When her mother Margaret died, Molly was the only woman in the household, so throughout their formative years and the years of the war, she was the home-maker for her three brothers and their father, Fred. The first thirty-two years of her life before entering Religious life took place between two major World Wars. This undoubtedly was very significant in her life as her three brothers, Jack, Fred and Jim, were all involved in the war. It was also very natural, taking into account the male dominance in the family, that Mollie was a keen follower of sporting activities such as rugby and cricket, a strong supporter of Wellington with a very special place for Petone. This strong interest was very much part of her life right up to the very last.
On 2 February 1946, Mary Elizabeth entered the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay, and was given her Religious name Sister Mary Joseph, and Professed on 15 September, 1948. Sister trained as a Registered Nurse at our hospital but had very little opportunity to practice her nursing because she was soon caring for the finances of the various Homes of Compassion to which she was assigned. Her natural business acumen had been enhanced by her experience at Business College and also working at the firm of W.D. & H.O. Wills during the War years. Sister had been mostly running the business side of this firm, and accordingly would have been a great loss to them when she informed them she was leaving to enter the Convent. After twelve years in local Houses, she was elected as Treasurer General for the Sisters of Compassion during the 1969 General Chapter, a position she held until her retirement in 1986. However, her business acumen did not end there. She relieved and helped Sisters in other Houses when necessary, and remained the Financial Adviser for the business affairs of the Sisters.
Throughout her life Sister Joseph did not have robust health, and her ever-present need to have everything done to perfection and the worry it caused her if things were not quite up to scratch took their toll on her physically, depleting her of energy for her daily round of activities. During all this time Sister Joseph remained very close to her family. She was transferred to St. Joseph’s Home of Compassion at Heretaunga for the last four months of her life where she never complained but was beautifully cared for by the Sisters and Staff. Sister Joseph died peacefully in the evening of Sunday 23 December 2001.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
12.08.1914 02.02.1946 15.09.1948 23.12.2001 Heretaunga Karori Cemetery