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Sisters of the Past

Sister Philippa - Kathleen Mary Ryan

Profiled in October 2007

28 May 1909 26 August 1987

 Kathleen Ryan was born in Winton, Otago, on 28 May 1909 to Mary, nee Minogue, and James Ryan.

Kathleen entered the Sisters of St Joseph on 14 February 1929, taking the religious name of Philippa.  She was professed on 26 July 1932.

Philippa had her BA, and taught Commercial subjects at Sacred Heart College, Whanganui and St Joseph’s (Tenison) College, Hastings. She also taught in some Josephite Primary Schools in the lower North Island during her long teaching career.  While she was teaching in the Secondary department of St Joseph’s Hawera, Polish boys who had been brought out after the War began attending the school.   After her classes she would work with these boys, helping them develop their English skills.  She is remembered as an extremely conscientious teacher, yet her unassuming manner meant she struggled at times in the classroom.  In her latter years as a semi-retired Sister, Philippa was a dedicated sacristan and community member. 

As a quiet person who kept her own counsel, Philippa is remembered as orderly and neat in her manner but with a very real gentleness of spirit.  She suffered some chronic health problems during her life, but did not let it affect her commitment to her work and spirituality. 

Latter years of her life were spent at Nazareth, Whanganui, where she died on 26 August 1987.  Her Requiem Mass was held at St Mary’s Church in Whanganui, and she was buried at Aramoho Cemetery.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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