Sisters of the Past

Sister Zita - Mary Anisy

Profiled in July 2008 

17 December 1906

ZitaAnisy.jpgMary Anisy was born in Wellington to Lebanese parents Anthony and Farida.  She had three siblings, and her brother Peter later became a Marist Brother.  Anthony Anisy was in the clothing trade and it is thought that after leaving school Mary spent some time working with him.  Mary entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 31 August 1926, and took the religious name of Sister Zita.

Zita spent some time teaching primary children in rural schools, but the greater part of her religious life was lived at Sacred Heart Convent in Whanganui. 
She was given the responsibility of caring for the Boarders of the College, and won the gratitude of parents for her interest in the girls in her charge.
For many of those years she was sacristan, taking her duties very seriously.  Girls and other sisters were often enlisted to keep the many brass fittings looking their best.
She was appointed Superior of the Sacred Heart community from 1971-1973. For most of her life, she was a constant visitor to those in need around the city.

Zita had a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh.  She was an extremely methodical person, good with finances and a first class organiser.  She was interested in people, particularly children, and had a very good memory for names.  Visitors were always made very welcome.  She was strongly devoted to all members of her family.  Zita was remembered by one of the Sisters as a cheerful, loving, caring person who was “a ‘busybody’ in the very best sense of the word.”

As she aged Zita became a resident of Nazareth, later moving to the Home of Compassion for specialised care.  She died on 18 March 1988.  Her funeral Mass was celebrated at St Mary’s Church Whanganui, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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