Sister Mary John Baptist, the former Julia Lynett, died on Sunday, July 3rd, 1960, at the Marian Infirmary, “Heathfield”, where she has been a patient for over three months. Sister was born in Westport, a daughter of the later Thomas Lynett and Julia O’Donoghue, and was educated at St. Edward’s School in that locality.
In February 1907, Sister entered the Novitiate at the House of Providence, and after profession took her professional training in Ottawa Teachers’ College. She taught in Brockville, in St. Mary’s School, Kingston, and Tweed, at the same time continuing her studies at Queen’s University. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree from Queen’s, she taught in Junior High School, Lancaster and St. Michael’s High School in Belleville.
When poor health obliged her to give up teaching, she lived at the House of Providence, Kingston, devoting her time to painting in water colours and all, in which she was singularly talented.
Sister M. John Baptist’s last illness was a long one. She came to the Mother House for the retreat in April, and while she followed the exercises from the Infirmary, and able to be around until the morning it closed, Sister was, however, unable to return to the House of Providence. She soon became quite ill and her nephew of the Cathedral staff was notified and in a short time called out and anointed her. She was then taken to the Hotel Dieu for treatment. When this failed to be of any help to Sister she was brought back from the hospital and was given every care and attention possible here in the Infirmary. She gradually grew weaker and for several days was unable to express herself or speak clearly, but was able to receive Holy Communion until three days before she died. Father Lynett anointed her again on June 30, and from then until her death Sisters were to be found praying by her bedside almost continually, although she was apparently unconscious of her surroundings.
The funeral took place on July 6th. Father Lynett, her faithful nephew sang the requiem Mass. He was assisted by Father Spence and Father Kelly. His Grace Archbishop O’Sullivan assisted at the throne, attended by Msgr. Welsh and Father Keyes, and officiated at the Libera. Other clergy present were: Msgr. Leacy, Father Donoghue, and Father Raby.
Burial took place in St. Mary’s Cemetery, with Father Lynett saying the prayers at the grave. R.I.P. Sister had spent fifty-three years in religion. May her soul rest in peace!