I was born on October 24, 1931, in the small town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. At that time, my parents were living in nearby Moose River where my father was employed by the Lincoln Pulpwood Company.
A few years later we moved to the picturesque village of Bear River, often referred to as the Switzerland of Nova Scotia, and noted for its annual cherry festivals.
1946 found us moving again, this time to Annapolis Royal, a very historic area of Nova Scotia. I was then in Grade VI and continued my education at the Annapolis Royal Regional Academy until I completed Grade XI.
I had no brothers and only one sister who is eight years younger than me. Our family life was simple and faith-filled.
My first conscious memory is kneeling beside my mother as she taught me the prayers of the rosary. My inexpensive rosary soon became broken and I was quite distressed as I thought that, when receiving another one, I would have to learn a whole new set of prayers!
From the age of nine, I felt a great desire to be a Sister. I never actually met one until I was perhaps eight or nine years old, and we had gone to Halifax to visit my aunt and uncle. I visited a Catholic school (St. Agnes), one afternoon, with the little girl (Geraldine Mulcahy), who lived across the street from my aunt’s home. The students there were taught by the Sisters of Charity.
We received a publication from the Sisters of Service, called The Field at Home. I thought it would be nice to be one of these Sisters in their apostolate of teaching catechism or through their correspondence courses for these children. I even wrote to them for some vocation material. Some years later when I was already in the monastery, my mother forwarded to me a letter that had come from Sister Florence Regan, SOS, who inquired if I still wanted to be a Sister of Service!
At the age of fourteen, I still wanted to be a Sister, but I was more and more drawn to a community whose main emphasis was on a life of prayer, and I felt especially called to pray for priests.
I consider it a great blessing that we lived a short distance from the parish church. I loved to go to daily Mass on my way to school, even on the coldest winter days. On one occasion, it was so cold, that Mass was held in the sacristy rather than the main church. There was even a film on the wine and water cruets. My father used to say, “Many are cold, but few are frozen!”
Our parish at this time was under the care of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Father Emmett Baxter, OMI, the pastor, found out for me that there was a community of Precious Blood Sisters in Charlottetown, PEI. I knew of their Foundress, now Venerable Mother Catherine Aurelia Caouette, through a small prayer book my godmother, Kathleen McLaughlin, had given me. In it was a prayer “To know one’s vocation”, which I said faithfully every day. With this prayer was a picture of Mother Catherine.
I contacted the Charlottetown Sisters and made a weekend retreat at their monastery in July 1949, and entered there on September 14 of the same year.
I have had the opportunity to serve in our monasteries in Pembroke, ON; Nelson, BC; Scarborough and London in Ontario; and lastly here in Hamilton. Religious life has had its challenges for me, but after seventy-two years, I remain a very grateful Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood, Daughter of Mary Immaculate.