Her father was a farmer in Taranaki and always a great benefactor to the Homes of Compassion. He died in the Aubert Home, Wanganui.
Margaret Mary entered the Sisters of Compassion on 3 February, 1915, and was given her Religious name Sister Mary Marcelle on commencing her Novitiate. Sister was Professed on 4 October, 1917. From 1919 until her death in 1970, Sister was responsible for the finances of the Sisters of Compassion. Sister Marcelle had a keen business acumen which she used to the best advantage for all the Homes of Compassion.
Sister had a great love of the land and of animals which remained with her all her life. She was an authority on the ailments of the cows and fowls owned by the Sisters and often rendered valuable assistance to sick animals. In between times she taught in the infant room at Jerusalem.
At the chapter of 1939, Sister Marcelle was elected Treasurer General. All through this period she was very interested in the Missions, both at Jerusalem and Suva. The Sisters in Fiji especially remember with gratitude her untiring efforts to assist them in their work by sending used clothing and other goods both for the Home and for the School. Some of the Sisters said that in the early days of Chanel Home in Suva they could not have survived without Sister’s kind help.
Sister Marcelle had a deep and abiding love for Suzanne Aubert and the Sisters of Compassion, and was an inspiration in the way she adhered to Suzanne Aubert’s teaching and the principles she had laid down.
Sister Marcelle had a keen sense of humour which manifested itself in her letters which were always thoroughly enjoyed by the Sisters. Sister Marcelle was much loved, generous, and hardworking. She was one of the stalwarts of the Sisters of Compassion and did valuable work in controlling the finances for thirty years.
Her end came suddenly. She had been helping with the ducks at the fowl house as usual when she contracted a bad cold and had to stay in bed. She did not improve, and was transferred to the hospital section where it was found that an operation was necessary. Two days later, on Sunday, 5 July, 1970, Sister died peacefully. She was buried at Karori.
Copy of an article written by Pat Lawlor, August 1970:
Sister Mary Marcelle joined the Sisters of Compassion, Island Bay in 1915 and so had lived with Mother M. Aubert. She was in many ways a living counterpart of the Foundress in her devotion to her ideals.
My association with Sister Marcelle began about a quarter of a century ago when I took over the work of organising the periodic Street Day Collection Appeal for the Homes. Very soon I realised what a dynamo was at the heart of the appeal. Sister was my guide-line; never missed the smallest detail in that considerable organisational effort.
She had the physique to carry material loads and the mind to pinpoint the minutest problem; all this with a smile and a motherly devotion that had me in its thrall. Sister would frown only when winding-up of each appeal. I would give her the largest measure of credit for its success.
In between times we always kept in touch and became great friends. She was a saintly person but a most likeable one for she was also very human. She would not wish me to write more than this or to add that when I heard of her death I shed a few tears.
Birth Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
08.08.1889 03.02.1915 04.10.1917 05.07.1970 Island Bay Karori Cemetery