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Sister was wise, caring

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

A much-loved Brigidine Sister, who served the Masterton community for 41 years, has died.

Sister Brigid Sheil moved from Ireland to Masterton in 1948, leaving behind her family, friends and her country.

She subsequently moved back to Ireland in 2004, and died at the age of 92 last week.

Sr Brigid was a Brigidine Sister for 70 years, with 57 of them spent in New Zealand.

Her first stop was Masterton.

Sister Helen Fouhy, of Pahiatua, said Sr Brigid was a “tremendous woman”.

“You knew that you could trust her with anything,” she said.

“There was just something about her – she was wise, she was very caring, and she always seemed to have time for anybody that needed to talk.”

The last time Sr Helen had spoken to Sr Brigid was over a month ago for her 92nd birthday.

“When I asked her, how are you, she said, I’m not very good.

“I said, what do you mean by that – she had just been diagnosed with cancer.”

Sr Brigid had refused surgery.

“She said, what is the point at this time of my life, and that was the way she faced her death.

“She was ready, she had lived her life, and that was just Brigid.”

Along with her work in Masterton, Sr Brigid spent an additional 16 years in Pahiatua, Carterton, Johnsonville and Porirua.

Wairarapa’s Sister Monica Landy remembered her as a woman who was selflessly dedicated “beyond measure”.

“She will be well remembered by past boarders, students, friends and parishioners for her kindness and compassion – a friend for life.

“May she rest in peace.”

A Memorial Mass will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Queen St Masterton, today at 11am.


  1. Sister Brigid was a very special lady who taught our 4 children so well. We were still sending Christmas cards and calendars to each other.
    Us, the Campbell family, have so much to thank this wonderful woman for.
    As she would always say in parting “God Bless”
    Lyn & Hugh Campbell

  2. A truely beautiful lady.
    I have so many wonderful memories of Sr Brigid from St 2, 3 and 4 at St Marys School

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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