Dorothy entered the Sisters of Compassion on 24 March, 1929, and was given her Religious name Sister Mary Sebastian. Sister was Professed on 2 October, 1931.
During 1932, Sister Sebastian commenced her nursing training and passed the State Examination in December, 1934. Four years later, Sister accompanied Sister Alacoque Walsh to do her maternity training at St Helen’s Hospital. During her Religious life, Sister Sebastian happily worked in our Home for the Aged in Whanganui, at Auckland caring for unmarried mothers and their babies, and serving soup at Buckle St, in Wellington.
The men at the Soup Kitchen enjoyed chatting with Sister Sebastian as she was always bright and cheerful. Sister trusted them all and, even when she was let down, she retained her faith in them. Wherever she went, everyone spoke of her gentle, patient manner, and her ability to create a good community spirit.
Amidst the celebrations preparing for her Golden Jubilee, Sister Sebastian was fully convinced that she would not be there to participate in her Jubilee celebrations. Her intuition proved correct; on the eve of her Jubilee she died very peacefully surrounded by the Sisters and the nurses who cared for her. She was the first Sister to be buried in Whanganui. Sister Camillus, Sister Sebastian’s cousin, carried a box of red camellias and after the Service they were scattered over her coffin.
Father Fitzpatrick SM, in his homily, said: “Sister Sebastian spent her life caring for people in their hurts and in their sufferings, their rejections and their vulnerability. She loved human life, she believed in it, and she served it. She encompassed human life and she gave human beings in their most frail time, a chance to rise above themselves, and to achieve everlasting life.”
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
12.10.1896 24.03.1929 02.10.1931 01.10.1982 Wanganui Aramoho Cemetery