She had first met Mother Aubert earlier in the year, 1889, while the latter, together with Sister Magdalen were on the Collecting Tour for money to build the Church and Convent at Jerusalem.
On the 19 March, 1891 Catherine began her Novitiate, and received her religious name Sister Mary Claver. On the 25 September, 1892 Sister Claver made her First Profession. This was a very significant day, because the other Sisters – Anne, Bridget, Carmel, Magdalen, Agnes and Prisca, all made their Profession in the Institute of Our Lady of Compassion. This was because the Marist Visitor had quashed all hopes of any union with the Society of Mary, saying that the spirit of the Jerusalem Community was entirely different!
When the Vicar General, Fr. T. O’Shea, called an Extraordinary General Chapter on 6 November, 1912, Sister Claver was elected First Assistant. She was also appointed Sister in Charge of the Mother House at Island Bay, and remained in this office until November 6, 1918. Sister also governed the Institute as Vicar of the Superior General from August 1913, until the return of Mother Aubert from Rome in January, 1920.
After many years of responsibility Sister Claver was transferred to Jerusalem in 1933 for a few months, where her joy was greatly admired by the younger Sisters there. She was then transferred to the new St. Joseph’s Home of Compassion at Silverstream, and was there until 1948. From then on her health was precarious, and she began having frequent heart attacks, which left her weaker each time.
On 4 September, 1951 while on a visit to Buckle Street with her sister Mother Veronica, she just collapsed on the floor. A priest was sent for immediately, but she died in her sister’s arms before he arrived.
Sister Claver’s child-like qualities endeared her especially to the children, and many of the Old Boys and Girls have very special memories of her kindness to them, especially when they returned to see the Sisters as adults.
Sister was buried in the first Sisters of Compassion plot at karori.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
04.03.1875 December, 1889 25.09.1892 04.09.1951 Island Bay Karori Cemetery