Sister Mary Joyce of the Cross

(Bertha Joyce Matthews) The eldest of four children, Joyce was born on August 28, 1916 in Auckland. Her early years and schooling were all at Warkworth. In her mid-teens the family moved back to Auckland city and were in St. Benedict's Parish at Newtown. Joyce took an active part in the Parish and became Akela to an enthusiastic group of Cubs who continued to remember her with appreciation in later years. She excelled as a tailoress and enjoyed going to socials, especially those which included young blind and deaf people. Good spiritual reading and the wise council of friends led her to discern her vocation and she entered the Carmelite Monastery in Auckland on October 30, 1949, making her Religious Profession as a Lay-Sister on November 1, 1951. In this capacity she was a really good cook and productive gardener. After the Second Vatican Council, as a Choir Sister she had a special love for the Divine Office and her sewing skills were put to abundant use in the service of the community. With advancing age and ill health Sister Mary Joyce asked to stay in rest home care, however she always enjoyed coming home to the Monastery on special days. She died peacefully at Mercy Parklands Hospital on Holy Saturday afternoon, April 11, 2009.