Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar

Sr M Bernard Taggart

Sr Isabella Taggart IMAGE

Died 23 September 1889

Isabella Taggart was the first of the two daughters of Joseph Taggart and Mary Roworth to enter the Sisters of St Joseph at Lochinvar. She was born in Murrurundi on 23 May 1869. Her older sister, Josephine Frances (Sister Mary Cecelia) also entered the Sisters of St Joseph in 1886.

On May 1, 1886 Isabella was received after night prayers and took the name of Sister Mary Bernard of Our Lady of Good Counsel. She received the habit on the 17 August, 1886 and in July 1887 she was appointed to Cessnock with Sister Mary Cecelia, her sister. Her Profession, at which Rev Father Hand officiated, was made on the 10 September, 1887, after which she returned to Cessnock.

Sister Mary Bernard was a member of the community which made the foundation at Carrington on the 18 February, 1888. After the June retreat of 1888 she remained at Lochinvar and was probably one of the two sisters who travelled daily to Knockfin by buggy, for an entry in the diary for Monday 6 August, 1888 stated: "She and Sr M Ignatius were thrown from the buggy returning from Knockfin. Neither was injured." In November, 1888 she was again stationed at Cessnock and returned there in January, 1889.

Frequent visits to the doctor, both in Maitland and Newcastle, indicated she was already seriously ill. On the 6 July, 1889, she paid her last visit to Dr Harris in Newcastle. A few days later she was anointed by Father Dwyer and was visited by her parents and sister. She renewed her vows for four years on the 10 September 1889.

Sister Mary Bernard Taggart died on the evening of 23 September, 1889 at just twenty years of age. On the 25 September Sister was brought to the church in Lochinvar where Office for the Dead and High Mass were sung. Her parents and sister were present. The funeral and burial in the Lochinvar Catholic Cemetery took place after the Mass.