The family of nine children, five girls and four boys, had a strong Irish heritage with their grandparents all immigrating from Ireland in the 1880s.
The Teahan families excelled as farmers and owned property in South Canterbury. Monica’s father owned stables at Pleasant Point and for many years bred race-horses. Monica started her early education at St Joseph’s local parish school and then attended the Mercy Sisters’ secondary college in Timaru. Monica, like her siblings, had good musical talent and these she graciously shared on many occasions especially after she entered the Congregation.
Prior to entering, Monica successfully graduated in State General Nursing, Maternity and Midwifery Training. During her time overseas she visited Lourdes where she discerned her future vocation. Returning to New Zealand, Monica was employed at the Temuka Maternity Hospital and soon became attracted to the Sisters of Compassion in Timaru. She entered the Congregation in 1962 and on Reception into the Noviciate received the name of Ephrem. She later reverted to her baptismal name of Monica.
Sister willing shared her nursing experience and this was appreciated for many years in the Island Bay Hospital and with the geriatric residents in the St Anne’s Ward. Her compassionate care and concern for the sick and exactness for detail were the hallmarks of her nursing. She welcomed the opportunity to apply her maternity skills in the hospital at Ra in Fiji. From here she was appointed to the St Vincent’s Home in Auckland, then to other Homes of Compassion caring for the frail and elderly persons. She was known for her wonderful ability of entertaining with song and music giving great enjoyment to many people.
Failing health and loss of memory affected Monica’s activities. During the last years of her life she received the appropriate nursing care at St Joseph’s Home of Compassion where she died peacefully. May she rest in peace with the Lord she loved and served so faithfully as a Sister of Compassion. Sister Monica left behind her sister, Teresa, whose son, Father Christopher Friel, has inherited the family’s great musical ability especially with the youth in his parish.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
07.05.1932 17.03.1962 15.09.1964 05.08.2010 Wellington Karori Cemetery