The Flannery family struggled through the years of Depression with challenges arising from unemployment for her father coupled with low income to cover the growing needs of the family. These challenges and the practice of their Irish faith strengthened the family. In her teenage years, Helen Rose met with people who were directly associated with the Sisters of Compassion. Her school teacher was a grand aunt of Sr Bonaventure and then later as a young woman, Helen was a live-in housekeeper to the Kraus family, who were closely involved with the Sisters at the Island Bay Home of Compassion. The Flannery family was the cradle of three vocations, when Bridget, Helen and Agnes all entered the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion.
Helen Rose was gifted with an uncomplicated personality, which enabled her to make lasting friendships especially with children with special needs and their families. Her mischievous sense of humour carried her through sorrow and difficult situations. World War II impacted her family members with two of her brothers being called into service. Peter was killed in the Solomon Islands and John upon returning home was scarred by the traumas of warfare. The family remained united in prayer, forgiving of this intrusion into their family life. Helen’s vocation and attraction to religious life slowly unfolded and after her mother’s death in 1940 she entered the Sisters of Compassion. On 19 March 1941 Helen at reception into the noviciate received the name Adrian and in 1943 made her first profession in the Chapel at Island Bay.
Sister Adrian was especially gifted with compassionate love and understanding towards children with special needs. In 1958 when St Raphael’s Home of Compassion was opened in Carterton offering specialised care and education for children with special needs, Sister joined in the ministry of the Home. Her thirty-nine years of dedication to this demanding ministry to the children was remarkable and they and their families greatly appreciated Sister’s presence. Failing health and her personal needs brought retirement, though Sister maintained her interest in the Home. Sister’s transfer to Timaru gave her joy as she was able to be nursed by her sister Agnes (Sr Joan). Friends in Carterton continued to show their gratitude towards her, returning kindness with kindness till her death.
Sister’s gentle personality, her life of dedicated compassion in action, and her empathy for Christ’s afflicted children shone through her vocation as a Sister of Compassion. May Adrian rest peacefully with the Lord she loved and served so faithfully during her life. R.I.P
Birth Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
29. 03.1915 12.09.1940 19.03.1943 28.10.2000 Timaru Timaru