Sisters of Today

Sister Maria Goretti

Profiled in April 2007 (updated April 2013)maria_goretti

The first four years of my life were spent in Hastings.  My family moved to Wellington where I spent the next sixteen years of my life.  I was the fourth child in a family of six.  Our home overlooked Wellington Harbour.  Here we had a wonderful view of the city, harbour and wharves.  I was educated by the Sisters of Mercy.  After completing secondary school, I attended the Teachers’ Training College in Wellington which is now known as the Wellington College of Education.  It was while I was at Teachers’ College that I felt drawn to teaching in the Catholic School system.

A Redemptorist priest introduced me to the Sisters of St Joseph of Nazareth in Whanganui.  My mother had been taught by the sisters in Whanganui including my future Mistress of Novices.  My older brother and sister had stared their school lives with the sisters before we left Hastings.  I entered the noviciate fifty-five years ago.  The years spent in formation for religious life and in teaching at two of the schools in Whanganui were very happy ones.

After making my first profession of vows I was sent out a month later to teach at a small country school staffed by the Sisters.  Here I taught a composite class of Year 1 to 4 children.  I felt at home in the classroom and loved the children.  This was to be my life for almost forty years.  I taught in many of the Josephite schools in the central and lower North Island.  As the schools were closely linked to parish life I took part in parish life as well

When I gave up the classroom with many regrets, I retrained at Whanganui Community College and Citizens Advice Bureau.  This was to help me in a small way to fulfil the commitment we made to women and families.  I chose to work as a support person mainly among the elderly.  The work was among those who were without support of family members.  The endeavour took me into the wider community where I met many wonderful people of other faiths.

In 2006 I retired to Whanganui where I lived in a flat complex where there were five other Sisters in flats.

In 2011 I re-retired to Quinlan Court Retirement Complex.  On two days a week I do clerical work at the Congregational Archives.

Looking back over the last fifty years of my life I am grateful for the wonderful support of my Sisters of St Joseph.  This support has helped me develop in my personal and spiritual life.

Gallery / Whakaahua

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