Christchurch Hospital Chaplain retires

20 July 2015

In June Sister Mary Hanrahan RSM left as hospital chaplain after eight years at Christchurch Hospital.  In that time Sister Mary has provided pastoral ministry to patients, their families and staff. 

Sister Mary says her role as chaplain has been “wonderful”.  “It’s very privileged work in this ministry, being with people when they are sick, being able to support them in difficult times.”

Along the way she has got to know many patients and their families and staff.  “I have had huge support from staff and met older people whose daughters I have taught as well as former colleagues who were patients in hospital. I have had some very remarkable and privileged experiences.”

Mike Stopforth, Bishop’s Pastoral Office Director, said “we have been well served by Sister Mary in her eight years with us at the hospital.  Sister Mary has provided the compassionate care of the Church to those in need.  She always gave of her time most generously to those who needed her in this most important ministry.  She was never in a hurry and gave every patient the time they needed with her, either in prayer or just taking the time to talk with them.”

Sister Mary, in her ministry brought a sense of peace and prayerfulness to all those she attended to in hospital and has been a wonderful source of comfort to families.

Hospital Customer Services Manager, Joy Sixtus, acknowledged Sister Mary’s “great contribution” over the eight years with her dedicated pastoral care of so many staff, patients and their families. “Often unnoticed in the busyness of the day, Sister Mary has quietly been a warm, and comforting presence, listening, supporting and encouraging us all through the many challenges arising from trauma, illness and loss, not to mention the stresses during and since the earthquakes”. 

“This amazing woman has been keeping our spiritual heart uplifted and safe and will be greatly missed, not least by her former ‘Villa Girls’”. 

Sister Mary’s bright cheerful outgoing personality will be sorely missed at Christchurch Public Hospital.  The Bishop and the Diocese thank her most sincerely for her outstanding ministry.