On completing her education, Maureen worked for a short time for a local hairdresser. The call to Religious life grew strong in her mind and heart and Maureen entered the Sisters of Compassion during 1949. Four other young women entered at the same time and their journey together spanned a total of fifty years.
On entering the Sisters of Compassion, Maureen was given her Religious name Sister Mary Tarcisius. She was Professed during 1951, thus beginning her many years of active ministry. Sister had frequent opportunities to show her skills and talents as she engaged in the various works of the Sisters of Compassion; in Carterton with the young disabled children, then with the youth who gathered at the Sussex Street Soup Kitchen. She will, however, be best remembered for her years of dedication to the young girls at Island Bay. Through her mothering role and her gentle personality she touched their lives with kindness and understanding. She gave attention to their ordinary needs with compassion and love, treating each child as someone special and precious to her.
A stressful stage of life for her came from the changes Vatican II introduced into Religious life. Acceptance of some of the changes was a struggle and a testing time for her. Faithful to her prayer life, she never made compromises or excuses for neglecting her commitment and duty to be present at the communal prayer times.
Her Golden Jubilee in 2001 was a joyous celebration with her extended family. She gave grateful thanks to God for her full and fruitful life as a Sister of Compassion but with increasing infirmity and sickness came the need for nursing care.
At the time of her death in 2013, the Sisters received many tributes from the children she had cared for. One on them wrote: “Tarcisius will remain one of the exceptional role models thousands of us children had the fortune of being involved with. In practise Sister showed us the meaning of compassion, empathy, love, consideration. She was able to guide us and share with us her strengths of sensitivity, security, emotional stability, and moral autonomy, always the right amount of support and all unconditional. I remember clearly the warm caring and positively nurturing interaction when Sister was teaching me to tie my shoe laces, brush my teeth, pour milk from the big milk jug, make my bed, and write my name. All of that is instilled in me now and in my practise I will continue to keep that part of her as a part of me.”
Sister Tarcisus touched all our lives at some time in her journey and we thank God for her life of prayer and devotion.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
27.03.1925 05.01.1949 15.09.1951 04.07.2003 Wanganui Karori Cemetery