Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar

Sr M Magdalen McNamara

Sr Jane McNamara IMAGE

Died 08 June 1918

Jane McNamara born 23 June 1861 was the sixth of the fourteen children of Henry and Rosannah McNamara (nee Moy) and the second of their three daughters who became Sisters of St Joseph at Lochinvar.

Eliza Jane entered on the 15 August, 1884 just eleven months after the first Sisters arrived from Perthville to form the Lochinvar congregation. She took the name, Sister Mary Magdalen of Jesus and received the habit with Sister Alphonsus (later Josepha) Comerford on 27 December, 1884. The records state: "... received the habit in the oratory from Bishop Murray. Only the Sisters were present. Visitors from Miller's Forest and Lambton where entertained later."

In January, 1885 Sister M. Magdalen and Sister Alphonsus (Josepha) went to Merriwa with Sister Aloysius to make the first branch house of the Lochinvar foundation. Both were novices at the time. It was not until July 1886 that Sister M Magdalen was professed with her sister, Sister Francis Mary. Sister remained at Merriwa till June, 1888 when she moved to Burwood. She was subsequently to work in Cessnock (superior), Burwood, Brookfield, Knockfin, Carrington, Krambach, Aberdeen, Wingen, Wybong and Glendonbrook. To most of these places she was appointed more than once in the course of her apostolate.

Sister Mary Magdalen is remembered, by those who had the privilege to know her, as being a quiet, sensitive person who was a dedicated teacher of pri­mary classes and a deeply spiritual religious noted for her deep faith and life of prayer. Sister seems to have based her religious life on fidelity to the rule and union with God in prayer.

Brookfield was her last appointment where she was posted in January, 1918. On 8 June of that year she died quietly and unobtrusively in the early hours of the morning of bubonic influenza, while her community slept nearby.

Sister was brought to Lochinvar on 9 June, 1918. Solemn Office of the Dead and Requiem Mass were celebrated in the Church for the repose of her soul. Bishop Dwyer presided. Sister Mary Magdalen McNamara was buried immediately after Mass in the Sisters' portion of the Lochinvar cemetery.

Note: Sister Mary Magdalen was a sister of Sister Francis Mary McNamara who died in 1948 and Sister Mary Gertrude McNamara who transferred to Mount Street in 1900 where she was known as Sister Mary Josepha.