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Sisters of the Past

SISTER RAPHAEL - Clementina Veronica Mickleson

Profiled October 2010

30 October 1904 – 27 January 1976sr_raphael_002.jpg

Veronica Mickleson was born to Clementina, nee McDowell, formerly of Palmerston North and Frederick Lars Mickelson, of Copenhagen.  They lived and farmed in the small settlement of Tiriraukawa near Taihape.   Veronica was part of a large family with brothers Frederick, Clarence, Basil, Lawrence, Albert, Raphael and sisters Florence, Rachel, and Dorothy.

Veronica had a difficult time in her early years of religious life.  She first entered the Sisters of St Joseph in 1927, but left after only two months for health reasons. She also tried later in that year and again did not stay.  However on 14 September 1927 she began what was to be a life- long commitment which she sealed with her Profession on 17 January 1930.  The religious name she took was Raphael.

Sister Raphael became one of the dedicated community Sisters and her special forte seemed to be the kitchen and laundry work at Sacred Heart in Whanganui.  Sisters remember her with her friend Sr Hilary managing the washing and ironing for the large community of Sisters and even larger number of boarding pupils.   In the early days they prayed the Rosary as they worked, and a Sister recalls them coping with the shortage of starch in the war years for preparing the Sisters’ guimps.  They worked hard, had the laundry running like clockwork, and were very patient with the younger Sisters working with them.  Raphael was also involved with making the altar breads for the local parishes.

Raphael is remembered as being big-hearted and generous.  She always had generous support from her family in Taihape, and was intensely proud of her home town.

Sister Raphael died on 27 January 1976 at Sacred heart Convent.  Her Mass of Requiem was held at in Sacred Heart Convent Chapel, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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