At the funeral for Sr Rose Shields held on October 26th eulogies were delivered on behalf of Rose’s family by her niece Christine and on behalf of her Marist sisters by Sr Gail Reneker sm. Segments of these eulogies are given below. For the full text click on the link at the end of each section.
Rose was born on 9 March 1929, the youngest of six children of Catherine (nee Cannon) and Peter Shields. Peter and Catherine both grew up in Glenfin, Donegal, Ireland. They first met on board ship in 1919 while emigrating here. Their shipboard romance began when Catherine caught influenza and Peter cared for her. They married and settled in Cabarita, not far from Mortlake Gasworks where Peter worked. Their local parish was St Mary’s at Concord. The family held a strong Catholic faith.
During the Depression, Peter lost his job at the Gasworks where he was also active as a union rep. This put pressure on the family, especially during the wartime years.
The oldest 3 siblings, Joe (Tony’s father), Mary (my mother) and Peter all married and had families while the youngest 3 entered: John became a Christian Brother, Rose became a Marist nun and Tess became a Sister of the Good Shepherd. A well-balanced family. Rose is the last sibling. Many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews survive her. Two sisters-in-law will remember Rose fondly – Terry, who married Peter, and Miriam, Joe’s wife.
Terry told me recently, when Rose was thinking about becoming a nun, she chose the Marists because ‘they wore Our Lady’s blue’. And, from what Sr Carmel says now, Rose is still today wearing ‘Our Lady’s blue’.
Rose was a very calm person. She would be ready to join in the family fun but also seemed happy to sit quietly with a contented smile on her lips. Read more…
Rose was one of a number of early Marist Sisters whose vocation was fostered by Fr Nolan a popular confessor at St Patrick’s Church Hill. Having discerned her vocation Rose joined the Marist Sisters in 1950, was received as a novice in July 1950 when she was given the name, Sister Stanislaus, and made her first profession on the 15th July 1951.
Her parish priest’s reference that had accompanied Rose’s application to join the Marist Sisters reads: “Rose is a girl that one admires not only for her piety, but for her generosity and good works. She has always been a faithful Child of Mary, and an active and effective Theresian, also a member of the Altar Society, and she has done all these works with a quiet and gentle ubotrusiveness”. This could almost read as a description of our foundress Jeanne Marie Chavoin’s life in Coutouvre before her call and decision to leave home to found the Society of the Blessed Virgin. Like Jeanne- Marie, having left home and committed herself to God as a Marist, Rose lived her life given to the Congregation and its mission and available to go wherever she was called.
Her ready response to the call of the Congregation took her to communities in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland as well as to New Zealand. Rose did her teacher training at the Sisters of St Joseph’s Training College at Mount Street North Sydney and her love for children found expression in the teaching roles she had in St Margaret Mary’s Merrylands, Villa Maria Hunter’s Hill, St Scholastica’s Bennettswood, Star of the Sea Gladstone, St Therese’s Karori, Sacred Heart Herne Bay and St Augustine’s Keilor. In Burleigh Heads, Mudgeeraba, Auburn, and Blacktown Rose was provided the opportunity to serve in pastoral ministry, particularly to the sick, elderly and housebound. Within the Congregation itself Rose’s yes to God led to her being called at a relatively young age to the role of Assistant Novice Directress at the novitiate in Merrylands and to participate in the formation of future Marist Sisters. Further she accepted the appointment to leadership roles in communities both large and small and in several schools. She was also elected to serve a number of terms as a Provincial Councillor in Australia and under three different Provincials was appointed to assume the additional role of Assistant Provincial. Read more…