Molly entered the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay on 7 September, 1932. Her Religious name was Sister M. Gabriel, and she was Professed on 19 March, 1935.
Although Sister Gabriel had completed her nursing training by 1940, most of her fifty-five years as a Sister of Compassion were spent in administrative duties. She has been on the Leadership Team, Sister in Charge in several of our Homes, and also Procurator, and often these positions were combined. Sister Gabriel was a very good manager, but it was in the capacity of Treasurer and the many duties associated with this position that Sister Gabriel is most remembered.
Sister had a great capacity for enjoyment and one of her Golden Oldie treats was a visit to our Sisters in Tonga. Sister had read in the paper that people over 70 were being offered a return flight to Tonga for $50. She rarely used any funds for herself, but this attracted her – she loved a bargain – and off she went. Sister enjoyed visiting the families of our Sisters, and also renewing acquaintance with the many girls who had come over to work in our Homes over the years.
Sister Gabriel’s energies during her later years were directed to her weekly foray into the business world at Trash and Treasure which she continued right up until her illness. Another activity which she energetically pursued was the weekly visit to Rimutaka Prison on Friday evenings for the prayer sessions and time spent with the ‘boys’ with whom she was a favourite.
Throughout her Religious life, Sister Gabriel kept good health, and when she was admitted to the Hutt Hospital in early September, 1990, they were surprised to learn that she did not
require spectacles. Although her illness was unexpected, Sister had complained of severe headaches and drowsiness and a subarachnoid haemorrhage was diagnosed. After a month’s treatment, she seemed to be improving.
On the Feast of Our Lady of Compassion, she had a wonderful day with her relations, showing them over the Home, and even walking their dog. But next morning, when the Sisters went in to see her they found she had died during the night.
Sister Gabriel had a great personality and a strong sense of dedication to Religious life. She was highly intelligent, and very capable with any job entrusted to her. As well as all these gifts she had a delightful dry sense of humour.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
18.06.1906 07.09.1932 19.03.1935 16.09.1990 Heretaunga Karori Cemetery