Sister Mary Collins

Sister Mary Magdalen
Mary Agnes Margaret Collins
1912 - 2007

Mary Collins was born in Tweed, Ontario, the second eldest of six children of Joseph and Harriet LaJoie. She grew up on the family farm just outside of Tweed and attended the St. Carthagh’s Separate School where she was educated by the Sisters of Providence. Her secondary school education was obtained at the local public high school.

At the age of 18, Mary entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of Providence in Kingston on august 15, 1930. She obtained her teachers’ certificate from the Ottawa Normal School in 1933 and subsequently taught high school in Ontario for 44 years. For 25 years she served as principal and teacher in the schools in Lancaster, King, Trenton, and Brantford and for 19 years as a classroom teacher in Belleville and Brantford. During this period of time, through summer school and extramural studies, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and her High School Assistant Certificate from the Ontario College of Education. At the University of Ottawa she post graduate work completing the academic requirements for a Master’s Degree in English.

Sister served 6-year terms as local coordinator in Our Lady of Providence Convent, Brantford, St. Mark’s Convent, Prescott, and St. Gregory’s Convent, Picton. During her time in Prescott and Picton, she served as pastoral assistant as well as doing parish visitations for taking census, visiting the sick and elderly in homes, hospitals and nursing homes. She prepared public school children for the Sacraments, and parents for the baptism of their children. She conducted Religious education classes and acted as parish coordinator for the 5-year Renew Program in Picton. She also coordinated lectors and families for Sunday Offering Processions and Liturgical celebrations.

In September 1991 she was asked to come to Kingston to do part-time volunteer work in St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital. She also volunteered in the Electa Resource Centre at Providence Motherhouse.