When the Sisters of Compassion started St. Agnes School in Samabula in 1960 the new school was built on the section opposite the Williams’ family home. The two youngest girls, Jane and Sina, used to visit the sisters every day after school, usually to ask religious questions. A good rapport evolved between them and the Sisters, and later they used to come for Religious Instruction on Sundays.
When Jane was seventeen, she came to New Zealand to enter the Sisters of Compassion. Before entering, Jane worked for a sort time at St Joseph’s Home of Compassion at Silverstream. On entering the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay, she was given her Religious name Sister Mary Dominic Savio. Mother Melchior was the Leader of the Sisters of Compassion at the time, and Sr. Loreto was the Novice Mistress. Sister Dominic Savio later reverted back to her baptismal name Jane.
Bishop de Cocq SSCC, the Bishop of Raratonga, was visiting New Zealand at the time Jane was ready for First Profession. Together with her two companions, Sisters Angelo Roncali and John Fisher (who later went back to her own name Suzanne), she was Professed on 19 March, 1971. The following year Jane renewed her vows, before returning home to Suva to see her father who was seriously ill.
On 11 February, 1974, Sisters Jane and Sue, commenced a three year course in General Nursing at the Wellington Polytechnic. They were the first Sisters of Compassion to do this Course, and it was a challenge combining both religious and nursing studies. At the completion of her nursing training, Jane was finally Professed as a Sister of Compassion at the Cathedral in Suva on 17 April, 1977. Bishop Mataca was the Celebrant, and Mother Philippine was the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Compassion.
Sister Jane continued with further religious studies between 1979-1981. After which she completed her Midwifery Nursing, and then worked as an Obstetric Nurse at St. Helen’s Hospital in Auckland.
While home in Fiji for a visit in 1982, Sister spent time having apostolic experience at Ra Maternity Hospital in Fiji, returning to Auckland in September, 1982. In 1986 Sisters Jane, Sue and Emi, formed a Community in Christchurch. On 12 December, 1988, she relieved at the Chatham Islands Hospital while the SMSM Sisters came over to the mainland for a Renewal Course.
In February, 1991, Sisters Jane and Rosalie set up a Community in Manurewa to work with the local poor. Sister Jane worked as a District Nurse especially among the Samoan community, while Sister Rosalie worked with the Māori.
Sister Jane attended a Missiology Course at the Columban Mission Institute at Turramurra 1995-1997, graduating with a Dip. Min. On her return to New Zealand she joined the Auckland Community for a year, working as Charge Nurse at Lexham Gardens. In October, 1998, Sister joined the Chanel Community in Suva to be Manager of a farming project, which she bravely took on with no experience whatsoever. However, perfectionist as she was, she gave it her best effort but was probably relieved when in 2001 she was appointed Charge Nurse at the Home there.
During 2005, Sister Jane was elected Fourth assistant on the Leadership Team. It was while preparing the Opening Prayers for Board and team meetings, that the prayerful side of her personality shined. Because of her spiritual insights she was then approached to write reflections on the Readings of the Day with special emphasis on the spirituality of Suzanne Aubert. Her reflections were published and became very popular. Many people wrote to her in appreciation of the booklets, and pastoral workers used them as a reflection when they took Holy Communion to the sick.
Sister Jane’s terminal illness was sudden and swift. She died peacefully in the Wellington Hospital. Her funeral mass, celebrated by her brother Father Cecil Williams, was held in Our Lady’s Home of Compassion Chapel, Island Bay.
Birth Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
01.10.1950 06.03.1968 19.03.1971 11.06.2010 Wellington Karori Cemetery