A long, long loving life.


The words most often used to describe Sr Mary Raymond were kind, loving, loyal, welcoming, tolerant and witty. She was a gracious woman who was able to adapt her life to the situation in which she was placed. She lived life and loved life, and had many years of life to remember once she retired from active ministry. When she needed to be placed in an aged care facility two years ago she was very sad to leave her Sisters, but within weeks it seemed that she knew and loved all the staff and other residents at Allambe – and they knew and loved her.

Sr Ray was a woman who related extraordinarily well to people of all kinds. She a great teacher who related to her students with kindness and a great sense of humour. When she ministered in the Indigenous community at Dajarra, the people knew that she loved them and cared deeply for them. Wherever she ministered Ray was able to connect with those who were burdened, those in need, the sick and the lonely. She had an open heart and compassion for all. Many people visited Sr Ray: the Sisters, her family and friends, students from decades ago. She had an amazing memory and could recall names and faces from many, many years past. She was a great story teller and even in recent years she could amuse visitors with stories from across her life experience.

One of her more extraordinary story was that she had “eloped” to enter. She was in her mid-twenties and her parents were against the idea, so a Friar gave her the money to board the boat. She left a letter to her parents in the letterbox and sailed away to Rome for her novitiate and for many years her letters home were returned. After a home visit some years later all was forgiven and her mother was received into the Church.

Years later Raymond was the first principal of Burleigh Heads Primary School Infant Saviour in the days when classes were taught on the side verandas of the Church and the sisters travelled back and forth to Burleigh by bus. She was one of the first Sisters to meet the people of Coorparoo when that school was opened. Many remember the story of the washing machine breaking down in the convent at Coolangatta. Raymond asked for a technician to come out and asked for a quote, to which he replied, “Put it this way, it’s $70 just for me to open the door.” “Oh,” said Ray, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll open it for you!”

Rest in Peace Sr Raymond. May you be enveloped in God’s love for all eternity.

Sr Catherine White mfic