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Sisters of the Past

Sister Domitille - Cecelia Margaret Reilly

Profiled in September 2008 

7 February 1907 14 November 1985

domitille-reilly.jpgOnehunga, Auckland, was the birthplace of Cecelia Margaret Reilly on 7 February 1907.  Her parents were William and Julia, nee Fay.   Her childhood years were spent in Christchurch, and she was educated there by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions.

Cecelia entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 16 September 1930, was professed on 23 January 1933, taking the religious name of Domitille.  She was a gifted pianist and music teacher, and also taught singing.  She spent many years in Ohakune, time in Plimmerton and Taihape, as well as a number of years at Sacred Heart College, Whanganui.  She was greatly loved by her pupils, and her interest in them and their families did not wane over the years.   Many kept in touch through visits and correspondence.

Though music and everything connected with music was her priority, Domitille loved gardening and the beauties of nature.  She loved to share the beauty of even a single flower with others.  In her retirement years she was responsible for building up a raised garden for the elderly at Nazareth Rest Home.  Another keen interest was reading, particularly history, and she kept up with local and international news.

Domitille is remembered as a quiet, kind and thoughtful woman.  She could be outspoken and forthright, but was perceived as having a quiet wisdom and sensitivity.  This sensitivity sometimes added to her own suffering, but also made her understanding and very sympathetic to others.

In her retirement years she suffered greatly from arthritis.  She then lived at Sacred Heart Convent and was one of the Sisters who moved to the new Nazareth Convent on Hillside Terrace.  Her disability meant her movement was constrained and she was remembered as being very enterprising in carrying with her all the necessaries for her day in the basket on her walker.

Domitille died quite suddenly at Nazareth on 14 November 1985.  Her Requiem Mass was held at St Mary’s Church Whanganui, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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