Monica Bernadine McMaster, known to the family as Mona, was born on the 30th of June 1898 at Grand View in Moyston. She attended the Lake Bolac primary school completing her certificate of merit, this is where she also won a prize for an oil painting which showed that even early on Mona had a talent for painting.

After leaving state school, she remained at home for some time before she was enrolled at Sacred Heart College as a boarder in 1918, she had a couple of aunts attended in the 1870s. Here she passed grade 2 in her pianoforte exams and won first prize for painting. Her teachers considered she had an exceptional gift for oil and watercolours.

One of Mona’s oil paintings of a man in a boat still hangs in the Bishop’s Parlour here at Sacred Heart – the man in the painting bears a striking resemblance to her father and relatives have since shared that Mona painted this from a photograph she had of her father.

It was during this time that Mona decided to join the Sisters of Mercy and take up the habit, but her father would not give his consent until she had waited a year, which she did. Then satisfied that Mona did indeed have a vocation, he gave his blessing. She entered the noviciate at Ascot Vale and was professed in December 1922.

Monica’s name in religion was Sister Lucina.

Sr Lucina began her teaching career at North Melbourne, going on to become principal at several Mercy primary schools and was on the staff at Sacred Heart College from 1956 to 1974, the last two years part time. She is remembered fondly for teaching geography. In 1974 she started her time as researcher for the Sacred Heart archive, writing a lengthy history focussing mostly on the19th century beginnings of the College.

After retirement from teaching Sr Lucina kept herself busy caring for residents at Vincentian House and visiting elderly in their homes. She also attended a local state school weekly for 2 years to give religious instruction to Catholics attending there.

Sr Lucina died at the Convent hospital on the 26th of March 1996 aged 97 years.

Sr Lucina’s nieces and great nieces have gone on to attend and continue the connection with Sacred Heart. Recently a donation was brought to the archives of Sr Lucina’s paints and palettes donated by her niece Bea Lipson. These were used by Sr Lucina to illustrate and decorate family bibles and prayer cards for the Sacred Heart piety stall of which we have some examples already held in the archives.

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