Three members of her family dedicated themselves to the religious life, and a niece was the Mother General of the Company of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (The Grey Sisters), a religious foundation in Australia. Even before May was born, the family had often welcomed ‘Mother Aubert ’ to their home when she was living in Meanee. No doubt when she was growing up, she would have heard many stories of those early days in Hawke’s Bay.
May entered the Sisters of Compassion on 28 February,1915 and was received into the Novitiate on 14 October, 1915, receiving her religious name Sister Mary Pia.
Sister Pia was a simple, straightforward, prayerful religious. Hardly a spare moment went by without her having the rosary beads in her hands. She breathed very deeply the spirit of Mother Aubert, and was prepared, at a moment’s notice to work with any Sister, in any capacity, in any section of the Apostolate.
She saw in the humdrum, monotonous everyday duties of daily life, the Will of God. In this matter she was a perfectionist. She flung herself heart and soul, into all the duties that were entrusted to her. This was the outstanding characteristic of her life, this constant dedication of herself, hour after hour, week after week, year in and year out, for over 40 years, which showed so clearly the heroic quality of her life.
Most of Sister Pia’s active ministry was spent in Jerusalem-Hiruhārama and Whanganui, taking an active role as second in charge of both communities. Her final years of retirement were at the Convent in Island Bay where her long life of faith, hope and charity came to a peaceful end in the presence of the Sisters.
Sister died on the 26 May 1960 and was buried at Karori. Father F. Wall preached the panegyric at her funeral mass.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
20.06.1885 28.02.1915 14.10.1917 26.05.1960 Wellington Karori Cemetery