation on the 9th of March 1920. Sister made her Final Vows on the 15th November 1924.
Sister Bartholomena, “Barty” as she was later affectionately called, entered the Novitiate in Launceston and was one of the ten who made their First Profession on the 15th of November 1921. Shortly afterwards, with others, she sailed for South Africa.
Sister’s first assignment was to St Rose’s Convent, La Rochelle where she started her teaching career in the primary classes. After her Final Profession at St Dominic’s Academy she was transferred to St Catherine’s, Germiston where she resumed her duties in the classroom, gave piano lessons, and played the harmonium in St Augustine’s Church for the School’s weekly hymn practice. After about five years she was again transferred to La Rochelle where she remained for the next forty years. In her later years Sister was involved in Special Education at St Elmo’s, Umzumbe, where she delighted in exploring the giftedness of those children, she outwitted other teachers on the staff when she took the Special Needs pupils into her music room to help them with piano lessons! The last ten years of her life were spent in Marian House where she lived contentedly in her quiet gentle way. On the 16th of June 1999, Sister Bartholomena died peacefully surrounded by the community, and Fr Reginald the Chaplain; she was laid to rest in the convent cemetery on the 19th of June 1999.

SISTER GONZAGA ADAMS (Helene) who died in 1980 aged 77years – professed 49years
Sister Gonzaga was born in Oberhausen, the Rhineland on the 28th of June 1903 and entered the Congregation in Rosary Priory on the 27th of September 1929. Sister made her Final Vows on the 27th of November 1935.
Sister Gonzaga went to South Africa in 1932 and spent some years at the Sacred Heart Mission, Umsinsini, and in 1934 was transferred to St Elmo’s Convent, Umzumbe, where she spent the last forty-seven years of her life. Sister Gonzaga was an exemplary Religious, though never of robust health she worked unceasingly in the Home Economics Section of St Elmo’s until December 1979, then her health declined. Just a few weeks before she died, Sister was admitted to Port Shepstone Hospital. Sister Gonzaga suffered patiently for five weeks until God called her to Himself on the 16th of June 1980. Sister was buried in the cemetery at St Elmo’s on the 18th June.

SISTER GERARD MENKE (Bernadine) who died in 1928 aged 46years – professed 19years
Sister Gerard was born in Germany, in Emsteck, on the 12th January 1882 and entered the Congregation on the 8th of November 1907. Sister made her Final Vows on the 16th of April 1912.
Sister Gerard died in Benoni on the 16th June 1928 aged forty-six and was buried in the Convent Cemetery in Boksburg on the 17th of June.

June 17th

SISTER AGNES McVEIGH (Catherine Agnes) who died in 1942 aged 67years – professed 36years
Sister Agnes was bora in Knockarogan, Brantly, Dungannon on the 25th of February 1875 and entered the Congregation on the 6th January 1906. Sister made her Final Vows in 1912.
Sister began her early Religious life in the West Grinstead Congregation. Her life, an exemplary one, was spent in prayer, contemplation and untiring work for souls with whom her influence was far reaching, permanent and inspiring. In her dealings with others, justice, charity and graciousness were especially evident. Sister went to London to accompany a Sister who was taking an examination and while there she was knocked down by a taxi. Sister Agnes was taken to hospital where she received the Last Sacraments and died the following day as the Salve was being recited and the priest was pronouncing the Last Absolution. Sister died on the 17th of June 1942 and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Ponsbourne Park, Hertfordshire on the 19th of June.

June 18th

SISTER BRAGANZA BUHL (Gertrude) who died in 1942 aged 44years – professed 18years
Sisterr Braganza was born in Sczeepanvivetz, Oppeln, O Schlesien, Germany on the 21st of February 1898 and entered the Congregation on the 23rd of July 1922. Sister made her Final Vows on the 23rd of January 1929.
Sister Braganza was a holy Religious, obedient and hardworking. She suffered much in her last illness but bore her sufferings with great patience. She died a holy death on the 18th of June 1942 and was buried in the cemetery in Lennoxton.

June 2oth
SISTER ALPHONSUS RATTENWONKLE (Josepa) who died in 1964 aged 81years – professed 54years
Sister Alphonsus was born in Gimblte, Westphalia on the llth February 1883 and entered the Congregation on the 19th April 1909. Sister made her Final Vows on the 16th of July 1913.
Sister Alphonsus was one of the pioneers who underwent the hardships of the early days. She was a prayerful and hardworking Religious. Her health was failing for some time but she kept on her feet almost to the end. Sister died on the 20th of June 1964 and was buried in Umzumbe cemetery on the 22nd June.

SISTER NATIVITY TAIT (Winifred) who died in 1982 aged 78years – professed 55years
Sister Nativity was born in Germiston, South Africa on the 15th of August 1904and entered the Congregation on the 1st of January 1927. Sister made her Final Vows on the 30th of May 1932.
Sister Nativity and her sister Louis were educated as Boarders at the Holy Child Convent, Benoni. The Tail family was Anglican but as a teenager Winnie was received into the Catholic Church and later entered the Novitiate in Newcastle but she was sent to England to make her Novitiate in Rosary Priory. Sister qualified as a teacher of Mathematics and Science and taught in St James’s Burnt Oak and in St Joseph’s, Launceston. Sister Nativity had also been Prioress in Rosary Priory. In 1975 Sister Nativity was transferred to St Dominic’s Academy Newcastle where she continued to teach on a part-time basis. Sister had had a great love of Nature and was an artist of some talent.
Sister Nativity was an exemplary Community Sister. She suffered much but always had patience and had a great appreciation and gratitude for her Religious Vocation. During her last illness, she was cared for in Newcastle Hospital where she was spoken of by doctors and nurses as a wonderful patient. Sister died peacefully on the 20th of June 1982 and was buried in the cemetery in Lennoxton.

June 22nd

SISTER JARLETH QUINN,(Margaret) who died in 1947 aged 67years – professed 40years
Sister Jarleth was born in Tuam on the 30th June 1884 and entered the Congregation on the 14th September 1900 and made her Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Jarleth spent the greater part of her Religious Life administering to the needs, temporal and spiritual of the Junior Boarders; it was her delight to teach them their morning and evening prayers and the practice of making novenas for special intentions. For two years before her happy death Sister suffered from a languishing illness which she bore with patient resignation. Sister Jarleth died on the 22nd June 1947.

June 23rd

SISTER GUMMARA VAN DER HORST (Catherina Maria) who died in 2011 aged 93years – professed 61 years

Sister Gummara was born in Rotterdam, Holland on 20th July 1918. She was named Catherina Maria. Sister was received into the Catholic Church when she was 18 years old. Sister Gummara entered the Congregation on December 19th 1947 and received the Habit on 25th July 1948. She made her first profession of vows on 25th January 1950.

Sister Gummara was a woman who reached out to all people.  She was there for all who sought her help. She was particularly gifted as a seamstress and ensured on many occasions that Sisters were provided with habits which were tailored to perfection.

Sister Gummara served in a number of our communities:  Although she experienced difficulty in understanding and speaking the English language Sister Gummara had a huge circle of friends and managed to communicate with people of all ages. She had great empathy with those who suffered. She managed to communicate her love of God and neighbour through her dedicated service and generosity of spirit. Her enthusiasm expressed through her ministry to the elderly and housebound was truly admirable. Many of them spoke of their deep gratitude to Sister for the holidays they enjoyed which were organised by her and especially for the happy memories which they cherish.

Having served in the parishes of Burnt Oak and Edgware for over thirty years Sister retired to Rosary Priory where she remained until she was admitted to hospital in April 2011. Sister was later transferred to Birchwood Nursing Home in Bushey. Sister Gummara died peacefully on Thursday 23rd June 2011and returned to her Lord whom she has served so faithfully for over sixty years.

Father Piers Linley OP and Father Pat Salmon concelebrated Sisters Requiem Mass at Rosary Priory on Thursday 30th June 2011. Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. May she rest in peace.

SISTER ALVAREZ MURPHY (Lizzie) who died in 1947 aged 62years – professed 32years
Sister Alvarez was born in Milltown, County Kerry on the 26th December 1883. Sister entered the Congregation on the 27th July 1912 and made her Final Vows on the 14th April 1917.
Sister Alvarez spent the greater part of her life as a teacher of Kindergarten classes-she showed a deep interest hi the children’s welfare, even up to a few weeks before her death. Sister’s illness was of brief duration and her death was singularly beautiful, conscious to the last she actually joined in the singing of the Salve and at the close Our Blessed Lady must surely have shown her the “blessed fruit of her womb”. Sister died in Benoni on the 23rd of June 1947.

SISTER  DALMATIUS WALSH (Winifred) who died in 1984 aged 87years – professed 66years
Sister Dalmatius was born in Ballybunion, County Kerry on the 2nd of February 1897 and entered the Congregation on the 29th November 1916. Sister made her Final Vows on the 3rd July 1921.
Sister spent many fruitful years in various Convents in South Africa. She was a dynamic personality and worked with untiring zeal for the spread of the Kingdom. She was a true apostle and had a great influence for good on all those with whom she came in contact. Sister had a great love and devotion to the Holy Mass and theLiturgy and to our Dominican Traditions. Sister went to St Elmo’s a year before her death as she grew physically weaker she still longed to continue her Catechetical Instructions. Sister died peacefully in Harding Hospital on the 23rd of June 1984
Sister was laid to rest in the cemetery at St Elmo’s Convent, Umzumbe.

SISTER  RIETI O’HARA (Jane Christina) who died in 1987 aged 73years – professed 54years
Sister Rieti was born in Horse-leap, County Meath on the 20th of December 1913. Sister entered the Congregation on the 8th September 1931 and made her Final Vows on 4th August 1936.
Sister Rieti was wholehearted and courageous and had a great gift for  comunicating with others; those features in her character were invaluable in the many and varied fields in which she worked in Natal, in the Transvaal, and in the Transki Homelands. Irrespective of ethnicity, rank or position, children or adults, sister showed equal concern for all; her spirit of prayer supported her in all her undertakings. She spent the last years of her life in Our Lady of Fatima Convent, Durban North where she endeared herself to all by her sense of humour and service to the community as the Bursar. In the midst of her busy schedule she always found time to visit the sick and disabled of the Parish.
Sister Rieti’s last illness was very sudden, she contracted meningitis and died in Durban Hospital on the 23rd of June 1987;this was soon after the Convent was burned down and while the Sisters were renting a house in Ennisdale Drive, Durban North. Sister Rieti was laid to rest in the cemetery in Umzumbe after Requiem Mass had been offered for the repose of her soul.

June 24th

SISTER JUDE BUCKLEY ( Elizabeth)   who died in 2015 aged 95years – professed 75years

Sister Jude was born in Cahir County Tipperary on 22nd June 1920.She was baptised at St Marys Church 24th June 1920 and she was confirmed there on 20 May 1934. Sister Jude entered the congregation on 5th September 1938; she received the habit and religious name Sister Mary Jude on 25th March 1939. Sister made her first profession of vows on 2nd April1940.

Sister Jude’s main ministry was teaching. She was an excellent and dedicated teacher who took a personal interest in each child. Sister taught in our schools the Annunciation Burnt Oak, St Thomas’ Stanmore and St. James Burnt Oak.

Sister Jude was a true Dominican, a faithful follower of St. Dominic an example of faithfulness in all that pertained to Religious life, her prayer life and love of the liturgy, her working for and contributing to community life. She was always ready to lend a helping hand, and never shirked hard work.

She had a great devotion to our Lady and was faithful to praying the rosary which she wrapped around her fingers right till the very end.

During her retirement years at Rosary Priory she was busy making colourful blankets for the Parish Fete in addition to crocheting baptismal shawls for babies, and other items for the Mission. Sister showed great empathy for our frail and sick sisters. Sister Jude had very close friends who were dear to her, in fact she was like the Good Shepherd she saw them as gifts from God. She became that shepherd for many of those she ministered to throughout her Religious Life. Many of her past pupils, four of whom became priests, remained in contact with her right up until her death.

In April 2010 Sister Jude celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. When reflecting on that occasion she wrote “…..First Profession loomed ahead, a very important date in my life 2nd April 1940. On this day I pronounced my first vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. From 2nd April 1940 I have tried as far as humanly possible to observe these promises and to live my life as a vowed Dominican Sister. My main ministry has been that of teaching. I look back over the years and have no regrets as I survey the past. And I thank God for the graces and blessings I have received and hope I have carried out Gods will in all that I have said and done throughout the years.”

In early 2015 Sister became frailer and was eventually confined to bed for a little over a week before she died peacefully on 24th June 2015 and returned to her Lord whom she had served so faithfully for over seventy five years.

Father Peter Preston SDS and Fr. Jim Fanning concelebrated Sisters Requiem Mass at Rosary Priory on Tuesday 30th June 2015. Sister was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. May she rest in peace.

SISTER  PHILOMENA  SCHLEICHER  (Thekla) who died in 1956 aged 83years – professed 56years
Sister Philomena was born in Meuglingen Germany on the 3rd of December 1873 and entered the Congregation on the 6th November 1898. Sister received the Habit in 1899 and was professed a year later on the 14th June 1900.
Sister Philomena was one of the pioneer Sisters of the Congregation. During her long Religious Life she laboured untiringly in the interests of the Congregation. She was devoted to the Sisters and they loved and revered her for her sterling qualities. Sister was endowed with a great spirit of prayer, charity, humility and childlike obedience and these were marked characteristics in her dealings with others. Sister Philomena died as she had lived, peacefully and happily, on the 24th of June as the priest was celebrating Mass for her. Sister was buried in the cemetery in Umzumbe on the 25th of June.

June 25th

SISTER  ALBRICA  SCHREUES (Pauline) who died in 1981 aged 86years – professed 58years
Sister Albrica was born in Vorst, Holland on the 8th of March 1896 and entered the the Congregation on the 7th of August 1921. Sister made her Final Vows on the 1st of May’1926.
After her First Profession in Newcastle, Natal in 1923, Sister returned to Holland where she promoted vocations. She was attached to St Dominicus College at Neerbosch, the Dominican House of Studies for students of the Order. When Sister Albrica returned to South Africa she spent most of her life in our Convents at Boksburg and at Newcastle. When Our Lady of Fatima Convent, Durban North, opened, she was active in the community up to two years before her death when illness affected her physically. Sister was always very interested in the Missions and in the work of the priests in South Africa; she assisted them by her prayers and by obtaining financial aid for them from Associations in Holland. Sister Albrica died peacefully in the Fatima Convent on the 25th of June 1981 after many months of ill health patiently borne; she was laid to rest in the cemetery in Umzumbe.

June 26th

SISTER LORETTA (Mary) MYRANE who died in 2009 aged 82years – professed 62 years

Sister Loretta Myrane was born in Middlering, Clonakilty, Cork on 13 February 1927. She entered the Newcastle Dominican Congregation in Rosary Priory, Bushey Heath, England together with eleven others in September 1945. She made First Profession on 28th July 1947 and left with her group of twelve and eight other Sisters for South Africa on 28 August 1947 on the Warwick Castle and landed in Durban Harbour three weeks later. Sister Loretta was sent to St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle where she made her Final Profession on 28th July 1950. Sister taught at St Dominic’s Academy and was later transferred to Benoni and then to St Dominic’s, Boksburg. She is remembered as a wonderful Mathematics and Catechism teacher. Sister Loretta was then sent to Cala, Transkei in the Eastern Cape where she taught in the public school and grew to love the children and fight for their rights. With the political turmoil in the Transkei the Sisters were withdrawn and Sr Loretta was transferred to England. She then worked in Rome where she assisted with the poor at Sant‘Egidio. and from there back to England where she continued to work with an association looking after the poor.
Sister Loretta always longed to return to South Africa and did so in 2005 where she took up teaching Mathematics, first in Blaauwbosch, Newcastle and later in Emaromeni Primary School, Benoni. In the last two and a half years she had been teaching Mathematics to the children of the Staff at Marian House and their friends until three weeks before her death, when she was confined to bed and admitted to Sunward Park Hospital, where she died on 26th June 2009.
Sister Loretta’s deeply prayerful spirit, and her dedication, service and respect for the poor was exemplary.She is survived by her older sister, Sister Ada, a Columban Sister and her Nieces and Nephews. May she Rest in Peace.

SISTER AIDAN CARROLL  (Rosanna) who died in 1956 aged 64years – professed 48years
Sister Aidan was born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo on the 10th of January 1892 and entered the Congregation on the 16th of September 1906. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st of April 1911.
Sister Aidan filled many Offices in the Congregation. She was a very successful teacher and devoted herself wholeheartedly to the children under her care. For years before her death Sister was completely paralysed but she bore her infirmity with heroic patience and resignation and gave great edification to all with whom she came in contact. Sister died in the Dundee Convent on the 26th June 1956 and was buried in Lennoxton cemetery on the 27th of June.

SISTER  AQUIN O’CONNELL (Margaret) who died in 1977 aged 69years – professed 47years
Sister Aquin was born in Macroom, County Cork on the 6th February 1908 and entered the Congregation on the 15th of July 1928. Sister made her Final Vows on the 2nd of August 1933.
In 1932 Sister Aquin was assigned to St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle where she taught Music until her health broke down in 1938. On her return to England she continued her teaching apostolate in Rosary Priory, St Thomas’ Stanmore, and in Ponsbourne Park until ill health forced her to retire from teaching.
Sister Aquin was a gifted musician. She had a kind generous nature and was always willing and anxious to share her talents with all her pupils, but more especially with the younger members of the Congregation in whom she has a deep interest. Sisters patience and perseverance were remarkable and she never despaired of the musical ability of her students. Although in poor health for some years, and often in considerable pain, she thought first of others showing compassionate concern for those who were ill or in any kind of difficulty. Sister Aquin was a true Dominican with a deep devotion to the Mass, the Divine Office and the Rosary. Sister died in St Thomas’, Stanmore having suffered a fractured fernur which left her practically immobile for several months. She died on the26th of June 1977 and was buried in Rosary Priory cemetery on the 28th June.

SISTER DOMINICA LEAHY (Margaret) who died in 1976 aged 79years – professed 50years
Sister Dominica was born in Cork on the 9th of February 1897 and entered the Congregation in Launceston on the 29th of November 1916. Sister made her Final profession on the 18th of June 1921.
Sister Dominica spent the greater part of her Religious Life at Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee. Sister was a woman of great versatility, a teacher interested in Literature and in sport, and as Boarders’ Mother her influence for good was far reaching. When she had retired from teaching Sister was assigned to St Dominic’s Academy and later to Villa Aquinas Maritzburg. Sister continued catechising and mission work and the underprivileged were her principal concern. While on holidayin Cork with her family Sister suffered a stroke and died on the 26th June 1976, her funeral Mass was conducted in the Church where eighty years earlier she had been baptised. Sister Dominica’s burial took place in Rosary Priory on the 30th of June.

June 27th

SISTER CONSTANCIA VAN NEER (Catherine) who died in 1948 aged 63years – professed 35years
Sister Constancia was born in Edit, Linburg, the Netherlands on the 27th of June 1885 lad entered the Congregation on the 27th of July 1912. Sister made her Final Vows :cthe 14th of April 1917.
Sister Constancia was thirty-five years professed and went forth to God as Mass was being offered for her on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on the 27th of  June 1948. A few minutes before her death Sister joined in the aspiration “Jesus, Mary and Joseph I give you my heart and my soul” her last words were “Assist me in my last agony. May I breathe forth my soul in peace” For some years Sister had suffered from a heart complaint, she died in our Pietersburg Convent and was buried in the cemetery in Pietersburg.

June 29th

SISTER  XAVIER WALSH ( MADGE) who died in 1915 aged 26 years – professed 7 years
Sister Xavier was born in Glenagoul, Rathcormac, County Cork on the 7th of January 1889 and entered the Congregation in the 14th of September 1906. Sister made her Final Vows on the 21st April 1911.
In June just eight years after making First Vows and four years after Final Profession Sister Xavier died at St Thomas’ Convent Lennoxton on the 29th of June 1915 and was buried on the following day in the Convent Cemetery.

SISTER  BENEDICTA POMEYER (Hermine) who died in 1998 aged 95years – professed 75years
Sister Benedicta was born in Nurenberg, Germany on the 22nd of January 1903 and entered the Congregation on the 7th of August 1927.
Sister Benedicta was educated in Germany with the Benedictine Nuns who not only gave her an excellent all round education but also nurtured her love of music. In 1921 when Sister Benedicta arrived in Newcastle as a candidate she began her study of Zulu and helped in the newly opened Louis Bertrand School — a wood and iron structure in the garden of the Presbytery. The school was founded for the education of African students — this school was later moved to Lennoxton. During her teaching ministry Sister also taught in the Sacred Heart Mission, Umsinini, Mtwalume, St Elmo’s Umzumbe, Port Shepstone and St Dominic’s Academy, Newcastle. At the age of ninety-five Sister Benedicta died peacefully in Marian House Boksburg on the 29th of June 1998 and was buried in the Convent Cemetery on the 3rd of July 1998.

SISTER  MATTHEW BRUNNOCK (Margaret) who died in 1998 aged 98years – professed 68years
Sister Matthew was born at Doon, Araglin, County Tipperary on the 9th of July 1899 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1918. Sister made her Final Vows on the 19th of July 1923.
Sister Matthew entered the Novitiate in Launceston and after Profession in St Dominic’s Convent, Newcastle she was assigned to Benoni where she worked in the Boarding School. Sister could recall the 1922 strike when the miners sought and obtained refuge in Benoni Convent, Germiston. Friends, parents and parishioners remember her humour and good spirits. She was a boon to her community and to others. Sister Matthew was sensitive to personal needs and always had a word of encouragement, affirmation, comfort and healing for others. Sister retired to Marian house at the age of ninety-one. She died on the same day as Sister Benedicta, the 29th of June 1998. The funeral of both Sisters took place after Requiem Mass on the 3rd of July; they were laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery Boksburg.

June 30th

SISTER ALANA VAN der STEEN (Maria) who died in 1962 aged 71years – professed 45 years
Sister Alana was born in Venloo Province, Limburg, Netherlands on the 19th of July 1891 and entered the Congregation on the 3rd of August 1915. Sister made her Final Vows on the 24th December 1920.
Sister Alana gave her service to God in several of our Convents. Her last years were spent in Holy Rosary Convent, Dundee. She suffered much from many infirmities during those years and was patiently cared for by the Sisters. Some weeks before her death she was taken to the Sanatorium in Ladysmith where it was hoped she could obtain some relief from pain and discomfort. Sister rallied for a time, gradually however her strength began to fail and she died fortified by the Last Sacraments on the 30th June 1962. During her illness Sisters edified all by her acceptance of God’s Holy Will, she continually repeated the Psalms as she was dying. Sister Alana was laid to rest in the cemetery in Lennoxton on the 2nd of July 1962.

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