mary mackillop - auckland celebrations 005.jpg

Sisters of the Past

Sister Assumpta - Kathleen Mary Loughnane

Profiled in Jul 2009

21 October 1901 – 5 November 1983

Assumpta-Loughnane.jpgKathleen Mary Loughnane was born on 21 October 1901, the fifth child to Jeremiah and Mary nee Cronin, both from Ireland.  She grew up on the Makohine farm and attended the public school at Mangaonoho.  Although not able to have the opportunity of a secondary education, she was an intelligent girl with a zest for life.  She soon learned to drive the family car, and is remembered driving it to the Utiku Sports one year. 
Kathleen went up to Manunui to be on hand to help her sister Margaret for the home birth of he fifth son in 1926.  She would have been kept very busy taking care of the four other active boys in the family.  She worked on the family farm, and for a time she was housekeeper to the priest in Taihape.

Kathleen joined the Sisters of St Joseph on 15 August 1927.  She was professed on 17 January 1930 as Sister Assumpta. 
Assumpta became a homemaker within the Congregation.  She was a great cook, and became a wonderful support to the sisters who were teaching.
Her first three years were at Sacred Heart in Whanganui, where she had spent her training years, and where she learned much about the workings of the big kitchen and the basics of preparing meals for hungry young boarders and the sisters.
St Joseph’s Convent Hastings was her first appointment away from Whanganui from 1932 – 36 where there was a large community.  She then moved to Otaki, where there was a smaller number of boarders, back to Hastings, and then a return to Otaki.  In her later years she spent time in Feilding, Plimmerton, and Waverley-Patea. 

Assumpta is remembered for her bright and happy disposition, her great wit and love of practical jokes – whether they involved her or not.
She was an accomplished letter writer and exchanged correspondence over the years with a large group of friends and relations.  In her friendly letters she used her skills to inform and uplift people. 
She also maintained a solid link with family members both in Ireland and South Africa.

Her nephew Louis recalled his visits to Assumpta at Sacred Heart during school breaks.  After a visit to the Chapel, a formal afternoon tea would be served by Assumpta in the front parlour.  He remembers being called on to sing “The Rose of Tralee” to a group of sisters – many of whom he had difficulty in distinguishing because of the sameness of their appearance.  One of them, an experienced singing teacher gave him very good advice on voice production which he valued.
While in retirement in Patea, Assumpta was admitted to the hospital there, before being transferred back to Sacred Heart in Whanganui.  In her final months she spent the days at the Home of Compassion and nights in the newly built Nazareth Convent after Sacred Heart Convent was demolished.
Assumpta died on 5 November 1983.  Mass of Requiem was celebrated at St Mary’s Church, and she is buried in the Aramoho Cemetery in Whanganui.

Gallery / Whakaahua

Members Login