Sisters of the Past

Sister Anthony - Catherine Roche

Profiled in December 2008 

24 April 1894 – 20 December 1984

Anthony-Roche.jpgCatherine Margaret Roche was born to Michael and Annie, nee Sheahan, in New Plymouth on 24 April 1894.  Michael was a policeman who had been born in County Limerick.
She is known to have had at least three sisters.  One sister, Honora May, entered the Sisters of St Joseph in 1914, and became Sister Rosalie. Nellie became Mrs Comber, and May became Mrs Keegan.  May’s three daughters entered the Sisters of St Joseph – Sisters Rose, Anne, and Tarcisius.  Her two sons – Peter and Bernard Keegan became priests.
Catherine’s brother Michael also became a policeman.

Catherine began her working life in Hawera in Taranaki where she was a clerk in Welsh McCarthy law firm.  She later moved to work in Wellington where she became part of the social scene.  She had an outgoing personality and loved dancing and tennis.  At the age of 33, she decided to leave this and enter the Convent – much to the amazement of her friends.

Catherine entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 12 September 1937, and was professed on 17 January 1940, taking the religious name of Anthony. 

Sister Anthony began her ministry of primary school teaching, and over her teaching career, taught in most of the Josephite schools particularly Otaki, Ohakune, and Hastings.

Anthony is remembered as a very jovial and popular person with a great sense of humour.  She was also a great story teller – particularly in regard to her life in Wellington.  She enjoyed life to the full and continued to do this within her religious ministry.

By 1977, Anthony was living in retirement at Sacred Heart Convent in Whanganui, and she was one of the Sisters who moved in to the newly built Nazareth Convent in 1981 before the demolishment of Sacred Heart.

Anthony died at Nazareth on 20 December 1984 and her funeral was held in St Mary’s Parish Church.  She was buried in Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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