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Sisters of the Past

Sister Vianney - Kathleen Helen Marston

Profiled in July 2007

22 November 1911 23 July 1992

 Feilding was the birthplace of Kathleen Marston, on 22 November 1911.  Her parents were Samuel and Ellen, nee Quin.  She had one brother, Jack, and a sister Mary.
She attended St Joseph’s Convent School in Feilding, and later trained as a seamstress.

On 8 September 1933, Kathleen entered the Sisters of St Joseph in Whanganui, and was professed on 20 January 1936.  Her religious name was now Vianney, after the saintly parish priest of Ars in France.

She began her teaching ministry, learning from experienced Sisters, and soon developed as a competent infant teacher.  She is remembered as being very dedicated and highly organised in her preparation and lessons.  She also was very ready to help out other teachers. Vianney spent time in many of the Congregation’s primary schools in the rural areas, with several missions to the school in her home town of Feilding.

Her sewing skills meant that she was constantly in demand for the making of the Sisters’ habits, and much free time and holiday time was taken up with making and mending.  The latter showed her skills in using and reusing the material as long as possible for the 100 plus Sisters in the Congregation at that time.

Vianney was a quiet and private person, and was happy with her own company.  Throughout her years she suffered chronic pain, and this intensified as she aged.

Yet when her brother Jack’s health became a concern, Vianney went to take care of him.  Her own health failed also and she predeceased Jack, dying in Whanganui Hospital on 23 July 1992.  She had been supported and aided by the parishioners of Feilding throughout her last illness.
Her Mass of Requiem was held in St Brigid’s Church, Feilding, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery, Whanganui.

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