On New Years’ Day, 1928, a message was received from St. Mary’s of the Lake, that Sister Mary Justina was very ill. For the previous six months or more, it was frequently remarked that she was failing very much in her appearance and manner. Though she did not complain, she no longer showed that activity and interest which were characteristic of her. It was not until Monday, January 16th that her case was considered serious. She was brought home to the Mother House, where it was hoped with care and attention she might recover. But no, she continued to suffer extreme pain. On Saturday morning January 21, 1928, she asked to see Rev. Father Fowler. He came at 11 a.m. She made her confession and received Holy Communion. Noticing that she grew weaker, he anointed her. Not too soon – she passed away as the Angelus rang. It was a great shock to all, as it was thought she would linger for some time.
Sister, whose name in the world was Elizabeth Boland, was born in Elmira, N.Y. April 28, 1865. At the age of 25, becoming acquainted with our Sisters in Holyoke, Mass. and expressing a wish to spend her life in a Convent, she was advised to write the Superior General in Kingston. The permission being granted, she arrived at the Providence August 31, 1890.
Though not robust in appearance, she proved to be very wiry. She was advanced to the Reception of the Holy Habit Aug. 3, 1891 and to Religious Profession October 13, 1892.
From the beginning she took a deep interest in all that concerned the welfare of the House. She was engaged chiefly in the dispensaries and kitchens having a special qualification for this work. She spent years in this capacity in St. Vincent de Paul Hospital, Brockville, and in St. Michael’s Convent, Belleville. She was frequently sent on collecting tours through the country, and though often in disagreeable weather, she never complained. “Never too much for God” seemed to be her motto.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart was her one special devotion through life.
The latter years of her life were spent at St. Mary’s of the Lake. Here she seemed to be very happy. She loved the children, and devoted much of her time to the cultivation of flowers and fruits.
The funeral Mass was sung by Rev. Father Doyle assisted by Father Hyland and Father Fowler, after which, the remains of our dear Sister was placed in St. Mary’s Vault. R.I.P.