At the age of 22 years, Kitty, as she was called, entered the Home of Compassion at Island Bay. At the time of her reception into the Novitiate, on the Feast of Our Lady of Compassion, 15 September 1936, she received her religious name Sister Mary John Bosco, the name she clung too, despite the fact that her older sister, Santina, had reverted back to her baptismal name.
Two years later, on the 15 September 1938, Sister John Bosco made her First Profession, and then her final Profession in 1941 in Broken Hill, Australia where she was one of the first group of Sisters to be sent there. In a letter home Sister wrote:
I was sent to the new foundation in Broken Hill …. which was very primitive, with no sewerage and a copper outside. At that time we wore our complete serge habit, in spite of the temperature being 110-120°. The dust storms were terrible and blinding. We even had to walk backwards in the streets.
In 1948 Sister John Bosco became Sister-in-Charge of St. Anne’s Home of Compassion, Broken Hill, and remained there until April, 1954, when she was transferred back to New Zealand to become the Sister-in-Charge of St. Vincent’s Home in Auckland.
At the General Chapter of 1957 Sister was elected onto the Leadership Team and during her term on the team was a tremendous help to Mother Melchior, the Congregational Leader. In 1965 she became a much-loved member of the Carterton Community where she remained for the next thirty seven years. Sister was a great communicator, and many people were always pleased to receive her letters, often with newspaper clippings about people who were mutually known. Sister’s visits in Carterton were legendary. She always loved to take a little something with her, so she had her eye open for what could be given away! Her generosity was well-known. In 1996 the Carterton District Council awarded her a Community Award in recognition for her work. In 1999 she celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of her Religious Profession.
On 1 February, 2002, Sister John Bosco was admitted to St. Joseph’s Home of Compassion, Heretaunga, for nursing care. She celebrated her 90th birthday there at the beginning of 2003, and two months later suffered a stroke. A much loved sister died, very peacefully, on the morning of the 3 April 2003.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
22.01.1913 15.09.1936 15.09.1938 03.04.2003 Heretaunga Karori Cemetery