Sisters of St Joseph of Lochinvar

Marny 's Story Image

Marny 's Story

Marny Cringle writes of the joy she experienced on her return to her old school, St Joseph’s College during 2019. She speaks of the role the words on the College crest played during a particularly traumatic episode of her life and her delight in playing her violin in the chapel.

I still have my school badge of St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar.  On it is written Vigor in Arduis which can be translated as strength in the face of adversity. Whilst working in London I was involved in a horrific accident and sustained multiple traumatic injuries with ongoing ramifications. However, with determination I have successfully overcome many obstacles and the wording on my school badge has helped me to deal with the many challenges I have faced.  They have assisted me to be resilient, supplied me with courage to move forward and to be grateful for the positive aspects of my life. 

It was an honour to share my story with students of my former high school as a guest speaker at the Awards Ceremony in 2019.  Then, later in the year, I was delighted to be a member of a string quartet for the first Year 12 formal for coeducational graduates. I am grateful that my connections with St Joseph’s College Lochinvar and the Sisters of St Joseph continues and that my life is positively enhanced from these connections.

I have been warmly connected with the Sisters of St Joseph and St Joseph’s College Lochinvar for most of my life. Following my father’s accident which resulted in him needing twenty-four hour a day care, our family moved back to the Maitland area, my mother’s home town, when I was four years old. After our lives had settled down and I was in Infants school at Sacred Heart Campbells Hill, I decided that I wanted to play the violin.  My mother made some enquiries and was informed of the excellent music department at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar.  We then approached the school and spoke with Mother Pauline who suggested that I wait until I could better understand the written word and be able to hold my concentration whilst reading. When my reading standard was above average we contacted Mother Pauline and I started my violin lessons in 1979 in St Cecelia’s music rooms.  

Because of my strong desire to continue playing the violin I then made arrangements to attend high school at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar from 1982 until 1987. During this time my violin tuition continued to develop in Saint Cecelia’s under Liz Sylvester and then Cathie Blanch until 1987. Throughout these years I had much delight in playing in the school orchestra and another local orchestra where my musical experiences began to expand.

During my high school years, I was very fortunate to have known a number of Sisters of St Joseph, particularly Sr Agnes, Sr Anita and Sr Lauretta. Sr Agnes was a dear friend and remarkable teacher who enhanced my determination, guided me to acknowledge the positive aspects of my life, develop my abilities to their full potential and simply do the best that I could.   Whenever I trained for cross country during my lunch breaks Sr Agnes would ensure I had safely returned to the school after running up to the Mushroom Tree or along Station Lane and that I was well hydrated before returning to class. Sr Anita and Sr Lauretta also made a long standing imprint in my heart and motivated me to be courageous in my pursuits.  I am very fortunate and appreciative of the relationships I formed and the valuable lessons and experiences gained whilst a student at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar.  Collectively they helped to shape my outlook and approach to life.

Recently, while nursing at a local hospital I coincidentally ran into Sister Jan, a Sister of St Joseph. It has been heart-warming to reconnect and share some special moments together.  Fortunately, I was able to attend Carols in the Cloister on 15 December 2019 at St Joseph’s. It was a wonderful feeling to be in the Chapel again and be amongst the Sisters of St Joseph and some familiar faces: it felt like I was home. 

Arriving early, I noticed Anne Millard, my vibrant and friendly music teacher from when I was in high school.  After a warm greeting, Anne commented something to the effect: We should have had you playing. I then mentioned my violin was in the back of my car and was fortunate to play with the choir and another former student and current music teacher at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar, Teresa McCool.  It was very emotional and extremely rewarding for me to play in the Chapel.  After the Carols I had the pleasure of reuniting with some of the Sisters of St Joseph and it was uplifting to be surrounded with the love, faith and tenderness of my extended family that sincerely and actively portray the Josephite values   

For more about Marny, Click here.



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