The Sisters of Mercy taught in the primary and secondary schools which Sarah and her sisters attended. With the increasing demand on their schools, the sisters were unable to provide adequate staff to care for the children at St. Anne’s. The Sisters of Mercy regretted relinquishing such a work they had carried on so well and so faithfully over many years. At the invitation of Bishop Fox and Father Carmine, the Sisters of Compassion arrived in Broken Hill (1941) to care for children. Sarah Pritchard, nicked named “Toby”, along with 21 other children moved to their new residence to be cared for by the Sisters of Compassion. Sarah’s vocation was greatly influenced by the dedication and lifestyle of these first Sisters.

Australia remained Sarah’s homeland and though her loyalty and patriotism to her native land was deeply embedded in her heart, she none-the-less was able to respond to her call to religious life. At the age of 22 she traveled to New Zealand to enter the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. At reception into Noviciate, she received Sister M. Joachim as her religious name. Following her profession in 1944, Sister Joachim cared for the frail and elderly persons in the Homes of Compassion; Whanganui, Island Bay and Buckle St. The call to be a pioneer member of the first community in Fiji came in 1954 where she enjoyed the challenges of a new culture and lifestyle in the Pacific Mission. Her deep desire to return to her homeland came a few years later and she welcomed with eagerness and joy the time spent at St Anne’s Home in Broken Hill.

The withdrawal of the Sisters from Broken Hill in 1987 was a difficult decision for Sister Joachim to accept and at her request she joined the community in Wagga Wagga. She experienced unsettled later years and this combined with failing health, Sister opted to live in Adelaide with a community of Dominican Sisters. Here she found a degree of inner peace and solicitude. Sister Joachim died a peaceful death with the Sisters of Compassion present at her bedside. Her requiem was held in the chapel at Loreto Home and she rests with the Sisters of Compassion in the Wagga Wagga Cemetery.

Born                  Entered            Professed              Died                 Place of Death           Place of Burial

27.09.1919     02.10.1941       19.03.1944        17.08.1989            Wagga Wagga          Wagga Cemetery