Josephite Sisters Therese McConway from Wellington, Helen Doyle and Marcienne Waite, both from Whanganui, marked their 60th jubilees of religious profession in a spring time celebration liturgy at Mt St Joseph in Whanganui on August 31. Afternoon tea followed, with cutting of the jubilee cake.

“I knew, when leaving school, I never wanted to become a religious or teach,” said Wellington-born Sr Helen. “But I couldn’t ignore this desire to commit to something permanent”.

After final profession, she taught for 20 years in primary schools. Then she
went to New York to train as a medical social worker. She worked for the Waikato Hospital and district for many years.

Returning to Whanganui in 1998, she became the first manager of the Quinlan Court complex — where she is now a resident herself. Actively retired, she assists in the congregation’s archives, is a hospice shop volunteer and is Whanganui’s representative on the Alzheimers New
Zealand executive.

Sr Marcienne grew up in Hawera. Following final profession, she began
teaching. Previously known as Sr Joseph, she taught for 13 years at St Joseph’s School in London Street, Whanganui. The school is now named St Mary’s School.

Sr Marcienne spent four years as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. Returning to Whanganui, she became co-ordinator of the Josophia craft shop — well known for personally designed candles. She has recently retired after 25 years of involvement in Faith and Light, not only in New Zealand, but in the Southern Cross zone. For leisure, she belongs to the local Lyric Singers choir, which she thoroughly enjoys.

“Always wanted to be a teacher,” said Wellington-born Sr Therese. After
profession, she taught for many years in classrooms and then moved into adult education and taught CCD in what was called the “Motor Ministry”, taking her around the Buller, Grey and Westland districts and Tokoroa.

Following 19 years in workplace chaplaincy ministry in Wellington, she went to Inverness-shire in Scotland, where Mary MacKillop’s parents came from. Sr Therese promoted Mary’s story, before the saint was canonised as St Mary of the Cross in 2010. Retired now in Maoribank in Upper Hutt, Sr Therese is a self-defined armchair coach to the All Blacks, cricketers and tennis players at Wimbledon.

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