Sisters of the Past

Sister Bonaventure Miss Shanley

Profiled February 2013

1869 3 July 1944

Miss Shanley was born in 1869 in Roscommon, Ireland.  No other details of her early life or family are known.

On 28 February 1902, Miss Shanley entered the Sisters of St Joseph in Whanganui and at her Profession on 20 January 1904 she became Sister Bonaventure.

Sister Bonaventure was known to have looked after the boarders at Sacred Heart for many years.  The girls all loved her, as she did them, and they remembered her ‘outstanding’ care of them.  As many of the boarders were quite young, this was an important role.  Sister Beatrice Conway was sent to Sacred Heart in 1920 at four years of age when her mother died, and Sister Bonaventure ‘mothered’ her from then on.

Work in the laundry was also part of her ministry and she was remembered from Sisters’ novitiate experience as being very particular about the work done there.
A favourite story of Sister Bonaventure was her exhortation one evening to the boarders while saying their night prayers to “close your eyes and look at the statue”.

Sister Bonaventure died in Whanganui on 3 July 1944.  She was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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