Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar

Sr M Cecilia Hillier

Sr M Cecilia Hillier IMAGE

Died 23 September 1917

Margaret Hillier, born at Jesmond in Newcastle on 29 June 1877, was the daughter of William and Anne Hillier (née Fahey). She became a postulant at Lochinvar in October, 1894, was given the name Sr Mary Cecelia, and received the habit with Srs. Dominic Barry and Benedict O'Shea on 10 June, 1895.  Two of her sisters also became religious.

In January 1896 she was one of the Sisters chosen to make the foundation at Wingen where she remained till some time before her Profession on 10th July, 1897. Some weeks after Profession Sr. Cecelia spent a short time at Burwood before moving to Cessnock, and then in January 1898 to Dungog.

Sister taught music for twenty-three years in the Congregation, spending many years of her religious life in the Dungog/Brookfield area where she was long remembered by parishioners for her musical contribution especially at Forty Hours and the Easter Ceremonies. Besides Wingen (twice) and the Dungog area Sr. Cecelia also taught at Merriwa where she went as superior in January, 1906 and remained till June, 1911 before she returned to Dungog as superior. In July, 1917 she was moved to Cessnock.

On Sunday 16th September, 1917, while on a visit to Lochinvar, she became ill and Sr. M. Ursula took her place. She went to the doctor the next day and was admitted to the Infirmary. Dr. Hollywood called on the 21st September and ordered her to the hospital for an operation. Nurse Long came out and took her to "Cintra" Private Hospital accompanied by Mother M. Aquin and Sr. De Pazzi. Sister was anointed and prepared for death before the operation at 4pm.  Mother M. Aquin and Sr. de Pazzi remained with her, then went to the Orphanage nearby for the night.

Sister Mary Cecelia Hillier died at "Cintra" from heart failure at 10.10pm on 23rd September, 1917. Her body was brought to Lochinvar at 11.30 the next morning. Fr. Peters preceded the hearse and Mother M. Aquin, Srs. Bertrand and de Pazzi with Srs. Joseph and Bernard Hillier followed in the coach.

On the 25th September after Office and requiem were in St Patrick's Church at 9.30 a.m., Sister was buried in the sisters' portion of the Lochinvar Catholic Cemetery.