Mary entered the Sisters of Compassion on 5 January, 1910, and began her Noviciate on 28 September, 1910, receiving her Religious name Sister Mary Zita. Sister was Professed on 28 September, 1912.
Sister Zita taught taught at Jerusalem-Hiruhārama 1918-1920, and again 1924-1926. In June, 1929, she was appointed Sister-in-Charge of the Mother House at Island Bay. Her next appointment was Novice Mistress, a position she held for seven years. At the General Chapter of 1939, Sister was elected First Assistant on the Leadership Team, and then was elected Congregational Leader during the 1951 General Chapter, a position she held for six years.
During Mother Zita’s term as Leader of the Sisters of Compassion, three new Homes of Compassion were opened: Chanel Home, Tamavua, Fiji; St. Vianney’s Home, Timaru; and Loreto Home, Wagga Wagga. Mother Zita also started the work at St. Raphael’s Home, Carterton, although the Home was not officially opened until later. Before being elected Sister-in-Charge of the Sisters of Compassion, she had spent some time at Broken Hill, Australia, with Sister Charles, before a Community of Sisters were appointed there, so she had a lot to do with the Foundations.
For the next ten years, she held the office of Sister-in-Charge at Whanganui and Buckle Street, retiring to Silverstream in 1966, and later to Island Bay where she lived a retired life. She kept indifferent health, and she spent prolonged periods in the Infirmary.
Mother Zita greatly valued her Religious vocation. She had a strong spirit of faith and prayer, and a compassionate love of the poor and less fortunate of God’s children. Of a reserved nature, she was sparing with words, reflecting deeply before speaking and with deliberation. Prudence was one of her main characteristics, and she had a quiet sense of humour.
She was in her 81st year and the 56th year of Religious Profession when she died, quietly and unexpectedly, on the evening of 7 September, 1968.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
07.06.1888 05.01.1910 28.09.1912 07.09.1968 Island Bay Karori Cemetery