Her brothers, Father Pat, John, and her sister Theresa were also born in Ireland, while Margaret and Michael were born in Wanganui where the family settled. May, as she was always known, commenced her schooling in Dublin and often talked of those years, but once in Wanganui she attended St. Mary’s Convent School there, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Alexis’ young life was nurtured in a family with strong Catholic Faith, values and ideals, and throughout her life these same values were apparent in her commitment and fidelity as a Sister of Compassion.
May entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Compassion as a postulant on the 5 January, 1934, and received the habit and her religious name Sister Mary Alexis on the 15 September, 1934. Sister Alexis was professed two years later.
In 1939 Sister Alexis trained as a nurse and from then on Geriatric Nursing and Administration were the two areas of the Apostolate which filled much of her active years. She was a kind, attentive and meticulous Nurse, all the little things that made such a different to the comfort of an old person. Some of her happiest years were 1946-49 when she was at Mosgiel assisting in the care of the seminarians at the Holy Cross Seminary.
God was good to Alexis in that her last days were peaceful and really quite brief, so she was spared a long period of incapacity following her stroke. She died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Home, in the early hours of Friday, 13 October, 2000 having had a severe stroke about ten days before. Her Vigil took place in the Chapel at St. Joseph’s, Heretaunga, with many of the sisters, her friends, relations, together with people connected with the Home attending. On Monday, 16 October, the Requiem Mass was in the Chapel at Island Bay.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
31.05.1913 05.01.1934 15.09.1936 13.10.2000 Heretaunga Karori Cemetery