At her Reception ceremony which was held several months later, Cecilia received Sister Mary Mark as her Religious name. Profession followed the Noviciate years and Sister Mark embarked on a very challenging and interesting missionary journey with Māori and Aboriginal communities. Her first assignment was the school at Ranana on the Whanganui River, where she became involved in the education of young children. Sister Mark’s storytelling coupled with a vivid imagination readily captivated her audience. The Sisters spoke of her many amusing experiences with the Māori children and their families. Mark adapted to the carefree lifestyle of the river environment which brought back memories of her childhood years. She was a multi-skilled and capable person, turning her hand to milking cows, cooking, horse-riding, gardening or teaching in the school. Her warm and vivacious personality attracted and held the attention of many.
After 17 years with the Jerusalem-Hiruhārama/Ranana communities, Sister Mark faced the challenge of ministering to the Aboriginal people in Wilcannia, Australia. For seven years she lived in this remote and deprived mission station, willingly sharing her gifts and talents with the people there. A call to return to the Māori Mission at Jerusalem-Hiruhārama was accepted and again she delighted in teaching catechesis to the children and helping with the programs and household chores of the annual camps.
In 1978, Sister was transferred to Timaru and was part of a Team which started a Māori Apostolate in the South Island. Unfortunately ill health intervened, and Sister returned to Island Bay Home for medical and nursing care. At her Requiem the strong presence of the Māori community participated in her funeral rites and burial, expressing their appreciation, grief and love for their friend. Father K. Roach SM, Sister Mark’s cousin, was the main concelebrant at her Requiem Mass.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
15.11.1915 09.11.1936 15.09.1939 15.07.1985 Wellington Karori Cemetery