Sisters of the Past

SR MECHTILDE - Catherine Teresa Butler

Profiled September 2011


14 March 1883  -  28 September 1967003_2003361.jpg

Catherine Teresa Butler was born in Victoria, Australia on 14 March 1883 to Maurice and Anne, nee McCormick.  Maurice and Anne had emigrated to Australia from County Clare in Ireland.
Catherine grew up in Australia with at least three siblings – two of them her sisters. 
In later life she spoke of her Australian school days, walking across country to the school.  Suddenly a few dingoes would appear especially if it were winter and they were hungry and could be dangerous.  The bigger boys surrounded the younger ones and the group kept on walking not running with the boys swinging their bags and the group shouting out loud. 

At some stage Catherine came to New Zealand, and on 14 March 1914 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth, Wanganui.  She was professed on 27 January 1916, taking the religious name of Mechtilde.

Sister Mechtilde became a primary school teacher and spent almost 50 years teaching in Josephite Primary Schools in the Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Horowhenua, Waimarino and Whanganui regions.  She was also for a time, superior of the Sacred Heart Convent in Whanganui.

Mechtilde was a practical and down-to-earth woman.  She always said it as it was, and could be almost blunt at times, but she was full of commonsense.
The possessor of a valiant spirit, she was active in the life of the convent community until a few days before her death on 28 September 1967.

Mass of Requiem was celebrated in Sacred Heart Chapel in Whanganui, and she was buried in the Aramoho Lawn Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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