Sisters of the Past

Sister Kathleen Crompton - formerly known as Sister Alphonsus

Profiled in September 2002

19 July 1929 - 29 November 2000

 Kathleen Therese Crompton was born in Wellington, the youngest of a family of three. She was educated at St Vincent de Paul School and St Mary’s College. As well as being a successful student at College, she was also prominent in athletics and tennis. After leaving school she studied part-time at Victoria University for a B.Sc. Degree and worked in the laboratory of the NZ College of Pharmacy.

Kathleen attended Wellington Teachers’ College and entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St Joseph as a qualified teacher in 1955.

She taught science and mathematics at Sacred Heart College, Wanganui, for nine years, and Tenison College, Hastings for four years. At the same time she gained a Diploma in Teaching and ATCL in singing.

1973 marked a change as she moved from school to full time religious education in Taupo. She took time in 1975 for a year of study at National Pastoral Institute in Melbourne. She spent three years as a religious education advisor in Hawkes Bay. In 1979 she became Director of Religious Education for the Wellington and Palmerston North dioceses. 1983 found her carrying out media research, and she moved to Hamilton as coordinator of the NCRS Extramural course. She then moved into the position of Director of Communications for the Hamilton diocese.

In 1987 she became bursar for the Sisters of St Joseph, also serving Sacred Heart College as a representative on Diocesan and National councils. She worked as an industrial chaplain to a local Bank and the Department of Social Welfare in Wanganui. 1993 was a ‘lighter’ year spent at Pacific Mission Institute in Sydney.

In 1994 she moved to Hamilton, becoming involved in Age Concern, Hamilton Volunteer Centre and the production of the Hamilton Diocesan newsletter. She moved back to Wanganui at the end of 1997, remaining active in various projects, notably the building of Quinlan Court Retirement Complex.

Kathleen had a strong intelligent faith. Justice was a priority in her life and in later years she was outspoken on issues such as the rights of women and older persons.

She had an enormous capacity for friendship, and kept her links with the many friends made in the course of her work and travels over the years. Her sense of humour was endless - she loved the cleverness of good jokes, puns and witty sayings. In her few years of ‘retirement’ she went to aerobics, swimming, painting classes, picture framing, and kept up her avid love of reading.

Kathleen’s life took a very different turn when illness overtook her. Yet she faced it with the same robust approach to life that characterised all her years. Her belief in God and her commitment to her religious life would never allow her to give in. That she kept living life to the full was an inspiration to all. She died suddenly but peacefully, in her flat in Wanganui on the 29th of November, 2000.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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