Farewell to Sr Andrea
The chapel at St Joseph’s Aged Care Facility in Sandgate was filled to capacity for the Funeral Mass for Sr Andrea Myers who died at St Joseph’s on Wednesday evening 19th December. The Mass was at Sandgate because the Lochinvar chapel was unavailable owing to the recent fire there and because Sr Andrea had been a resident at St Joseph’s for nearly five years.
Many members of Sr Andrea’s extended family, friends from parishes where she had lived and worked, former colleagues from her teaching days as well as fellow Sisters of St Joseph and Dominican Sisters and Sisters of Mercy joined in singing Christ Be our Light, as Sr Andrea’s casket was brought forward by members of her family. The words of the last verse were most appropriate:
Sing of the hope deeper than dying.
Sing of the power stronger than death.
Sing of the love endless as heaven,
Dawning throughout the earth.
Enid Jane was born in Merewether on 30th April 1935, the daughter of Henry Myers and Ethel Hale. Her family was a large one. Six of her siblings had predeceased her with only her brother, Peter left to grieve her passing.
After completing her primary and secondary education at Sr Joseph’s Merewether, the young Enid entered the Novitiate at Lochinvar on 20th June 1952 and was given the name, Sister Mary Andrea, the name she retained throughout her long life of eighty-three years.
After her Profession as a Sister of St Joseph on 4th January, 1955, she began her years of ministry as a teacher of both Infant and Primary school classes, then as a school principal in many places in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and beyond. From 1980 to 1984 she was principal of St Matthew’s Primary School in Page in Canberra. This was a Josephite Federation ministry, staffed by Sisters from across the Federation.
In 1999 her ministry took a different path when she was appointed as Congregational Secretary, a position she held until 2009. In her later years she lived in Beresfield as a committed parishioner until the time of her massive stroke which changed her life in a matter of minutes. For the next almost five years Andrea was a resident in St Joseph’s Sandgate where she witnessed to the Good News in another way. Though paralysed and unable to communicate verbally, she was an inspiration to the staff and all who visited her in the way she bore her condition, always smiling and grateful to the loving care given her by the staff.
Sr Carmel Moore, a life-long companion of Andrea’s from their first day of Year 1 at St Joseph’s Merewether, spoke warmly of Andrea as a woman of great integrity who loved her family dearly. She was an energetic person who was most reliable and meticulous in all that she was asked to do. She was proud that she belonged to the Fellowship of First Fleeters, tracing one of her ancestors on her mother’s side to the first Europeans to set foot on our shores.
Sr Andrea’s Funeral Mass was held on 21st December with Father Peter Street as the presider assisted by Father Kevin Corrigan. After refreshments the funeral cortege moved to the cemetery at Lochinvar where Sr Andrea Myers was laid to rest in the Sisters’ section. There where earth and heaven meet she awaits the resurrection. May she rest in peace.