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Sisters of the Past

Sister Dympna Kathleen O’Donnell

30 April 1908 26 November 1955

Profiled November 2012

Kathleen O’Donnell was born in Greymouth on 30 April 1908 to Catherine nee Donovan, and Patrick O’Donnell.

She entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 15 August 1927, and was professed as Sister Dympna on 17 January 1930.

Dympna became a primary school teacher and taught in Ohakune, Waipukurau and Levin.  She had to give up teaching because of poor health in the early 1940’s, and returned to Waipukurau, where she spent most of the following thirteen years, many of these being nursed by Sister Stephen.

Due to her illness Sister Dympna slept on an open air balcony at Waipukurau and the school children used to go to the convent and speak to her through the long blinds.  She knew their voices and called them by name as she spoke to them.

She died in Waipukurau on 26 November 1955 and following Requiem Mass in the local parish church, was buried in the Waipukurau Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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