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Kathleen’s parents were John Crean and Mary Angela Kirwan. Kathleen’s siblings were Eunice, Michael, Tony, Patrick, Joseph, and Eileen. The family moved to live in England when Kathleen was about eight. On leaving school she worked in the air force before coming to New Zealand
Sister entered the Sisters of Compassion on 28 October 1961 and was professed on 15 August 1962. After completing her religious formation Kathleen trained as a registered nurse graduating in 1968. Sister worked in the different apostolates of the Sisters of Compassion, including Broken Hill and Wilcannia NSW Australia, and 6 months in Fiji.
Sister Kathleen enjoyed a good conversation and was knowledgeable about most things. She was a keen gardener and spent many hours on the bank opposite Crombie House.She delighted in attending to Mother Aubert’s grave, keeping it tidy, and caring for the garden. Sewing was another accomplishment and she generously offered her services when needed. Everything she attempted she did well.
One of the highlights of her religious life was working during two different periods with orphan children in Romania. She worked in the number two orphanage which was for children with physical and mental disabilities between the ages of 2½ – 16 years. The orphanage was sponsored by World Vision. In 2013 on returning to Romania she noticed a big difference from her first visit there in 1990. The place was clean and bright, the children were well dressed, and the food had improved.
A joy for Sister Kathleen was being able to spend time in England. She was present at the deaths of both her mother and her sister Eileen. On returning to New Zealand in 2015 sister was transferred to Marian Court at Heretaunga where she was involved in visiting the sick and restoring sacred images. After suffering from ill health for many years Sister Kathleen died peacefully at St Joseph’s Home of Compassion on 30 March 2022. Until we meet again Kathleen may the Lord hold you firmly in the palm of his hand.