Sr Berna Garrety rsm celebrates her 100th birthday!

Sister Patricia Powell rsm was asked to speak at the function, reflecting on the life of Sister Berna. 

She was born on 2 January 1919 in Lithgow and moved around a lot as her father was a state school teacher. Sister Berna, a Sister of Mercy, later became a teacher herself, working in Catholic secondary schools around the Central West. 

It was through Sister Berna’s role as a teacher that Sister Patricia knew her, having been taught by her in 1956, 1957 and 1959. 

“She was very conscientious, she upgraded her own skills and knowledge as she was afforded, and she was very interested in her students and keen for them to do well,” Sister Patricia said.  

Sister Berna has lived through incredible changes, including the process of adaption and renewal in the church and religious life since the Second Vatican Council.

She also embraced opportunities to serve her community after retiring from teaching in 1980 and also took opportunities to travel and further educate herself.

Sister Patricia felt “very privileged and proud” to be Sister Berna’s student and to be there for her birthday. 

“It’s a wonderful occasion. This is the first time I have ever been at the birthday of a centenarian,” she said. “Sister Berna is one of a kind of the Bathurst Sisters of Mercy.”  

by Rachel Chamberlain
courtesy of the Western Advocate

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