Sister Josephine Weatherald
Many at St Aloysius College will remember and value the contributions made by Sr Josephine Weatherald who, from 2012 until she retired, worked as a volunteer to support students and staff. Josie believes it was encountering again the authentic Mercy Ethos, so faithfully and generously lived out each day by staff and students, that made an indelible mark on her. Like all Sisters of Mercy however, Josie has enjoyed a varied, creative, insightful and rewarding journey. Since 1961, she has given her all to the values and mission of the Order and Church. It was a rich, lifegiving, cherished and fulfilling time for Josie.
Born in Wirrabara in mid-north S.A. it was at age six, Josie began her schooling with the Sisters of Mercy, at Star of the Sea, Henley Beach. Later, Josie attended her parish school, Albert Park, newly opened by the Sisters. Aged just thirteen Josie left school to care for her frail mother and 97-year-old Grandfather. While not regretting caring for her family of eight, Josie believes nothing can replace the early years of education.
This desire for education would be fulfilled throughout Josie’s life as a Sister of Mercy. Early in her first year at home Josie began to entertain a future as a Sister of Mercy. This call from God was to have life changing effects. However, needing to experience life before entering the Order, Josie studied a Secretarial Course and worked in an office until she was twenty-one, then entered the Sisters of Mercy at Angas Street in 1961. On the cusp of the Second Vatican Council, changes to the Catholic way of life for Religious men and women were heralded. Serge Habits were abandoned, teaching or nursing were also no longer sole commitments and Religious committed to new ministries, endeavouring to make a difference in the lives of people generally. A greater involvement in Church affairs was also possible.
After three years in the Noviciate Josie resumed her education, studying while working full-time in home management at Angas Street with a community of eighty-eight Sisters. Josie studied Home Catering, Dressmaking and Tailoring at the Institute of Technology (now University of SA). While at Angas Street, another Sister and Josie had the task of making 160 new white Habits over a six month-period. Continuing her studies, Josie taught two afternoons at Mercedes.