Sisters of the Past

Sister Evangelist Mary Links

28 January 1871 29 January 1949Evangelist_Links_2

Profiled January 2013

Mary Links was born in Carcoar, New South Wales in January 1871.  Her parents were Ottilia, nee Schmitt, and John Joseph Links.  John had arrived in Australia from Bavaria in 1858, and Ottilia was from Wittenberg.
Mary was the 5th of 16 children, 13 of whom reached adulthood.

Mary’s aunt was Sister Teresa Schmitt, one of the four Sisters of St Joseph from Perthville who travelled to begin the Whanganui Foundation of Sisters of St Joseph in 1880.  Mary, and later her sisters Catherine, Josephine and Ottilia (Tilly), travelled to Whanganui to attend Sacred Heart Boarding School there.

On 19 March 1890, Mary entered the Sisters Community and was professed on 4 July 1891 with the religious name of Sister Evangelist.

Sister Evangelist was chosen to be Mistress of Novices in 1896.  She then spent much of her religious life as Boarders’ Mistress at Sacred Heart College.  She was remembered as always having the welfare of the girls at heart and was affectionately known as Sister ‘Van’.  She took great interest in the fitness and deportment of the girls and held drill displays regularly.   Girls often gathered round ‘Van’ at weekends when she would share from her fund of stories about the early days.  She had set up a tuck-shop for the boarders and at weekends her home made ice-cream was in great demand.

Sister Evangelist was joined in the Whanganui Josephite Congregation by two of her sisters Josephine entered in 1898 and became Sister Lawrence, and Ottilia entered in 1904 and became Sister Rita.  Catherine married Joseph Derwin in Australia.  Her grand-daughter Anne became a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Sister Evangelist died at Sacred Heart on 29 January 1949.  Requiem Mass was celebrated in Sacred Heart Chapel and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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