Sister Mary Leo whose name in the world was Elizabeth Tierney was born November 17, 1874. She was the daughter of Michael and Ellen Tierney living in the vicinity of Ottawa, near Easton Springs.
Recommended by her Reverend Pastor, she sought for and obtained admission into our Novitiate on January 8, 1902. Her younger sister Emma, who became Sister Mary Veronica, was admitted a few days previous.
Manifesting from the beginning a simple, docile spirit, she was advanced to the Reception of the Holy Habit January 3, 1903 and to first Religious Profession January 5, 1904.
Continuing in that humble disposition of mind, she was employed after her Profession in the different offices, especially in the wards, showing great charity and kindness in serving and caring the poor. Later she was given charge of the dispensary and kitchen.
In 1909 she was named for domestic duties at St. Mark’s Convent, Prescott. She also served in the same capacity in the Sacred Heart Convent Arnprior and at St. Mary’s of the Lake. Here she spent some years being charged with the Girls’ Department.
She was recalled to the Mother House during Sister Mary Veronica’s illness and death, which afflicted her much.
Early in 1925 while at St. Mary’s of the Lake she began to complain, was getting very weak, had to remain in bed much of the time. She was under the doctor’s care.
Finally it was discovered that she had an internal cancer. She frequently had haemorrhages. She was brought to the Mother House and given a room near the Infirmary. She did not complain very much, but having learned her condition, entertained no hope of recovery. She tried to care for herself as much as possible, fearing lest anyone should incur the contagion.
On Sept. 29th on hearing that there was some talk of having Sister Mary Catherine anointed, she too, asked to be anointed and received the last Sacraments. This was done, but it was thought she would live yet many months. However, on Tuesday Dec. 1st. she took a very great haemorrhage which hastened her death, a couple of days after on Thursday Dec. 3, 1925.
The funeral was on Saturday Dec. 5th. Solemn requiem Mass for the repose of her soul was offered by Rev. Father Coyle, assisted by Rev. L. Gorman and Rev. J.J. Callahan. May God grant her Eternal Rest!
Addendum – Compiled by the Archives on June 17, 2015
Elizabeth Tierney entered the congregation as a Tertiary Sister in 1900 and was known as Sr. Ellen. Tertiaries were auxiliaries who performed domestic labour and were part of the Congregation from 1895 to 1907, when the program was phased out and they were invited to enter the novitiate. When her sister, Emma Tierny entered the Novitiate in January 1902 she asked for permission to enter leave the Tertiary Order and enter the Novitiate herself. With the influence of her local pastor she entered the Novitiate on January 8, 1902, two days after her sister.