Muriel Margaret Sheehan, was born on 4 March 1905. One of five children, her siblings were John, Patrick, Veronica (Vera Ryan) and Louis.

Muriel attended the Academy of Mary Immaculate, between 1915 to 1919. In 1927, she went on to study for the Bachelor of Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and her degree was conferred 8 April 1934.

Muriel entered the Sisters of Mercy on the 25 May 1935, was professed on 24 January 1938 and finally professed on 20 January 1944, taking the religious name of Mary Raphael.

Sister M Raphael taught music at her alma mater, Academy of Mary Immaculate, Fitzroy and Our Lady of Mercy, Heidelberg before coming to Sacred Heart College, Geelong in 1956.

Sister M Raphael was known for being both passionate and strict with her music students. Not practicing before a piano lesson could see the unfortunate student pushed out of the music room with their books thrown after them. She took on the running of the canteen and often during lessons would have to leave to attend to deliveries of bread rolls or supplies. At exam time, Sr M Raphael would bring students to the oratory to pray and then pin a relic of St Anthony on them to wear as spiritual aid for success in the exam.

In 1988 she celebrated her Golden Jubilee of Religious Profession and at a small gathering she was presented with an anniversary clock from her family. Former students performed a programme of songs as thanks for Sister’s talents, passion, care and the giving of her best to her students over many years.

In 1990, Sr M. Raphael retired from teaching after a remarkable 44 years of contribution to the musical life of Sacred Heart College.

Sister M Raphael died at Geelong on 19 March 2002 and is buried in the cemetery at Sacred Heart College, Geelong.

Recently, her anniversary clock has been donated to Sacred Heart College and is now sitting proudly on Anna’s mantlepiece in her office.

Thank you to Sr Eileen Daffy and Carmel Edwards for their information on Sr Raphael. Special thanks to Karen and David Kiss for their gift of restoration on the clock.

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