Mary Eileen Cronin was the eldest daughter of Garrett Peter Cronin and Kathleen Ann Cronin (nee Shapel). She had two sisters, Dorothy (deceased) and Claire.
Born in the Riverland town of Barmera, she spent her early years in Berri until the family moved to Adelaide where Mary attended school at St Aloysius College. After completing Intermediate, Mary spent four years working for accountant Frank Mullins.
She entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph from the Dulwich parish where she was an active parishioner. She was also very involved in the National Catholic Girls Movement.
Mary contributed to education through teaching and music. From 1948 she taught at the following primary schools in SA: Ellengowan, Tranmere, Port Lincoln, Mintaro, Port Adelaide, Terowie, North Adelaide, Spalding and Rosewater. From 1966 until 1970 Mary was one of the pioneer Sisters on Motor Missions in the Adelaide area. In 1972 she began teaching at MacKillop College at Kensington.
In 1978 Mary’s financial expertise came to the fore when she began working for Tappeiner Court and Flora MacDonald Lodge where for many years she contributed greatly to initiatives in fiscal matters.
In 1995 Mary had a sabbatical year at Navan in Ireland studying Celtic spirituality. Being fond of history, she also researched the family tree.
Mary took a keen interest in the old scholars and was always loyal and supportive of them. She developed many enduring friendships with them and with people she met through her many ministries.
For much of her latter life Mary lived at Kensington and was librarian and diarist there until recent years when her health declined. She was a very independent woman and proudly maintained this independence until she succumbed to a respiratory condition which required medical intervention a few months ago.
A great conversationalist, she had a very keen mind and was always open to new learning. She loved the arts and music, enjoying performances whenever she could.
Above all, Mary was a woman of faith and prayer.
In her last months she realised she needed the help of others. She transferred from the Royal Adelaide Hospital to The Lodge at Wayville. Mary often expressed her appreciation to the Congregation for all that was being done to help her and for the care she experienced at The Lodge.
On April 26 this year Mary wrote in the diary: ‘Today I embark on the 76th year of my Jubilee journey for which I give thanks to our ever-bounteous God, my parents, extended family and ever faithful and supportive Josephite companions…’ Her condition gradually declined until at 3.40am on June 23, the feast of Corpus Christi, she entered eternal life.
We give thanks for the life of Mary Cronin who influenced many. May she rest in peace with her loving God.Jump to next article