NEWS CENTRE

Death of Parramatta’s first centenarian

The first Sister of Mercy from the Parramatta Congregation to reach her one hundredth year has died. Sister Mary Anthony Campbell suffered a mild stroke on March 1 and died the next day. “Of particular significance to the Parramatta Sisters is that Sister M. Anthony was the last sister alive to have known the (congregation’s) founding sisters”, said Congregation Leader Sister Ailsa Mackinnon.


 


On March 2, Sister Mary Anthony Campbell died peacefully at Stella Maris Aged Care Facility Cronulla. Just last August Sister M. Anthony was the first Parramatta Mercy to reach her one hundredth year. Celebrations that day included good will wishes from the Pope, the Queen and the Prime Minister, as well as a party with Sisters of Mercy, family and friends.


 


Of significant interest to Sister M. Anthony was a signed jersey delivered by one of the South Sydney Rugby League players. She had been devoted to the Rabittohs since the depression times, when, while she was ministering in the poor, deprived inner suburb Surry Hills, the Rabbitohs club was a kind benefactor to the sisters. Folklore has it that Souths are doing well this year through Sister M. Anthony’s intercession, not the purchase of the team by Peter Holmes A’Court and Russell Crowe!


 


Just last December 21, Sister M. Anthony also celebrated 80 years of profession as a Sister of Mercy. Her ministry in music and primary school teaching ranged across many Sydney suburbs – Cronulla, Bondi Beach, Surry Hills, Baulkham Hills, Harris Park and Ryde. She was known for her gentle, kindly spirit and her shy sense of humour.


 


Of particular significance to the Parramatta Sisters is that Sister M. Anthony was the last sister alive to have known the founding sisters, five of whom were alive when Sister M. Anthony entered the convent in 1924. Sister M. Anthony’s profession ceremony was the last which Mother M. Clare Dunphy witnessed before she died in 1927.


 


Sister M. Anthony suffered a mild stroke on March 1 and remained conscious and lucid until her last moments the next day. May she rest in peace.


 


From: Sister Ailsa Mackinnon RSM (Congregation Leader, Parramatta)


 


Messages to: Sister Marie Butcher RSM (Local Communications Facilitator, Parramatta) mbutcher@mercy.org.au