Sr M Veronica Tobin
Died 16 September 1888
Sister Mary Veronica Tobin was the first Sister to die in our Congregation after it was founded in September 1883.
Born on 29 February 1864 at Dunmore, East Maitland and baptized Julia, she was one of six daughters of William and Ellen Tobin to enter religion. Three of these became Sisters of St Joseph at Lochinvar (Sisters Veronica, Agnes and Stanislaus); two became Sisters of Mercy, one at Gunnedah and the other at Singleton; and one became a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Kensington, N.S.W.
Julia entered the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar with her sister, Ellen (Sr Mary Agnes) on 25 March 1888.
Sr Mary Veronica's life as a Sister of St Joseph was to be very short-lived. On the 6 August, 1888 she was taken to Dr Power in Maitland by Sr Ambrose Joseph, the Sister Guardian. Under the date of the 24 August in the Congregational Records we read:
“In the evening Rev. Fr. Hand came out and received and professed Sr Mary Veronica Tobin, assisted by Rev. Fr. D'Arcy. The latter gave Benediction and anointed Sister and gave her Holy Communion".
From that time on she was too ill with consumption to leave her bed. She was visited by Bishop Murray and frequently by Fathers Hand and Lynch who gave her Holy Communion.
In the Community diary entry for 16th September, 1888 we read:
"Sr. M. Veronica died a very peaceful and happy death. She received Holy Communion in the morning and was quite conscious till the last. She died at 3pm and was laid out in the dormitory. A number of Sisters remained up all night."
On the morning of the 17th Mass was celebrated in the oratory for the repose of Sister's soul. "Mass was celebrated on the 18th September in the Church at 10am by Rev. Fr. Sheehy. Fr. Corcoran was Deacon and Father Flanagan Sub-deacon. The Office was sung by Dr. Murray, and eight other priests were present. Immediately after Mass Sister was buried in the cemetery. The Sisters followed the corpse to the grave. After having refreshments the bishop, priests and people returned home."