Sisters of Today

Sister Marcienne Waite (formerly Sister Joseph)

Profiled in August 2004 (updated March 2013)


I was born in Stratford to Catherine (nee Anscombe) and Horace Waite.  There were three girls and one boy in our family.  My primary years were spent at the Eltham, Whakatane and Hawera Catholic schools, and I attended the Hawera High School for secondary education.  I worked for three years before entering the Sisters of St Joseph in 1956.

My teaching career commenced in Wanganui where I spent 13 years at Holy Infancy School, Aramoho.  I was promoted to principal and my teaching career included working in Feilding, Waipawa, Waipukurau and the last 13 years of my teaching span were in Hastings.  Teaching was the love of my life, but I felt the call to ‘leave my boats behind’ and found myself on the way to Papua New Guinea.  For four years I worked mainly with the women at the Mission at Suain in the Aitape Diocese.

On returning to New Zealand I became co-ordinator of the Josophia Craft Centre in Wanganui where I am to this day.  My creative skills have been developed especially in the line of personalised candle-making for liturgies, etc.

Some years ago I became involved in Faith and Light and helped set up a community here in Wanganui.  Faith and Light is an international Christian Movement and we were one of 12 communities in NZ.  At the heart of each community is the person with intellectual disability supported by family and friends.  We gathered monthly for a time of prayer, sharing and celebration.  I served for some time as National Chaplain.  My main role was to support the other chaplains of Faith and Light throughout NZ.

One of the great loves of my life is music.  There are many avenues for my gifts to be used and developed.  I appreciate the fact that I was born into a musical family and I try to use music to bring pleasure to others.

I am living life to the full, and am grateful to be living in these times where I can acknowledge my gifts and use them in service even as a ‘retired’ person.

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