Rest in Peace Sr Evangelist Barrett pbvm

“We gather today to farewell our sister, Evangelist Barrett. We trust that she, who kept her “Father’s commandments” now has her “joy complete”, as described by St John the Evangelist in today’s Gospel.”

These were the opening words shared by Presentation Sisters Congregational Leader, Sister Lucy van Kessel, at the Requiem Mass of Sister, Evangelist Barrett PVBM, celebrated in St Francis Xavier Cathedral last Monday, the 3rd of August 2021.

Principal Celebrant, Bishop Michael Morrissey was joined by Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini and eight priests from the Diocese, Fr Gerard Totañes VG, Fr Brian Ahearn (Dongara), Fr Robert Cross (Chancellor), Fr Bernard Balaraj (Cathedral Administrator), Fr Robert O’Bryan (Mullewa), Fr Steve Casey (Carnarvon) Fr Larry Rodillas (Northampton), Fr Tam Duong (Newman/Tom Price) and Fr Dominic Hoang (Cathedral).  

Three of those Priests carried memories of Evangelist from their lives as young boys. Fr Brian Ahearn was taught by Sister Evangelist in his formative Primary School years in Carnarvon; Fr Robert Cross as a young newly Ordained priest worked with Sr Evangelist in her time serving as Cathedral Sacristan and Fr Steve Casey, who served as a Cathedral Altar Server for many years in his formative years, noted Sister’s duty of care in all things, recalling fondly, “She would inspect our shoes to ensure they were polished before we could go out onto the altar”. 

From Sister Evangelist’s Eulogy, presented by Sister Christine Clarke pvbm, we heard that Mary Bridget Barrett was born in County Cork, Ireland on the 8th of February 1921. She was the youngest of seven siblings to farmers, James and Catherine. After attending school at Kilcoleman, Enniskeane, she came to Geraldton, Western Australia and entered the Presentation Congregation as Sister Evangelist in November 1937. Evangelist was professed in December 1940 and began a long teaching career throughout the Geraldton Diocese beginning in Geraldton and moving to many country towns such as Mount Magnet, Tardun, Greenough, Wiluna, Northampton, Big Bell, Bluff Point, and Port Hedland. A favorite town for her was Carnarvon, where she and Dolores steadfastly remained as the last Presentation Sisters there until they had to leave in 2006.