Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.
The Southern Cross : March 2012
March 2012 Page 23 www.thesoutherncross.org.au The Southern Cross OBITUARIES: Parishes and readers wanting to publish a tribute to or eulogy of a deceased (with consent of family members) in The Southern Cross can email details to email@example.com or contact us on 8210 8117. obituaries | Margaret Mary Press, who was well known as a scholar, speaker, historian, writer and educator, was born at Molong in the central west of New South Wales. After completing her secondary education with the Sisters of St Joseph at Perthville, she went to work for four years before returning to Perthville to become a member of this Josephite congregation. She made her religious profession in 1943 and subsequently taught in both primary and secondary schools in the Bathurst diocese. Always a brilliant student, she undertook tertiary study in the sixties, specialising in English and classical languages. Sr Margaret had a great love for her religious congregation and its founders, especially Father Julian Tenison Woods. Her biography of Father Woods was first published in 1979 and is still regarded as the basic text for details of his life and work. During the period when she was researching for the Julian Woods history, she was also a member of the Council of the Mitchell College of Advanced Education for 12 years, had a seat on the NSW Board of Secondary Education and was head of the Literature and Language Department at the Catholic Teacher's College at Mount Street, North Sydney. During the late seventies she spent three years as director of the Assumption Institute in Melbourne. The Woods biography led to a commission to write the history of the Catholic Church in South Australia and so, during the eighties and early nineties she became a well-known figure in Adelaide and country South Australia. The outcome of her time here was the publication of a two volume history of the Catholic Church in South Australia, the story of St Francis Xavier's Seminary, Stradbroke Park and a short biography of Bishop John Norton of the Port Augusta diocese. Even while working on these histories, Sr Margaret was lecturing on the classical languages at St Patrick's Seminary, Manly, NSW. Margaret enjoyed the work of research and writing and it was a pleasure to work with her, especially when we travelled together to Peterborough and Port Pirie and discovered the historical treasures hidden there. During 1989, the centenary of Julian Woods' death, she mounted a very popular exhibition entitled "Julian Woods, the Scientist", which she set up in the Ira Raymond Room at the Barr Smith Library in the University of Adelaide. While this was a work in progress, she and I made many trips between the Catholic Archives in Wakefield Street and the University, carrying precious artifacts to and from the exhibition site. Her time in South Australia ended in 1992 and Margaret returned to Sydney where she resumed teaching at St Patrick's, Manly, and subsequently at the Catholic Institute, Strathfield, and also did further writing, including a history of St Margaret's Hospital, Sydney, and the editing for publication of St Mary MacKillop's life of Fr Woods. For the last 20 years, Margaret described herself as retired but doing research, writing and freelance lecturing. Actually there was much more as Margaret remained ever open to any request; to proof read a thesis; to translate, to be part of the ICEL committee. In 2007, with the need for retirement a little more real after she was diagnosed with cancer, Margaret returned to Bathurst. Her retirement, however, was never complete. There was a regular reflection group, she was on the cathedral liturgy committee and was always ready to help students wanting assistance. All that Margaret achieved was grounded in her commitment as a Sister of St Joseph and her loyalty and friendship with her religious sisters. While making a significant contribution to the Australian Church, she never lost that Josephite ordinariness that was so much a mark of our founders. She knew Latin and Greek but taught primary classes, gave music lessons and was church organist when required. A university medal did not stop her from doing ordinary household chores alongside other community members. She had a regular involvement with those in need, especially taking her turn on the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol in Sydney or their Night Shelter in Adelaide, teaching English to refugees, or helping at places such as the Asylum Seekers Centre, the Jesuit Refugee Service or the Central Josephites' East Timor ministry. Margaret was a woman of faith in whose life everything was grounded in prayer and who was faithful to the Eucharist on an almost daily basis. She died peacefully only a few months short of her 90th birthday and after having been a Josephite for over 70 years. The number of people at her funeral in Perthville gave testimony to the high regard in which she was held by all who knew her. -- Sr Marie Foale rsj Anne was born on October 3, 1932. Her mother and father, Mavis and Richard, had three children, Roma and Jack as well as Anne and she loved her nieces and nephews very much. The family lived in Salisbury and Anne went to Salisbury Primary School. SAC was her secondary school and later she attained her primary schools teaching certificate. She entered the convent in 1950 and made her final vows in 1955. Anne spent the next 18 years teaching at Henley, Albert Park, Naracoorte, Parkside, Elizabeth, Springfield and Mount Gambier. Anne later decided to study social work and worked at Brompton, among the poorest people. In the 70s Anne was involved in the tea and sugar train -- a service to outback women and children, providing them with support, education and health education. The great pioneering efforts of her life began with her establishment of the first women's shelter in Elizabeth. It was her passion to create a loving, holistic, healing and safe environment for abused women. It proved to be very dangerous for her as she and the women were often threatened with violence. In 1981 Anne was awarded a Churchill Scholarship to travel for five months to England, USA, Denmark and France, then returning to the shelter until 1983. At that time Anne was appointed as community coordinator to the Angas Street Convent. It was during this time that she helped Sister Janet Mead establish the Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons. The story of Catherine House is an extraordinary one. Anne spent the 'International Year of Shelter for the Homeless' talking to MPs, the Trust, funding bodies and submitting submissions for support. Her aim was to train staff, volunteers and board members in the spirit of Catherine McAuley with Sr Carmel Bourke talking to them about the life and mercy works of Catherine. She believed the women should have the option to control their lives. After she started Catherine House, other independent housing facilities were established. It was a joy to Anne when the women had enough confidence to live independently. To this end she found houses and units from housing associations for her women. She was lovingly and ably supported by dedicated staff and volunteers. As in all parts of society, in later years Anne worried and mourned for so many women who suffered from mental illness, drug, alcohol and gambling addictions. She would walk across the road and tell us of the deaths of so many, particularly those who died as a result of suicide. During her time at Catherine House, 6000 women found a home and comfort. In 2002 Anne retired from her work much loved and missed. When it was time for Anne to go to hospital she was annointed by Father Philip Marshall and miraculously was so calm when she had to say goodbye to her Netley sisters. In countless ways, Anne's life of service, with all its joys, sorrows and love, was a mirror of Catherine McAuley's vocation. Like Catherine, Anne did not narrowly define the love of God or the unity towards which we are all called. Anne lived out Catherine's convictions that the works of Mercy, the service of the poor and sick, were the 'very business of our lives'. While asserting the value of prayer and a profound inner life, Catherine insisted at the same time that in the service of God's people, works unite us to God. And so lived Anne, a true example of her favourite quote, 'Mercy is Justice in Tears'. Sr Anne Gregory rsm Born October 3, 1932 Died November 27, 2011 Writer with an ordinary touch Life of service mirrors Catherine McAuley Sr Margaret Press rsj Born April 23, 1922 Died December 12, 2011