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Catechist devoted to her faith


Esther Jordan (October 2 1934, died May 1 2024)

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Esther Jordan was a remarkable lady, a person who diligently practised her religion, a teacher and nurturer of children, organist at Ottoway Masses and a St Vincent de Paul Society volunteer.

She belonged to the Dernancourt parish but devoted a lot of time to the Ottoway parish where she taught children and prepared them for holy Communion and confirmation. She also prepared couples for the sacrament of marriage.

In 2016 Esther joined other Ottoway parishioners at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Her many achievements and memorable times included teaching in Western Australia, meeting Albert Namatjira, three papal blessings and teaching some famous footballers, but a highlight was teaching children of various nationalities including Polish, Vietnamese and South African.

Esther Jordan (right) when she was a nun in Geraldton, pictured with her provincial in Wittenoom.

Esther was known for spending holidays covering children’s books with brown paper and attaching a lovely picture to them. She will be missed by many, especially her family and parishioners.

A sign of the deep respect for Esther among multicultural communities was the presence at her funeral of a number of priests from different communities.

In 2021 The Southern Cross shared Esther’s story, beginning with her courageous decision to leave Ireland as a 16 year old to join the Presentation Sisters in Western Australia.

She spent 12 years in the Diocese of Geraldton before leaving the convent and moving to Adelaide where her family had settled. She gained a job as a teacher at Loreto College.

Esther met her husband, Jack Jordan, at the Irish Club in Carrington Street. Jack was an ex-Christian Brother whose father had come from Esther’s home town.

She stopped work to raise her three daughters while Jack taught at St Ignatius’ College and returned to teaching at St Joseph’s Hectorville in 1973 until she had a son four years  later, followed by another daughter. The family became parishioners at Dernancourt parish where Esther taught the sacraments for 14 years.

By this stage the family was living at Hazelwood Park but that didn’t stop Esther taking a job on the other side of town at St Joseph’s Ottoway.

After 23 years as Religious Education teacher and running the sacramental program at the school, Esther began teaching catechism to public school children at the Ottoway church on Sundays.

With a predominantly Polish congregation, and increasing numbers of Vietnamese and Africans, Esther was proud of being the only Irish parishioner.

She received a papal blessing when she retired from teaching in 2003 and in 2021 for her voluntary work as a catechist. She also received an apostolic blessing when she was married.

– Cecilia Katalinic


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