by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Five Auckland Sisters of Mercy marked their jubilees of religious profession on February 21 with a Mass celebrated by Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn and seven priests in the chapel of St Mary’s Convent in Ponsonby.

From left, Mercy  Sisters celebrating their anniversaries: Srs Maureen O’Brien, Rita Marie Vessey, Anne Hurley, Margaret Ellen Dougherty and Frances Stewart.
From left, Mercy Sisters celebrating their anniversaries: Srs Maureen O’Brien, Rita Marie Vessey, Anne Hurley, Margaret Ellen Dougherty and Frances Stewart.

Celebrating their diamond (60th) anniversaries were Srs Maureen O’Brien, who does pastoral service work in Onehunga, Frances Stewart of St Mary’s Convent and Sr Margaret Ellen Dougherty, who is now a resident of Mercy Parklands in Ellerslie.
Marking their golden jubilees were Srs Rita Vessey of Epsom and Anne Hurley of Wiri, south Auckland.
The large gathering of sisters, including congregation leader Katrina Fabish, was joined by relatives and friends for the Mass and refreshments that followed.
The jubilarians renewed their vows after the bishop’s homily, in which he spoke of the Year of Consecrated Life called by Pope Francis. “Our whole Church has been enriched by the years of dedicated service from these five Sisters of Mercy,” Bishop Dunn said. “We give thanks for the witness of their lives and ask God’s blessing on each of them.”
Sr Frances Stewart continues to work two days a week as the staffing primary schools secretary in the Auckland diocese Catholic Schools Office; Sr Ann Hurley shares in providing a community-based service from her home in Wiri; and Sr Rita Vessey is assistant manager of Te Ngakau Waiora, the Mercy Spirituality Centre in Epsom.

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