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Sisters of the Past

SISTER AMBROSE - Elizabeth Whyte

Profiled May 2011

October 1891  -  2 December 1973ambrose_whyte.jpg

In October 1891 a daughter, Elizabeth, was born to Thomas Whyte, a farmer from Ireland, and his wife Margaret nee McEneaney, also from Ireland.  The Whyte family lived in Hawera, Taranaki.  Elizabeth had four sisters.  The youngest, Syd, died as a young adult; Julia became Mrs Dowd and died young leaving two small boys; Margaret married Peter Cameron, and Mary married Thomas Bourke.

Entering the Sisters of St Joseph on 15 August 1914, Elizabeth went on to make her profession as Sister Ambrose on 27 January1915.

Ambrose’ ministry was that of a community and house Sister, and she spent time in many of the Josephite convents.  She spent several periods in Taranaki, particularly in Manaia. 

Memories of Ambrose are of a gentle, loving, wise woman who brought much joy and companionship to the communities she lived in.  As a frequent parish visitor she became much loved by people in the school and parish communities.

She was a great cook and sewed well also.  She took a joy in keeping house and yet was always very interested and supportive of the other Sisters’ ministries in school.  Stories abound of her love of cats, and she was devoted to them in whichever place she was living.

Her last three years were spent in retirement in Patea where she died on 2 December 1973.  Her funeral was held in the local parish church and she is buried in the Patea Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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