WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

A tribute to Sr Barbara Wilson rsm


Eileen Brosnahan
31 March 2012

St Joseph’s Convent Chapel Upper Hutt was filled to overflowing on February 7 when Sisters of Mercy, family and friends of Sr Barbara Wilson gathered for a thanksgiving liturgy for her life of dedication.

Barbara was born in Wellington, the daughter of the late Monica and Marcus Wilson. After attending several Catholic primary schools she completed her education at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt. In 1955 Barbara joined the Sisters of Mercy in Wellington where she chose the religious name of Sister Mary Jacinta.

From 1958 to 1980, Sr Barbara taught in a number of Catholic primary schools: St Bernadette’s Naenae, Our Lady of Lourdes Palmerston North, Mount Carmel Hataitai, St Joseph’s Blenheim and St Patrick’s Kilbirnie. Sister had a great love for teaching, spending much time in detailed preparation of her lessons which she presented with creativity and enthusiasm. She delighted in seeing her pupils improve and gain a sense of achievement.

After a period of religious renewal in the United States, Barbara joined the Wellington Religious Education Centre as an advisor to primary schools in the archdiocese. In this capacity she was a source of great support and inspiration to many people.

Since 1990 Barbara has been involved in diverse ministries in the parishes in which she has lived. She has been a source of wonderful support to many new immigrants, refugees, elderly and bereaved and as a tutor in English for people of other languages. They were always aware that she cared about them and was really interested in them as individuals.

She was generous, compassionate and had a deep love for those less fortunate.
All who knew her were aware of the wonderful ways God had gifted and energised her as she gave expression to her creativity through poetry and painting.

Barbara was constantly in prayer, faithful and grateful to God: the source of her inspiration. On February 2, Barbara found the fulfilment of the words of her motto, ‘Into your hands O Lord’.

She is sorely missed by her Sisters in community, all those who experienced her loving concern, and especially her family whom she deeply loved: her sister S M Marcellin rsm and her brother Terry, his wife Cathy and family.