Throughout her life this family was to be a great support to her, as well as to the Sisters of Compassion, the Religious family which Nancy chose to enter on 5 February 1940.
On 15 September 1940, Nancy received her Religious name Sister Mary Gregory Nazianzan. Sister retained her given name until her death, but her family always referred to her as Nan. Sister made her First Profession on 19 March, 1943.
Until 1959, Sister Gregory had worked in our Homes at Island Bay, Silverstream, Whanganui, and Auckland, mainly caring for the aged with care and compassion. For a long time Sister had been subject to attacks of mental depression, and on medical advice she had to undergo treatment.
During 1959, she was admitted as a patient to Mt. St. Margaret Hospital, Ryde, for four months, after which she stayed at our Home in Wagga Wagga until returning to New Zealand in March, 1960.
For a while her general health improved, but in 1964 one of her sisters, Mary Daly, took Sister to live with her for a while. She had more treatment in 1968, but recovered sufficiently to be able to once more resume Community life. Sister lived in Whanganui for six years, before her sister, Mrs. Pat Wilkinson took her home to Auckland. After a while she was admitted into St. Christopher’s Rest Home, Papatoetoe, where she was near her family, who visited her daily. Her extended family never gave up on her, their love was genuine, and their visits were frequent. The Sisters in Auckland also visited her, and gave her the news of the Congregation which she loved to hear. She was able to enjoy her 60th Jubilee of Profession in 2002.
After such a life of suffering, we can feel assured that heaven for Sister Gregory must be greater than for most of us, as her life on earth seemed to be a living purgatory. Over the years she had prepared her own funeral Mass, and had asked particularly that Sister Margaret Mary play the organ during her Requiem Mass. This she did, as well as delivering a beautiful eulogy, concluding with the Hymn of Consecration ‘Take my life and let it be.’ The children and the sick people she had cared for were ready to give testimony to Sister’s kindness and dedication to them all.
The Requiem Mass and Reception was held at the Panmure Church complex. Her family and nine Sisters were present, and some were pallbearers out to the graveyard beside the Church where some of our Sisters are buried.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
13.11.1918 05.02.1940 19.03.1942 18.10.2004 Auckland Panmure Cemetery