Eileen entered the Sisters of Compassion at Island Bay on 5 September, 1935. At Reception, Eileen received the name of Francis Xavier, but shortened to Xavier. Before entering, Eileen had worked as a book-binder in a Whanganui firm, and was able to assist the Secretary-General to bind all the Minute Books of the General Chapters, as well as Council Minutes. She also kept the hymn books in good condition.
After her Profession on the Feast of St. Joseph, 19 March, 1938, Sister Xavier began her studies for General Nursing, passing the Final State Examination in June, 1943. Throughout her Religious ministry, Sister held positions of responsibility in the Homes of Compassion in Whanganui, Silverstream, Island Bay, and Timaru. Her skills and talents were greatly appreciated when attending the sick and the infirm. Known for her quiet personality, she had the ability to bring calmness into anxious situations. Her friendship was sincere and much appreciated by the younger Sisters who often struggled with long and tedious duties.
Ill health curtailed Sister Xavier’s activities. During one illness she spent a considerable time in an Isolation Ward, a loneliness which she struggled to accept as she enjoyed the company of her friends. Recovering from this illness, she spent time helping with the van duties which brought her into contact with many people from all walks of life. Sister was a great ambassador for the Sisters of Compassion and could express appreciation for the donations received from the shop owners in a charming manner. Slowly her health deteriorated, and with resignation accepted the nursing care offered to her from the Sisters.
Sister Xavier was a prayerful, gentle woman who followed in the footsteps of Mother Aubert. Her willingness to relieve the burdens of the needy in a compassionate way with understanding and devotion are long remembered.
Born Entered Professed Died Place of Death Place of Burial
26.02.1904 05.09.1935 19.03.1938 18.06.1970 Island Bay Karori Cemetery