The youngest of nine children born to Arthur and Katherine (Massey) Rogan, Beryl Philomena Rogan began her earthly journey on January 25, 1916 at Port Macquarie. Beryl was the last surviving member of her immediate family.
Little has been recorded of her early years except that the family moved first to Coffs Harbour and later to Belmore. Beryl’s education began at St Mel’s School, Campsie, and continued at St Joseph’s Belmore, at St Brigid’s Marrickville, and finally at St Scholastica’s Glebe Point, from where she gained her Leaving Certificate in 1934.
It was only six months after this, on July 2, 1935, that she was admitted to the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan at Pennant Hills. Here, with nine other young women, and now known as Sister Mary St John, she began her preparation for religious profession. This took place on January 10, 1938.
After gaining registration as a teacher, Beryl began her many years of ministry in classrooms that would take her to schools in Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and many parts of New South Wales. This included three years, based in Campbelltown, of teaching catechetics to Catholic children in State schools of the Macarthur Region.
On retiring from teaching in 1981, Beryl’s ministry was directed to offering support for particular groups needing companionship: the elderly, the sick and lonely in homes or hospitals, by reading on to tapes for the Blind Society, and teaching English to migrant people. This was not a one-sided experience for her as she would comment on how much she learnt from the cheerfulness and faith of those she visited or assisted in any way.
In 1995, Beryl retired to Polding Villa Hostel, Glebe Point, where she remained until this community transferred to Bethany at Eastwood in the care of the Daughters of Charity. On March 2, 2012 Beryl was transferred to St Catherine’s Bethany Nursing Home.
Beryl is remembered with love and gratitude by all her Good Samaritan Sisters, and by her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and great-grandnieces and nephews.