Many religious, family members and friends of Sr Mary Genevieve gathered at St Joseph’s Convent Chapel, Upper Hutt, on 28 March 2007 for a Thanksgiving Liturgy to celebrate her life. Born in Timaru, Joan Casey received her religious name when she was professed as a Sister of Mercy in Wellington in 1942.
When she was very young, her family moved to Marlborough and she formed deep bonds with the people there, particularly after teaching in the Catholic primary schools in Blenheim and Picton.
A dedicated teacher Sister was loved by her pupils and their families as she continued teaching in schools in Westport, Reefton, Wellington and Palmerston North. After classes Sister could frequently be seen visiting families, elderly, house-bound and lonely persons in the area.
After many years of dedicated ministry in the classroom, Sister Genevieve was ready and excited to become a member of the staff at Stella Maris Retreat and Conference Centre in Seatoun. With her domestic duties completed, she spent every afternoon continuing her ministry of visiting homes in the area.
Genevieve had a strong commitment to her call to be a religious sister. Always ready to respond to requests for prayer, her many friends will miss being able to phone her when they are in need.
The affection and gratitude the people in the parishes had for her was amply demonstrated by the number of men and women who travelled long distances to be present at the liturgies of farewell.