by Merle Hiscock, RNDM
It was with great rejoicing and gratitude that the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions and friends celebrated the 70th Jubilee of Religious Profession of Srs Mary-Ellen O’Sullivan, RNDM and Valerie Lawson, RNDM.
Family, sisters and friends gathered firstly in Notre Dame Chapel in Hamilton for the celebration of the Jubilee Mass. Fr Darren McFarlane and Msgr Frank Eggleton were the celebrants. As is the custom for the sisters, Mary-Ellen and Valerie renewed their vows during Mass. Remembered in prayer were Srs Eleanor Corston RIP and Patricia Clark RIP, who were companions of Mary-Ellen and Valerie.
Afternoon tea and cutting the Jubilee Cake followed. It was here that life stories were shared.
Both Mary-Ellen and Valerie have, over many years, contributed greatly in the field of education; Mary-Ellen, with teaching and leadership in Catholic Primary Schools in Auckland, Taranaki and Hamilton. This was followed by seventeen years teaching English, mainly to homeless teenagers, at Cardinal Hume Centre in London.
Valerie contributed with teaching and leadership in secondary schools in Christchurch, Nelson and Lower Hutt, receiving a QSO Award for services to Education in 1995.