Sister Mary Frances Teresa Golan

Catherine Golan
1890 - 1923

Recalling the circumstances connected with the admission of this person into our Novitiate, we cannot but be again impressed with the power of persevering prayer.

As a young girl she had occasion to come to Kingston several times to receive treatment from the Specialist, Dr. C. E. O’Connor for infection in her ear. She had to remain a few days each time, and knowing some of our Sisters, she sought accommodation at the Providence. This was always granted.

During these visits she made known the desire she had long entertained, of giving herself to God in Holy Religion. She had been deterred from embracing the religious life, by having to care for her afflicted father who was ill for some years. She was born and educated in Madoc. She had two brothers living there, and two Sisters in Toronto. More than once she asked if she would be permitted to enter into this Community. As she did not seem to be possessed of a robust constitution, she was not encouraged. She was put off until her health would become better. She would go away each time apparently with a sad heart.

Returning a year or so later, and pressing very earnestly to be received, saying that she was never ill, always had good health, and able for work, her request was finally granted. She entered the Novitiate Jan. 5, 1921.

As a Postulant she gave every satisfaction to her Mistress, was refined in manner, very pious and good, faithful to every duty, happy in her vocation, and agreeable with her companions.

She was given the Holy Habit eight months later in August of the same year.

At the beginning of the next year Jan. 1922, she began to complain of throat trouble and of rheumatism. It was thought that with care and treatment this condition would disappear. It did to some extent, but as she was not considered sufficiently well to go round to the different offices, she was employed in the Novitiate.

In September of the same year she met with an accident which shattered her weak constitution. She was sent to assist the Sister in the laundry to recover the mangle, preparatory to doing some special work for the Novitiate, when her sleeve caught in the machine dragging in the arm. Before becoming extricated, the arm was badly crushed and burnt. She suffered extremely but not a cry. The doctor came at once and dressed the wounded arm, and was given close attention after, it progressed as well as could be expected.

Very soon the health began to fail. She got able to walk about in the Infirmary and in on the gallery to the Chapel – with what resignation and patience she bore this trial as well as her fast decaying strength. Never a complaint or murmur was uttered, she was an example to all who witnessed her suffering. Early in the New Year just two years after her entrance, Jan. 3, 1923 she was prepared for death by Rev. A. J. Hanley. It was thought she would be permitted to pronounce her Vows, but as Father Hanley was in doubt concerning this, he administered the Last Sacraments. The next day His Grace Most Rev. J. J. Spratt, D. D. came over at 11 o’clock, as he said when he came in, to permit Sister Golan to make Holy Profession.

After interrogating her according to the Ceremonial, he proceeded with the Ceremony reciting all the prayers, and finally giving Sister the cross and ring and her name – Sister Mary Frances Teresa. After His Grace had gone, Sister asked that the choir – the Novices should come and sing the hymns usually sung at Profession. This being done, Sister was radiant with joy and gladness saying that her every desire had been fulfilled. Nothing was wanting to her happiness – she promised to pray for all when she would go to Heaven. She gradually became weaker, but she remained perfectly conscious to the end which came at 4.30 p.m. Jan. 6th, Feast of the Epiphany.

The funeral was on Tuesday Jan. 9th. His Grace offered Solemn Pontifical Requiem Mass for the repose of her soul assisted by Rev. A.J. Hanley, Rev. P.J. Keaney and Rev. F.D. Hyland.

The remains were placed in the vault beside our beloved Sister Mary Amable.

What a favoured child she was, since Holy Profession is considered a second Baptism, there is every reason to hope the soul of our young Sister was transported at once into her everlasting abode of happiness.

Surely the Community that received and nurtured her will not go unrewarded.