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their grief, Lynette "came to know them a
lot more deeply than I would have before
her death". Lynette was there with the
family, and from this catastrophe their
sisterhood was fur ther strengthened.
"From there on, and now, Paul and Elaine
shar e themselves with me. To me, it's like
God's unconditional love."
Now Lynette is helping out the nex t
gener ation. At one stage, while she was
pr eparing lessons, resources and teaching
adult faith in the Tenison Woods Education
Centre's Christian For mation Cour se, she
took time out to babysit a gr and niece and
nephew each week. She says, "This was my
day off. It was a huge joy." Elaine and Paul
now have eighteen grandchildren, so nanny
duties are regular.
Speaking of their relationship, Elaine says, "It
is very important. I know that I can tell her
any thing, anything at all." They have total
trust and confidence in each other, with
Lynette adding, "She never judges me, who
when I'm with her."
Elaine and Lynette demonstr ate that
sisterhood is a powerful unbreakable bond,
that they are gifts to, and shelter for,
TWO BY TWO
SISTERS IN MORE WAYS
"To have a loving r elationship with a sister is not
simply to have a friend or a confidant -- it is to
have a soul mate for life." Victoria Secunda
Sisters Sr Lynette Pearce r sj and Elaine
Kauter (affectionately known as Lynnie
and Lanie), born eleven year s apar t, have
been suppor ting each other through the
remarkable and the hear tbr eaking times in
their lives. Though they took very different
career paths , their friendship and love are
The Pearce family had a policeman Dad, "a
man of integrity and tolerance". Mum
was "wise and ingenious". They had
twelve children, but sadly two, a son and a
daughter, died a s infants . The family moved
often due to Dad's career. The family was
deeply religious, with Mum setting a
Elaine recalls, "Mum did absolutely beautiful
sewing." Making school tunics with their
Dad's old police unifor ms wa s amongst her
talents. Lynette says she "could make stuff
out of nothing, especially food". Their Mum
would milk the cow her self and chur n
Lynette says, "I can remember when
Lanie was bor n, it was just wonderful to
have a baby sister." She was thrilled, their
biological sisterhood had begun. Though
a large family, Elaine added, "There was
never any jealousy." Lynette says of her
Mum, "She loved us all, we all felt special.
We were all toler ant; you can't fit if you
When Lynette was in Year 6, she won a
bur sary and life changed forever. She went
to boarding school at St Joseph's Lochinvar.
"We students were only allowed to talk
for two hours a day." Times have changed !
She completed her secondary education,
spending time at home with the family
during holidays. At these special times,
"Lanie and I would share a
room and a bed." They became closer.
At the conclusion of school, Lynette
immediately entered St Joseph's Novitiate ;
Elaine was five year s old. During those
year s , the family was able to visit Lynette,
but she could not visit home. Lynette
enter ed on New Year's Day 1956 and was
professed a Josephite sister in August 1959.
Lynette was sent to various places to teach
yet their sisterly relationship remained solid.
But then, "After Vatican II happened we
nuns had more freedom." Nuns were able
to make more decisions for themselves,
visit family and see more of the world.
In 1971 Elaine mar ried Paul Kauter and they
were blessed with 10 children. Amazingly,
Lynette was pr esent at the bir th of the
la st three, events that would have been
inconceivable befor e Vatican II. This
brought the sister s nearer again; they now
shared these extraordinary
experiences in a woman's life.
Lynette says, "The thing that happened
for us is Lanie's getting mar ried and having
children, my being here at Lochinvar and
being open to minding her childr en." By
this time, Elaine and Paul lived "across
the hill" from the convent, making it
very convenient for her to help. Lynette
became par t of the Kauter family, attending
all the major events in their lives, baptisms,
bir thdays and various celebr ations.
Tr agedy struck when Ramona, Paul and
Elaine's second child, was killed at 16. In
Lanie (left) and Lynnie, close as always.
Jodi Govender of St Joseph's Primary, Charlestown
with her winning entry in the state-wide Interrelate
anti-bullying poster competition.
The 2014 Bishop's Award recipients are Gabrielle
Smith, Alexander Melville, Cordelia Prangley, Lyvia
Pozywio, Julia Kronenberger and Emilie Margaret Austin.
They are shown with Bishop Bill and Giavanna Angeli,
President, Federation of P & F Associations. Photo
courtesy of Emma Blackford.
Aunty Joan McDonald, Sarah Locker, teacher Michelle
Case,Adam Mayers and Liah Brooks participated in
an International Women's Day Forum at St Clare's
High School,Taree.The school's Human Rights Group
initiated the event.
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