WelCom December 2016:
Sr Mary Scanlon of the Little Company of Mary religious community was invested with a Queens Service Medal at Government House, October 19, in recognition for her services to Wellington’s Mary Potter Hospice. New Zealand’s Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, presented the award.
Sr Mary says the award recognises 102 years of ‘prayerful and loving service of the Little Company of Mary Sisters to health care in New Zealand’. The Sisters arrived in New Zealand [from Australia] in 1914 and established hospitals and communities in four centres to provide ‘the highest level of ethical values and best practice nursing care wherever they were called to live.
‘During the Spanish Flu epidemic after WW1, the sisters in Christchurch cared for the sick and dying victims in their own homes, at terrible cost to themselves. Today, our sisters continue to draw inspiration from the vision of Venerable Mary Potter. In her words: “We will watch and pray with the dying as Mary did on Calvary.”
Sr Mary says ‘Prayer has been the backdrop of our care, in hospitals, Hospice and in the wider community. My appointment to QSM honours our Sisters in the Province of the Southern Cross – Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga – who, despite age and infirmity, continue to pray, live and work in the spirit of Mary Potter bringing comfort and hope to those around them.
‘My QSM is a huge honour for me as a representation of religious women who work for the good of our neighbours, especially those sick, suffering, dying and in need. The privilege is ours to serve, and to be served in our turn. The award is a recognition of my contribution and that of my Sisters to the Hospice movement. I hope to accept it with grace and humility, and to continue my life of prayerful presence and loving service to those sick and dying in my neighbourhood. Mary Potter’s words are a mantra for me, “It is Love alone that inspires us