OLR Kensington parishioner Sr Mary D’Apice was recognised for her lifetime commitment to education in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Sr D’Apice was awarded a Member in the General Division, AM. At 95, Sr D’Apice has been a constant presence in our parish until she recently moved to care in Bronte.
The Catholic Weekly recently wrote:
Sr D’Apice said she always hoped to impart in her students “an understanding of their own development so it could help them in their own lives.”
She says the Catholic faith has always shaped her life and aspirations. “It’s been the background to my whole life.”
She was surprised and humbled by the Queen’s birthday honour. “I’m grateful really that the Church has been recognised and the role of religious,” she said.
Mary D’Apice began her schooling at Rose Bay aged seven and finished the Leaving Certificate in 1939, one of only four students in the class. After completing a medical degree and a residency year, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1946. After her first vows in 1949, she remained at Rose Bay for the next twenty years, with the exception of one year at Sancta Sophia College. She was involved in the educational work of the School, including nine years as Principal.
As Deputy Principal at Kincoppal during 1972, the amalgamation year, Mary was often asked to step into situations that needed her wisdom and skills. She was called to be Principal of Duchesne College Brisbane for four years and likewise at Sancta Sophia College.
The work of her later years followed her master’s degrees in Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction from Loyola University in Chicago, with a private practice in Medical Psychotherapy in Auckland, New Zealand. She was called on to give many seminars in this field in the ANZ Province and overseas, and later published Noon to Nightfall, A Journey through Midlife and Ageing.
She returned to Sydney in 2000 to continue her invaluable work as a psychotherapist, spiritual director and director of retreats.
Sister Mary D’Apice has been a mentor to many alumnae and in the words of some, ‘d’Ap formed our characters’. Her medical knowledge was used for all the students as well as the community. Throughout her life she has continued to be a friend and advisor to many.
We are proud to have Sr Mary D’Apice AM as one of our own, and congratulate her on this well deserved honour.