Sr Cynthia Griffin

Sr Cynthia Griffin’s association with the Sisters of Mercy had its origins in her early education in Queensland. Her first school, Sisters of Mercy, St Joseph’s, Kangaroo Point was the beginning of an almost life-long connection. Moving to South Australia further cemented that relationship, with Cynthia being educated at Star of the Sea School, Henley Beach and completing her Leaving Certificate at Our Lady of Mercy Juniorate, Erindale. In 1955 Cynthia began Primary teacher training at Catholic Teachers’ College, Angas Street and Cabra College. Prior to that, in November 1953, Cynthia become a Postulant with the Sisters of Mercy and taught Grade 2 at St Aloysius College, mentored by Ms Joan McCabe.

Up until 2010, when Cynthia went into semi-retirement, she had a very varied, peripatetic existence accompanied by a prodigious number of achievements in education, administration and pastoral initiatives.

Tertiary studies armed her with a BA DipEd from Adelaide University, followed by a Bachelor of Letters in Australian Literature, University of New England, NSW and a Graduate Certificate and Masters in Theological Studies, ACD/Flinders University, Adelaide, SA. Her travels and studies also took her to St Georges’ College, Jerusalem, Greece, Jordan, Turkey, Spain, Ireland, the USA, St Petersburg, Novgorod and Moscow completing missionary journeys and further studies.

Sr Cynthia Griffin
(Sr Cynthia Griffin, St Aloysius College Archives)
Sr Cynthia Griffin
(Sr Cynthia in Pakistan, St Aloysius College Archives)

Subjects taught over a 60-year career include Religious Studies, English, Social Science and Commercial Skills. Cynthia still maintained a busy schedule, even in semi-retirement. She tutored SAC students, was Mercy Representative on the Faith and Spirituality Committee at Mercedes College, was an active member of the Daily Life Retreat Prayer Companions ministry through Loyola Spirituality Centre at Norwood for team retreats in Parishes and worked as a Pastoral worker at Curtin Detention Centre for refugees/asylum seekers under the auspices of the Jesuit Refugee Service. Cynthia still found the time to complete a Masters’ degree in Theological Studies.

Without a doubt, Cynthia has embodied all that is pro-active and committed in the name of mercy.

By Sister Cynthia Griffin and Carolyne Williams, 2021

As a forthright and proactive individual and Sister of Mercy, Cynthia has been passionate about her vocation, interspersing on-going education with teaching and missionary work. Of particular importance has been her work in Rabaul and Weewak in Papua New Guinea where she worked from 1983-1985 as Dean of Women at Kerevat National High School in Rabaul and from 1987-1992 as Deputy Principal with responsibilities for Curriculum development in National High School, Weewak. From 2001 – 2009 Sr Cynthia was appointed to lecture at Notre Dame Institute of Education, Karachi Pakistan.