Rose as she was called, had three brothers and two sisters.
Rose, together with her sister Philomena, entered the Sisters of Compassion on the same day on 22 February, 1949, thus leaving a huge hole in the closely knit Butler family. Rose was given her Religious name Sister Mary Vincent. The two sister’s journeyed through their Religious training, sharing the joys and sorrows, the good and the bad days. They both valued this unique way of starting off on their respective journeys into Religious life, and it was seen as a preparation for the future. Shortly after Profession, in September, 1951, their pathways into ministry started to change.
Sister Vincent, with four other Sisters, completed her nursing training in the Home of Compassion Hospital, Island Bay, and, as a qualified and competent nurse, joined other communities for varying periods, applying her nursing skills and compassionate care to the sick and disabled in our Homes of Compassion.
In 1963, she started on her overseas experiences with Chanel Home, Fiji, as her first assignment, and from there to St Anne’s Home in Broken Hill, Australia. Following this was another challenging assignment to Wilcannia, the newly opened mission station in the Australian outback. Sister took the Leadership role in this small community for a period of four years. Sister Vincent generously applied her knowledge and skills of mother-craft, nursing, cooking, sewing, and gardening into educating the Aboriginal women and young mothers who were struggling with families in the deprived conditions of that part of Australia. Her compassionate concern was to better their lives and lessen their struggle for survival in the harsh conditions of their society. She brought hope and achievement to them in many practical ways.
Sister completed six years with the Aboriginal Community before accepting a transfer back to New Zealand to take up the Leadership role at St Raphael’s Home, Carterton. Here she took up the challenge of administration and the nursing care of the handicapped children and young women. Sister wholeheartedly gave herself to this ministry and extended her support to families in the wider community.
In 1980, Sister took the opportunity to have time for personal spiritual renewal at Marcellin Hall, Auckland. It was about this time that Sister Vincent’s physical health began to deteriorate, a cross she bravely struggled with for many years, and seeking a variety of treatments to minimise the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis.
During 1987-92, Sister accepted the dual responsibility of Community Leader and Treasurer of the Auckland Community. After due discernment, Sister Vincent requested permission to return home to nurse her aging mother and, after her death in 1996, she joined the Castlecliff Community. The ministry there had a special focus on the Māori apostolate. Sister’s ability to adapt once again into something new showed her spirit of willingness to share her many skills and talents in the wider community. She was known to offer spiritual support to her Sisters in Community, and to offer comfort and a listening ear to anyone who was burdened with a problem. With a twinkle in her eye and a lively sense of humour in conjunction with her words of encouragement, she supported people to regain a healthy perspective to life’s challenges and worries. Because of declining health, Sister needed full nursing care which was lovingly given by staff at the Aubert and St Joseph’s Home of Compassion.
The celebration of Sisters Vincent and Laboure’s 60 years of Religious Profession at St Joseph’s Home of Compassion Chapel, Silverstream, was a most joyous occasion for the Butler family and friends. It was a time of laughter and a sharing of stories from both the older and younger members of the family.
Unfortunately, within 13 days of this celebration, Sister suffered a stroke which proved fatal. She died peacefully on 20 September, 2011. Sister’s Requiem Mass was at the Holy Family Church in Wanganui. Sister Vincent was a faithful Sister of Compassion knowing that during her life she gave everything to God.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
02.05.1925 22.02.1949 15.09.1951 30.09.2011 Silverstream Aramoho Cemetery