Catherine trained as a nurse at the Whanganui Hospital receiving her State Nursing Registration and Midwifery Certificate before entering the Sisters of Compassion on 22 February, 1941. Catherine received her Religious name Sister Mary Luke at her reception into the Noviciate.
Sister Luke was a confident and skilful nurse. She used her gifts and talents in myriad ways to maintain the high reputation of the Sisters of Compassion Hospital and Services. For many years she held the position of Hospital Tutor, supporting and encouraging trainees with successful results in their nursing studies. Known to be pedantic when attending to patient’s care and procedures, she set a high standard of care and was an example to all who came under her watchful eye. Sister Luke was a role model to the younger generation of Sisters as an example of combining Religious life obligations with the demands of nursing. Following her long and successful Tutor position, Sister Luke was elected to the Leadership Team. Her wisdom and sound judgement were again appreciated and accepted in this new role.
Increasing ill health was a heavy burden for Sister to accept as she loved activity. She enjoyed gardening and soon became an expert in the cultivation of roses, but her love of nursing never wavered and she often gave private tuition to trainees struggling with their study.
The decline in her physical health increased, and the letting go of her favourite hobbies and pastime activities happened gradually and in a gracious manner. Her general knowledge and interest in Government and social affairs kept her memory alive and active. Her conversations were stimulating and interesting, never focused on her personal situation. Prayerful and appreciative towards her carers, Sister Luke passed away peacefully on 28 July, 1988, after listening to the Budget.
Birth Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
09.11.1907 22.02.1941 15.09.1943 28.07.1988 Island Bay Karori Cemetery