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Sisters of the Past

Sister de Sales Mary Casey

13 September 1873 12 December 1960de_Sales_Casey_2

Profiled August 2012

13 September 1873 was the birth day of Mary Casey, to Cornelius Casey and his wife Ellen, nee Keohane.  The small town of Thames, in the Coromandel was her birthplace.  Cornelius was a farmer, and he was thought to have been born in Bantry County Cork, in Ireland, and Ellen, his wife in Caheragh also in County Cork.

Mary, the eldest of twelve children, was followed by James, Cornelius, Joseph, Ann, Alice, Francis, Matthew, Ellen, Cecelia, Catherine and Margaret.   Mary became a teacher, as did her sister Alice in later years.  Mary entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 13 December 1893, and was professed as Sister de Sales on 22 August 1895.  Alice also entered the Sisters in March 1905 and was professed as Sister Gerard in January 1907.

Sister de Sales taught both primary and secondary classes, both in Whanganui and in some outlying Josephite primary schools.  Pupils remember her teaching of shorthand and of beautiful penmanship.  She had developed the skill of doing illuminated addresses and taught that to her pupils. 

De Sales was elected Bursar for the Congregation in 1926 and again in 1932.  Her beautifully executed cursive writing is recognisable on many ledgers of the time. 

Sacred Heart Convent was the place of her death on 12 December 1960, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery after Requiem Mass in the Chapel.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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