During 1884 Eliza became a postulant in the Diocesan Congregation of the Third Order Regular of Mary. The Order was being established at the Māori Mission settlement in Jerusalem on the Whanganui River at that time. Eliza received her religious name Bridget on Christmas Day in 1885 and a year later was professed on the feast of the Assumption. It was not until 1892 that she took her vows in the now recognised Institute of Our Lady of Compassion. Sister Bridget journeyed with Mother Aubert during this historical period of the birth and establishment of the Sisters of Compassion.
Sister Bridget along with Sisters Anne and Carmel were ear marked as the foundation ‘A B C’ members of the Sisters of Compassion. Eliza first met Mother Aubert in Wanganui and soon developed a great love and affinity towards this French pioneering woman and the future Founder of the Sisters of Compassion. A mutual relationship of trust and loyalty developed between the two women and Mother Aubert gave her the affectionate nickname ‘Biddy’. Mother Aubert wrote of her, “She thought herself unworthy to be a Sister, but she became the corner-stone of the Institute”.
For many years the capable and talented Sister Bridget remained as Sister in Charge of the Mission at Jerusalem. Exchange of letters between her and Mother Aubert were constant and directional relating to the management of the farm, the care of the children and plus other sundry details. During 1914 Sister Bridget was transferred to the Island Bay community to live. Her adjustment to a modified outdoor lifestyle took time. Friendships and acts of kindness towards the neighbourhood families never stopped. She won the hearts of the children and enjoyed their company.
When ill with pneumonia she declined minor surgical intervention saying her wish was “To be with God as she came from his Hands”. Her wish was respected. This remarkable Sister died quietly and peacefully in the presence of the Sisters.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
18.08.1860 06.08.1884 15.08.1886 04.08.1930 Island Bay Karori Cemetery