Sisters of the Past

Sister Marcellus Mary Burchill

5 February 1882 27 September 1951

Profiled December 2012

Cork, in Ireland, was the birthplace of Mary Burchill, on 5 February 1882.

She entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 6 October 1906, and was professed as Sister Marcellus on 26 January 1909.

Sister Marcellus taught primary classes, and from 1930 onwards was stationed at Levin (twice), Mangaweka, Waverley, Aramoho in Whanganui, Hastings, and Gonville in Whanganui.

Sister Marcellus usually taught senior classes, and her pupils recalled her as a good teacher but a strict disciplinarian.  Initially, many had trouble understanding her strong Irish accent.  She taught the children’s choir in Manaia, where a parishioner said ‘they sang like angels’.
Another Sister recalls that Marcellus visited her grandmother and had an easy rapport with her.

Marcellus’ sister Kate had entered the Congregation in 1868, and was professed as Sister Josephine in 1895.  She died in 1938.

Sister Marcellus died in Whanganui on 27 September 1951.  Requiem Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Chapel, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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