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Daly, Anne (Mother M. Berchmans) (1860–1924)

from Catholic Press (Sydney)

Twice within four months have the Sisters of Charity sustained a severe loss by the death of two of the most prominent members of the Order — the late Rev. Mother Mary Francis McGuigan, who died a few months ago, and Rev. Mother Mary Berchmans Daly, who was called to her reward on Tuesday.

Rev. Mother Mary Berchmans, who was the Superior-General of the Order, has been aptly described as the master mind of St. Vincent's Hospital, and it is not too much to say that she was the source of inspiration to the Community when St. Vincent's became a clinical school, an ambitious programme being undertaken then. Born in Ireland, the late Superior-General spent most of her life in Australia, arriving here at the age of five years. As a teacher, she was in the State service at Fort-street school, and at Grafton. Since her entry into the Community of the Sisters of Charity she had been a most invaluable, vitalising force, and her energy was communicated to those about her.

Her particular pride always was St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and its clinical school, as well as St. Evin's Private Hospital, Melbourne. They were built actually under her supervision, and attained their present height of excellence under her care. In the course of her manifold operations, she even bought church buildings, one from the Presbyterians, and one from the Greeks. She was instrumental in creating a clinical school at St. Vincent's, Melbourne, and she obtained for it the latest scientific appliances.

She became Mother-General some three years ago, and during her term founded many new houses of the Order — a hospital at Lismore, another in Bathurst, and still another in Toowoomba. Though not the most robust, she was energetic almost to a fault, and she was possessed of a surprising capacity for work.

Her religious life was edifying, and her trust in the Almighty, Who never failed her, was boundless. She was devoted to her Sisters in religion, as they were to her, and although she was intensely spiritual-minded, she was an astute business woman, possessed of keen judgment. She interested herself greatly in the cause of Blessed Mary Aikenhead, the foundress of her Order, and on her life she moulded her own.

On the Friday prior to her death, which occurred peacefully and happily after a long illness, she received the blessing of the Holy Father.

Solemn Requiem Mass will be sung by the clergy in the chapel at St. Vincent's Convent, Potts Point, to-day, at 10 o'clock, for the repose of the soul of Mother Mary Berchmans, and his Grace the Archbishop of Sydney will preside. It is understood that the members of the Australian Hierarchy at present in Sydney will assist at the ceremonies.

The sympathy of all classes of the community will be readily extended to the good Sisters in their hour of trial. — R.I.P.

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Citation details

'Daly, Anne (Mother M. Berchmans) (1860–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 October 2020.

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