Sacred to the memory ofAnd yet the statue atop the marker was startlingly beautiful in its celebration of sensuality. Originally, I had thought this to be a straightforward post about a beautiful statue, until from deep in the bowels of Ancestry. com came an altered reality: Catherine Ann Reynolds AKA Sister Mary Regis.
Kate Reynolds Fiaschi
Born Ireland 1850
Died Sydney 1913
A loving wife and a devoted mother
Rest in peace
Sister Mary Regis. Had she been a nun or something?
Both Kate’s parents died when she was 14. She was of a devout family and had been promised to the church. She was sent to live with an aunt in Sydney and joined the Sisters of Charity at St Vincent’s Hospital, where she was known as ... yep. As luck would have it, young Thomas Henry Fiaschi was a doctor where Kate was a nursing nun. This is where the sensuality of the carving strikes to the very core of humanity. They fell in love, eloped, and were excommunicated. Kate was the only nun to have ever left the Sisters of Charity.
They had established a vineyard at Sackville called ‘Tizzana’ which Kate ran whilst Thomas Henry was overseas in both the Abyssinian and Boer Wars. Yet their address upon her death was Darling Point, so theirs was a most comfortable existence in terms of goods and chattels.
In the arms of an Angel, fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here.
I am indebted to Jonathan Auld's 2005 paper for the 'Hawkesbury Crier' for the unlocking of the 'AKA Sister Mary Regis' reference that I discovered deep within the heart of Ancestry.com.
|This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics community.|