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Sisters of the Past

Sister Celine - Molly Sullivan

Profiled in November 2003

11 April 1912 - 13 December 1995

 Thomas Sullivan and Annie Conlon , both of Irish descent, married in Wellington in 1910. They took up farming in the Waipawa area and Molly was born there on 11 April 1912, and baptised in the parish church. Shortly after the family moved to Hastings, to Karamu Road. The rest of the family, Jack, Julie and Tom were all born there. The younger ones, Pat and Kathleen were born when they had moved to Riverslea Road.

Molly was enrolled at St Joseph's School, where Sr Patrick was her first teacher. At this time she still had an Irish brogue and remembers being often sent to deliver messages. Srs Marcellus, Enda, Isidore, Bernadette and Rosalie all taught her. She passed the Proficiency exam and left school in 1928. She had applied to enter the novitiate but worked for the following year.

In January 1929 she entered the Sisters of St Joseph and was sent to begin training as a teacher at Aramoho with Sr Rita. Later she did a period at Castlec1iff with Sr Francis. The range of classes was varied - infants, primers, standards one and two. The Castlecliff Sisters a1ways took a cut lunch and were driven to school by Willie Burke. Dinner was dished for them and heated at night. For one year, Molly now known as Sister Celine, had the duty of the Sisters’ refectory, and it was a full time job.

After profession Ce1ine was sent to Fei1ding, and she was given standards two and three for the next two years. Ce1ine remembered a fairly inflexible routine where things appeared to work by the clock. Special feasts, first class days, were freer and everyone enjoyed them. Sr Ursula appeared to be always worried about money. So one day the younger members of the community arranged a joke. Sr Ursula received a letter saying that her money problems were at an end – a surprise was on its way to her. A parcel was duly delivered, anonymously. It was a parcel of play money from the infant school!

After Feilding, Celine had six years in Manaia. From 1940 to 1947 she was stationed in Levin, 1948 to 1950 in Ohakune where the predominant memory was of snow! In 1951 she was back in Feilding and the following year in Otaki. 1953 - 1955 she spent in Waipawa, 1956 to 1958 St Marys, Wanganui, 1959 to 1962 Manaia again. In 1963 she was appointed as principal at Levin.

During this time an unfortunate fall at the bus stop led to a period of hospitalisation in Mercy Hospital and after that a quiet time in Waipukurau. There followed two more years in Hastings teaching Form two pupils, then back to Levin for 1974 to 1976. Then to Patea, and Waverley in 1980, back to Hastings for three years, then in 1984 to Levin where she taught mainly the Christian Living programme - in all a total of over fifty years teaching.

Celine moved to Nazareth Rest Home in Wanganui on 24 October1990. She then had more time for her hobbies of reading, knitting, embroidery, cards, and supporting the missions by collecting stamps.

She died peacefully at Nazareth on 13 December 1995.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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