Sr Veronica Taylor sm was called to eternal life on Tuesday 12th July 2022.
Eternal rest grant to her, O Lord.
May perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.
We extend our prayerful sympathy to the Marist Sisters in Australia and to Sr Veronica’s family. The following words of remembrance were delivered by Sr Beverley Lewis at her funeral on 25th July.
Today, we come together to pray for and say our final farewell to Veronica Ruth Taylor. Born to Leo and Mary Taylor (known as Myra) on 4th November 1931, their second daughter. Two of her sisters Marie and Clare are deceased. Pauline is present with us today as are members of Pauline’s and Clare’s families. I know very little about her childhood. No doubt it was not easy as Leo died as a young man and left Myra to bring their four daughters up on her own. Veronica used to say her mother did simple fun things with the girls which kept them together as a family unit. I can remember her telling us that she and her sisters played amongst the coffins in the back room of their home. Myra had taken on the role of an undertaker to support the family due to Leo’s frequent illnesses and his early death.
Veronica joined the Marist Sisters and was professed on 8th February 1953. During, her religious life Veronica was called to many different ministries. She spent time teaching in Fiji and at Woolwich. Her superiors noticed her giftedness for study and asked her to attend Regina Mundi in Rome for three years. Soon after her return to Australia, Veronica was appointed Scholastic Mistress. Many of the Sisters present today would have done their Scholasticate under Veronica. She had the wonderful gift of bringing out the best in people. She gave the best foundations for research and study of the new horizons in theology and Scripture which the Vatican Council opened up for the Church. She showed how to study. We have many stories from those days.
Other groups benefitted from her scholarly expertise. She was called to assist in the formation of the seminarians at Toongabbie teaching them Church History, and was also involved with the formation of the laity at Aquinas Academy.
She was also appointed as the Pastoral Planning Co-ordinator. Remember the big green folders, we had. There was also the yellow folder on Leadership and Discernment. Veronica also headed the Justice Committee raising consciousness among the Sisters of the Justice issues confronting our country and other parts of the world. Her actions spoke louder than words in her outreach to those on the margins, such as the Aids suffers who were often isolated in their homes. She was humble in taking up her various responsibilities entrusted to her by the Congregation. She was gifted in many ways but did not flaunt it.
Many of us worked with Veronica on these committees. We certainly worked hard but not as hard as she did. Everything Veronica did was done to 100% capacity. But she certainly knew how to celebrate and relax. On one particular weekend we gathered as the Pastoral Planning Committee, we worked all weekend until late Sunday. She decided it was time to celebrate so the seven of us went out to a Chinese Restaurant, where we shared a Chinese Banquet, which was quite substantial. It came time for dessert but no one wanted any. Veronica wanted us to try the fried ice-cream so she ordered one scoop of ice-cream and seven teaspoons. She was very generous in giving to the Sisters.
In her later years, she undertook pastoral work in several parishes Torquay/Grovedale in Victoria, Richmond NSW, where she is still fondly remembered, and Marrickville NSW. Veronica had a great love for learning and shared this gift with many people especially those undertaking the RCIA programme.
Veronica was a hard working, generous and kind person. If she was able to help she would not spare herself. You never wondered what Veronica thought or felt, she was always forth coming with her thoughts and feelings and always prepared to share her wisdom. Equally she always humbly accepted decisions made by the Congregation whether they were what she thought or not. She was always appreciative of what was done for her and always saw the best in people.
In these recent years especially, since Covid hit us, she grew in patience. If things were meant to be they would happen. I believe this was a result of her deep life of prayer. Veronica had peaceful expectations but a humble acceptance of God’s will.
She had a great love of her family, friends and the Marist Family, especially her sisters. She often would say to me when I visited her I don’t see a lot the Sisters and my family but that is okay because I know I belong and they are with me in my heart. There is so much more that could be said but she knows our and appreciation for the gracious person she was and still is.
In conclusion I would like to say “Go forth valiant woman of faith, true daughter of Mary, to enjoy the company of your family, friends and your Marist Family especially the Sisters. Go to the place prepared for you by Your Beloved who loved you in life and embraces you for all eternity.