On September 15, 1934, Mary began her Noviciate, and was given the Religious name Sister Mary Barbara. She made her First Profession on 15 September, 1936.
Sister Barbara began her General Nurse training in January, 1939, and passed the State Examination successfully in December, 1941. She remained on the Hospital staff during the following year, mainly in St. Anne’s Ward. She also spent a short time as Infirmarian, and was noted for her generosity and efficiency in caring for the sick Sisters.
As Sister Barbara was strong and healthy, she was often chosen to lay out the dead in their own homes, when calls for this service were made during the night. Her last service of this kind was during the afternoon of the Feast of Christ the King (Oct 25) on her return from the procession at the Sacred Heart Convent. The next evening she was very tired and went to bed early. Next day, Tuesday, October 27, her temperature was high and she was admitted to the Infirmary. Dr. Stevenson-Wright diagnosed pleurisy, and Dr. Burns added ‘pleurisy with effusion’. X-ray and blood tests failed to reveal the actual cause but as her illness progressed rapidly, tuberculosis was strongly suspected.
Sister Barbara’s family were informed on the seriousness of her condition, and her mother and aunt came down to see her. Finally, Mother Cecilia had to tell Sister Barbara how serious her condition was. She expressed surprise however as she did not have any pain. On being told, she was totally resigned saying: “Whatever God wills”.
Her father and brother came from Wanganui to be with their daughter, and on December 3, 1942, Sister Barbara died very peacefully just as the 6 a.m. Mass ended. Sister was just 27 years of age, and 9 years in the Convent. She had never been sick before and was always healthy and strong. Sister Barbara had many gifts and was loved by all.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
01.05.1915 05.01.1934 15.09.1936 03.12.1942 Island Bay Karori