There she and her siblings received their education under the watchful eye of the Sisters of Mercy. Sheila and her youngest sister Tess were accomplished pianist and violinist respectively. Her two brothers Jack and Vincent were ordained Marist Fathers and known for their ability for preaching Parish Missions. The four religious vocations within the McSherry household was the family’s great achievement. Employment during the Depression was difficult but eventually Sheila managed to secure a job as a secretary with a Law Firm in Greymouth.

At the age of 23 Sheila responded to her vocation call to the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Her religious name, Chanel was proudly carried as it had connection with the Marist Society.

Following her Profession, Sister completed her nursing training and spent time working in various Homes of Compassion in Island Bay, Auckland, Broken Hill, Carterton and Sussex St, nursing and caring for all age groups. Several times she held positions of responsibility, serving as a Community Leader or Bursar in the above Homes. Her skills in typing and bookkeeping were quickly recognised and put into practical use. Her musical gift with piano and organ enhanced many liturgical and community celebrations.

Sister Chanel was an extrovert and her personality attracted visitors wherever she lived. Her friends were numerous. Always full of energy and a generous helper she related to all age groups who needed assistance especially the Sisters. She had a great love and affection for her family and at her request resided at the Home in Timaru to be near her sister Tess who had entered the Sisters of Mercy.

Periods of illnesses brought suffering into Sister’s life. She bravely turned them into opportunities to deepen her love and union with God. During her declining years Sister Chanel remained interested in the daily activities of life, faithful to prayer, dedicated and a loyal Sister of Compassion.

Born                  Entered             Professed               Died                  Place of Death             Place of Burial

20.07.1914     15.8.1937           19.03.1940        15.08.2002                Timaru                   Timaru Cemetery