Sisters of the Past

Sister Aloysius - Bridget Malone

4 February 1859 - 30 November 1944

4 February 1859 was the birthdate for Bridget, daughter of John Malone and Margaret, nee Brien, in Kilkenny, Ireland.  There was at least one other known daughter of John and Margaret Mary, born in 1862.

Bridget entered the small community of the Sisters of St Joseph on the 22 August 1880, just four months after the first four founding Sisters had arrived from Perthville.  She was professed on 25 September 1882, taking the religious name of Aloysius.  Her sister Mary entered the Sisters in 1886 and was professed as Sister Magdalen.  Magdalen died in 1937.

In 1883, a year after her profession, Sister Aloysius and Sister Teresa were accompanied by Sister Hyacinth up the river to Hiruharama/Jerusalem where they were to staff a school at the Maori settlement there.  They left Whanganui in a coach, accompanied to the boat landing by Archbishop Redwood, Deans Grogan and Carew.  From then on they and their possessions were rowed by strong Maoris upriver, sometimes they walked along the banks.  Suzanne Aubert travelled with them and Aloysius always remembered her “merry laugh”.  Overnight stays were at Pas at Koriniti and Parikino, but the cold was intense, and Aloysius caught an ear infection and she suffered major loss of hearing from then on. 
Once there, the Sisters were settled into a small house, and Sister Hyacinth returned to Whanganui.  The Sisters taught in the school for two years, and participated with the local people in the prayers and Masses led by Father Soulas in the Church. 
In 1884, the Sisters returned to Whanganui, and as they were farewelled Aloysius recalls: “Father Soulas gave Sister Teresa and me a little lecture in our tiny oratory.  He said that we had sown the seeds but others would reap the fruits.”

Soon after returning to Whanganui, Aloysius was chosen as General Bursar until 1895.  Records are few of her ministry but in 1929 she was appointed to Otaki, and from 1935 to 1944 she was at Sacred Heart Whanganui.

Sisters remember Aloysius in her later years as a very prayerful person and one who was happy to don an apron for any tasks around the convent.   Her deafness made communication difficult but she participated as fully as she could in the daily prayer and activities.  She took a real interest in the boarding pupils.

Sister Aloysius was the first Sister of St Joseph to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, and this was in Otaki on 31 August 1932.   She went on to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of her Profession on 12 January 1943.

Aloysius died in Whanganui on 30 November 1944, after breaking her hip.  She was 85 years old.  Mass of Requiem was celebrated for her at Sacred Heart and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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