Sister Mary Bernadette Collins
1923 – 2016
Born: 6th November 1923
Entered Religious Life: 1st February 1943
Died: 20th October 2016
When the news of Sr Mary Bernadette’s death reached Zambia many of her past pupils wished to relay to the Sisters of Charity the influence she had on their lives. Here are the many wonderful tributes received from Zambia:
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Sr Bernadette, a sister I remember with fond memories. Though she was the Headmistress at Roma Girls Secondary School, which I attended 1975-80, when I think back, she was also a “mother”.
The values, good behaviour, aspirations, confidence and esteem building, to name a few, were all instilled by, and in the school Sr Bernadette was headmistress of. We have a lot to be grateful for. Though saddened to see her go, my thoughts and prayers are with you and her family, and I know, someone so special will not be forgotten. Till our Lord Jesus’ second coming, May Her Soul Rest In Peace
Blessed are those who die in the Lord so that they rest from their labours, for their good deeds follow with them. Rev 14: 13. MHSRIP.
I was a student of Sister Bernadette at Roma Girls Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. She taught us Math and Religion. She was a genius in Maths and I always wondered why it was so easy for her while I struggled. On the whole, I have fond memories of her and I will always cherish her contribution to mother Zambia through the education of us girls, who are now holding positions of power at all levels of government and the private sector to improve the lives of people and our communities. We could not have done it without the Sisters of Charity. May Her Soul Rest In Peace. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Greetings in the name of the Lord. My condolences Sister Bernadette was like a mother to me from grade 8 to grade 12 that was in 1983. Roma girls school. I know that she is in heaven as she was such a caring and lovely person always looking out for all the students. She will forever have a place in my heart. MHSRIEP
I just though I should email you some words and memories of the girls from Caritas convent in Kabwe ‘ 1988-1992 intake ‘Sr Bernadette was such an inspiration, a mother, loved her gentle and positive spirit. A good leader, the best headmistress. Taught us to read and get meaning from the films we watched. A gentle lady. Loving and concerned with the learner and their needs. Also a disciplinarian. She did so much for us as young girls growing up in Zambia, if it wasn’t for her and all the other Sisters of Charity , we wouldn’t have achieved all we did . She did a great job , the intake of 1988- 1992, has produced, teachers, lawyers, bankers , accountants, engineers etc . She would have been so proud of the work she did. Lastly thank you for having me at the funeral today.
My heartfelt condolences to you and the Sisters of Charity on the loss of Sr Bernadette, my former headmistress. The best way I can describe what she accomplished while she headed Roma Girls Secondary School is that everything was in place and worked very well. At that time Roma was a boarding school. I had great teachers (Sr Bernadette taught me RE), the school results were always tops at the end of every school year. As pupils we were well behaved (overall) and we had a good diet. I left Roma Girls a well adjusted person who went on to obtain a university education and got a job in a leading bank. All this is a testament to the strong and effective leadership that Sr Bernadette provided when she was headmistress. She instilled in me (and I’m sure my former classmates) values which have continued to guide me to this day. Thank You and farewell Sr Bernadette and may your soul rest in eternal peace.
My dearest Mother, throughout my five years at Roma Girls you disciplined me, taught me the values of life, nurtured me and most of all loved me like your own daughter. You were a mother like no other. You have and will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Sisters of Charity. Thank You my mother, Sr Bernadette.
My condolences to all the Sisters of Charity and to Sr Bernadette’s family. I will always treasure and be thankful for all her work in educating us at Roma Girls Secondary School in Zambia. May her dear soul rest in peace.
The Zambians must have poured Holy Water on her especially Sr Francis Bernadine, she will probably be at the Entrance waiting.
She lived a long and fruitful life. Let us celebrate her legacy.
MHSRIPP. I remember her lesson in R.E ‘Sex is beautiful. Sex is wonderful. Sex is God’s gift to man.’ Sr Bernadette licking her lips and holding out her hand.
May her soul rest in Peace. I was so very fond of her. The last time I saw her was in 2010 and she was by then bent over when I visited Mother Helen. At the time Mother Helen was bed ridden. Although very ill, Mother Helen would make me wave the Zambian flag and sing the Zambian National Anthem every day of my visit at the hospice. Sister Bernadette was always at her side tucking Mother Helen in and giving her liquids. Oh Sr Bernadette was like a mother to each one of us. Rest in peace my mother!
Rest in eternal peace dear Sr Bernadette. You ran your race and taught us well. We shall forever remember you.
RIP Sr Bernadette. She had a place in her heart for each one of us. She was like a mother hen with each one of us under her wings.
I will always remember her teaching us the Hail Mary in French. It took a whole lesson for her to be satisfied with how we pronounced ‘je’. We went as far as Je.
RIP Sister Bernadette.
MHSRIEP, woman of substance. Farewell!
RIP Sr Bernadette …..Woman of discipline and hard work!
RIP Sr Bernadette, Will always be grateful to you. I am who I am because of you. Indeed you are Heaven’s gain.
Sr Bernadette only ever had one pair of specs??? Her entire life?
My sincere condolences on the death of our Mother SR Bernadette. She represented our parents away from home. Yes she ran a good race. MHSRIEP.
Rest in peace Sister Bernadette; wouldn’t be who I am without you.
Farewell Sr Bernadette. RIP
Fitting day for her burial; Zambia’s Independence Day. A country where she spent her working life. These Sisters came to Zambia in their youth, and spent their lives working in educating our generation.
You are right. The Sisters of Charity were feminist even before the word became fashionable. When the girl child was being married off at a tender age they fought for the girl-child to be educated. EROGA’s (Ex Roma Girls Association) it is our duty to continue to advocate and fight for the girl-child in this land of ours!
The news of Sr Bernadette’s death is sad news. An Angel has gone home. She was truly an amazing woman and touched each one of our lives in a special way. As a day scholar she was the nun I had most contact with. May her soul rest in peace.