RNDM - Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions - Religieuses de Notre Dame des Missions

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Sister Carmel Cole
Sister Carmel Cole (Province Leader)

I was born in the Wairarapa and gained a BSc at Massey University. After a year at training college and two years teaching in Napier I joined the Sisters of Our Lady of the Mission. I have been a sister now for over 35 years. During this time I have taught Religious Studies, Science and Maths in Hamilton, Auckland and Samoa. I gained a BTheol while in Auckland.

For the last 12 years I have been living in Lower Hutt and working in the Province Leadership Team. This role takes me around the country visiting the sisters as well as overseeing the business part of the Province. I have also been blessed during this time to be able to visit some of the countries where our sisters work and to attend international meetings.

Sister Annette Young
Sister Annette Young

My name is Sister Annette Young. I was born in Wellington and raised in Petone. I attended Sacred Heart Primary school in Petone and Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt.

At the age of twenty I decided that I would like to become a Religious Sister so left home to enter the novitiate of the Mission Sisters in Christchurch.

After I was professed as a Sister I began teaching the five and six year olds in our schools.

My last move was back to Petone where I was able to teach in the school that I had attended.

I have loved my vocation, the wonderful children I have taught and the great friends I have made over the years.

Sister Barbara Henley
Sister Barbara Henley

Kia Ora. I’m Sister Barbara Henley and I come from Taranaki. I taught for many years in Mission Sisters' schools and colleges around New Zealand and Samoa and am now enjoying my role as Manager of Bishop Snedden Retirement Village in Waikanae on the Kāpiti Coast. I love the Kāpiti Coast with its backdrop of mountain ranges, long coastline looking out to the Tasman Sea and the Waikanae River providing a picturesque boundary to our town.

Our Parish is called Our Lady of Kāpiti, named after the beautiful statue of Mary, which stands at the entrance to Paraparaumu, overlooking our parish which stretches from Paekākāriki to Te Horo. We are proud of our beautiful new church opened in May 2020 in Presentation Way, Paraparaumu.

I offer pastoral care to the residents. I also try to model 'lively living' by introducing them to the lovely walks, bike tracks, clubs, events, cafes and clubs available in our town. We meet regularly for social activities, go for occasional trips and enjoy our traditional Kiwi BBQs!

We are aware of the value of enjoying our environment and keeping active and healthy. I live in the spirit of Euphrasie Barbier who said life is an adventure so live it to the full!

Sister Colleen Edgecombe
Sister Colleen Edgecombe

Kia ora. My name is Sister Colleen Edgecombe and I come from Taranaki. The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions taught me from the age of 5 until I was 17 at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth.  As a Primary teacher I taught for a couple of years but the call to become a Sister was strong.  I knew I had to follow my heart so I joined the convent, completed three years of training in Christchurch then made my First Profession as a Sister in 1971. 

Teaching primary and secondary school students and sharing with them their faith and knowledge, talents, laughter and tears has enriched my life greatly. Sacred Heart Colleges have played a large part in my life. As a musician I have been involved in parish music groups and school musical productions sharing the fun and talents of many people. At present I am a member of our Sisters Leadership Team here in Lower Hutt. I have enjoyed living with my Sisters in community in many places and I look forward to celebrating my 50th Jubilee as a Sister in 2021.

Sister Helen O'sullivan
Sister Helen O'Sullivan

Hi, I'm Sister Helen O'Sullivan, born and bred in Naenae and I attended SHC Lower Hutt. I've been professed for 20 years, having lived in London in my early 20s for almost 7 years and travelling quite extensively for super fun filled adventure holidays. I was inspired by the Sisters who taught me at SHC and entered later in life. In those 20 years I have been on mission in Kenya, the Philippines, Rome, London and Dublin. What experiences I have had in those years!!

In New Zealand I was privileged to help new migrant refugees in learning Kiwi English and accompanying them on practical everyday outings to the supermarkets, using public transport etc. I also worked at Challenge 2000 a youth development agency in Johnsonville and for the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference in the National Office for Young People. Visiting schools and participating in retreats and leadership development days has been one of many highlights.

Sister Irene Moon May Si
Sister Irene May Moon Si

My name is Irene May Moon Si and I was born in Myanmar. I studied at the University of Pyay and after finishing university I joined the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions and made my temporary vows on December 19, 2015.

My first mission was teaching pre-school children in Rakhine State for two years and another work was teaching catechism to the children. In 2018 I attended the Pastoral Formation Course in Yangon.

I am now living at the Convent in Petone and I attend English classes during the week. I love my vocation and I love my Congregation.

Sister Maria Nguyen
Sister Maria Nguyen Thu Thuy Hien

I am Sister Maria Nguyen Thu Thuy Hien and I grew up in the countryside of South Vietnam.

I attended the open University where I studied Social Work. After graduation I entered the Mission Sisters Novitiate and made my first vows on 6th August 2015.

My first Mission was in Quang Lan where I taught catechism, visited the poor and helped the ethnic children.

I am now living in the Petone Community of Sisters while I am studying English at the ETC. I love learning the culture of the New Zealand people and am very happy in my vocation.

Sister Mary Paul
Sister Mary Paul Hodgson

I am Sister Mary Paul and at the age of 17 I joined the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions. After my first Profession I began my years of teaching in our primary schools where I taught the children who were in Forms 1 and 2.

At the age of ninety I am helping the young sisters who have come to live in Petone to study the English language.

I look back on all these years with gratitude and much love and I am thankful for my life as a Religious Sister.

Sister Merle Hiscock
Sister Merle Hiscock

Greetings. My name is Merle Hiscock RNDM and following are a few notes about me.;

As a 7 year old my family moved from Kelburn to Stokes Valley – a great place in which to grow up. I attended Sacred Heart College, enjoying friendship with other students and the Sisters who taught me. Following a short time working, I joined the novitiate of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions.

As a Sister my ministries have been varied and fulfilling: primary school teacher and principal in a number of NZ Schools, study courses in Rome and Australia, project development with tribal people in the Philippines, retreat teams, adult spiritual accompaniment, professional supervision, and mentoring our young Sisters. Living in community with my Sisters has offered me countless opportunities for friendships and growth as a person, along with enriching experiences for deepening my relationship with God.

Sister Pauline Leonard
Sister Pauline Leonard CNZM

I am now living in retirement in Fairfield and have been involved in education and leadership in the congregation since 1961.

During these years I have taught at Sacred Heart Lower Hutt for 13 years in the 1970s and 1980s teaching in the Religious Studies and Science departments. After a period as Deputy Principal at Lower Hutt, I was appointed to SHC Hamilton as Principal in 1989, where I enjoyed a different set of challenges over the following 14 years and was the last RNDM principal there.

Since 2002 I have held positions of leadership in both New Zealand and Rome. From 2015 I have been a member of Sacred Heart College's Board of Proprietors (Mission Colleges Lower Hutt Trust Board). I am always keenly interested in the life of the College which is such a vibrant community.

Sister Rosa May Wah Thin
Sister Rosa May Wah Thin

My name is Sister Rosa May Wah Thin and I was born in Myanmar. I studied at the University of Pyay and after finishing university I joined the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions and I made my temporary vows on the 19th December 2015.

My first mission was the Euphrasie Community in Pyay where I taught Montessori pre-school children for two years. My other work was teaching basic English to Grade 2-3 children and visiting people. In 2018 I attended a Pastoral Formation Course in Yangon.

I am now living in the Petone Sisters' Community and studying English. I love my vocation and I love my congregation.

Sister Valerie Lawson
Sister Valerie Lawson QSO (Formerly Sister Celine)

I have been very fortunate to have spent half of my teaching career at SHC Lower Hutt. My association with the College began in 1964 and I enjoyed teaching Form 5 classes for three years.

After several years back in SHC Christchurch and then at Redwood College, Nelson, I returned to Lower Hutt in 1980 as Principal. I was privileged to remain Principal for 20 years and when I retired in 2000 I was the last RNDM Principal of the College.

Those years were challenging and rewarding and saw the College roll grow from 600 to 825. Now in retirement I continue to be very interested in the College and its progress. I enjoy attending their special occasions and experience a sense of pride in their achievements. It is a great school and I loved my 23 years there.