Sisters of the Past

Sister Paulinus - Mary O’Neill

Died 16 January 1958

Profiled October 2012

Little is known about Mary O’Neill’s early years or family, apart from her birthday being November 1st.   She was born in Timaru, in the South Island.

Mary entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 1 May 1916, and was professed as Sister Paulinus on 23 January 1918.

For some time she taught in some of the Josephite Primary Schools out of Whanganui.

Sr Josepha O’Connor has the following memories from the late 1930- early 1940 era, when she was a pupil at the Utiku State School near Taihape:

‘Every second Sunday the Sisters would come with the priest to the 10.30am Mass at Utiku, and after Mass they would instruct the children in the faith.
One Sunday Sr Paulinus happened to put her Missal down on the pew and she walked out of the church without it when our lesson was over.  I didn’t feel worthy to take it to he,r but when no-one took it out to her, I grabbed it and ran.  The Sisters smiled at me and thanked me as it was handed through the window to Sr Paulinus.  I felt as though I was walking on a cloud for the rest of the day.
I remember them all fondly, and twenty years later, did follow in their footsteps!’

Unfortunately Sr Paulinus suffered deteriorating health, and had several stays in hospital from 1944 to 1955.
She died on 16 January 1958 in Whanganui.  Her funeral was held in the Sacred Heart Chapel there, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery Whanganui.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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