The poorest of the poor

7 July 1934. The Catholic Freeman’s Journal provides this gritty account of the ministry of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor:

“There are ten nurses in the home at Coogee, whose self-sacrificing labours carry them to the poor of this vast metropolis. The work of the Brown Nurse has never changed from its original and vital purpose of labouring for the very poorest of the poor. All – regardless of colour, race or religion – come under their comforting and loving ministrations, provided they are needy and poor.

“The nurses not only care for the sick, but they perform the lowly offices of cleaning their houses, bring them food and clothing, and secure for them spiritual help according to their religion. 

“Not the least beautiful of their ministrations is that of fittingly preparing, as far as possible in poverty-stricken houses, for the coming of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and dying. The number of sick poor visited by the nurses in the year was 6088.

“It is impossible to reckon the number of dying souls, who by the ministrations of the devoted nurses, have been reconciled to God even at the eleventh hour, the converts whose happy deaths in the bosom of Holy Church is due under God to the instructions and tireless patience of the nurses, or the number of little infants brought to the waters of Baptism before winging their flight to

“In worldly matters, many poor starving families have been during the sickness, perhaps of a hard-working mother, tided over their difficulties, clothed, fed and encouraged until brighter days have dawned.”