Born: 28 September, 1916
Professed: 11 October, 1939
Born into eternal life: 13 August, 2015
Elizabeth Dorothy Crick was born at Glebe on 28 September, 1916, the second child of James and Elizabeth. An older sister Jean and her younger sister Moya made up her much loved family. They would be joined by many nieces and nephews who Dorothy cared for deeply, and who now morn her loss.
Six months after Dorothy was born, the family moved to Strathfield and she was introduced to the Dominican community there as a baby in 1917. Both her primary and secondary education occurred at Santa Sabina Strathfield. While there, she was influenced by Srs M Clare de Lauret, M Assumpta, Philomena, Concepta and Virgilius. After leaving school Dorothy attended St Patrick’s Business College, which led to work as an accounts clerk at the NSW Community Hospital.
On 29 March, 1937, Dorothy travelled to Maitland to enter the Dominican dommunity there. A long- time family friend, Mary Bailey, had held a farewell party at Del Monte Reception Lounge, for her the night before. That relationship would bless the Sisters with a great bequest in later years.
The young woman was professed as Sr M Francesca on 11 October, 1939 – an incredible 75 years ago. Sister taught in primary schools in Tamworth, Maitland and Strathfield, and was Superior at Berith Park and Mistress of the Lay Novices 1956-1957. In 1960, as Prioress in Waratah, Newcastle, Sr M Francesca began her life-work with deaf children. She would continue that ministry in Victoria, in Portsea and Wantirna, from 1966 until 1992 when she moved to Strathfield in retirement. Her strength and her sight failed her to the extent that she moved into St Mary’s Villa, Concord, where she spent her final few years.
Sr M Francesca, ‘Frannie’ as so many called her, will always be thought of with great love and affection by those she cared for so beautifully over many years. She really was a mother figure to the many little children who found themselves in a boarding school environment from an early age. Each one of them was remembered individually. Sister kept up with their progress and took great pride in the smallest of their achievements.
A dedicated homemaker, Frannie was a talented dressmaker, embroiderer, doll maker, cook and flower arranger. She was a great house bursar, shrewd with money, but ever ready to meet the needs of her community. Her quiet wisdom and motherly concern endeared her to all who knew her over her many years of service. Even on retirement she kept her interests going and made new friends with her loving ways and quiet dignity. She was especially fond of all things Santa Sabina, and loved to speak of her time there both at school and as a Sister. However her heart she gave to her deaf students from both Waratah and Portsea. Her family too, gave her much joy.
Sr M Francesca died peacefully in Concord Hospital in the early hours of 12 August. She will be sadly missed by so many, her family, her ex-students, her friends and her Dominican Sisters.
She was a ‘valiant woman’ of biblical proportions.
Her motto ‘Soli Deo’ – God alone.