Sister Therese Masterson celebrates a special birthday this year during the 130th Celebration of her beloved St. Monica’s College where we have always recognised her for her outstanding commitment to education.
Sister Therese may be the last Sister of Mercy working at the college but the strong tradition the Sisters established many years ago, and developed through the decades by committed and hard-working staff, remains strong in the college of 2020. Through such commitment the Sisters of Mercy, and those that followed in their footsteps, have made a difference in the lives of students and many others as they carried out their responsibilities in Catholic Education. This year, Sister Therese celebrates her 80th Birthday and she is still a vital member of St. Monica’s College community.
Retiring from the position of Deputy Principal – Pastoral Care at St Monica’s College at the end of the 2006 school year, Sister Therese then worked part-time as Year 9 Co-ordinator and Religious Education teacher. Not many people would see being Year 9 Co-ordinator as a step towards retirement. But, it was an indication of Therese’s generosity as a leader that she was willing to serve wherever she was needed. Therese has never fully retired as she is still the Curator of the College Archives. And, she’s a very active member of both the College Board and Alumni.
Therese’s contribution to St Monica’s College and Catholic Education has been her life’s work. As a staff member at St Monica’s for an impressive 54 years, Therese has made very significant contributions to the leadership of the College. Therese is an inspirational educator, leader and person of faith. Past students from each of the nearly six decades of her career in Catholic Education attest to this – as do the many past-students who return to the college every year for Alumni Celebrations.
Therese is first and foremost a woman of faith and mercy.
Her down to earth, common sense, but nononsense approach has endeared her to generations of St Monica’s students who do not take long to discover her compassion, care and innate fairness for them all. There are many stories told by students who recognise that Sister Therese has been one of the key people who has been transformative and redemptive in their lives. She is always willing to see the good in others – to offer practical advice and support at the same time. This is what has made the difference for students who have found Sister Therese a stalwart at times in their lives when they have been very vulnerable.
A Sister of Mercy in all aspects of her leadership role, Therese has a deep compassion for the poor and a strong sense of the dignity of every human. She has been of enormous support to the students and staff at St Monica’s, particularly, the College Captains who regard her with deep respect and affection. Each year, she gives the speech to Year 11 students about the importance of those they select to lead them in their senior year. Sister is also in charge of the Tree Planting Ceremony held annually, welcoming the new Year 7 students. She is also a vital part of celebrating our 130th Year in 2020. At our first function of the year, Leap for 130, Sister Therese accepted an Art Collage, from the original Mercy House in Dublin, to be displayed in the College Foyer.
Sister Therese’s leadership is by example – a lifetime commitment characterised by faith, love, generosity, service and hard work. St Monica’s College has been greatly blessed to have such leadership as provided by Sister Therese Masterson.