Sister Veronica Matthews
Tue, Nov 21st, 2023
Sister Veronica Matthews, formerly Sister Agnes Michael, 90, a Sister of St. Martha of Antigonish, died at Mary’s Court, Parkland Antigonish, on Tuesday November 21st, 2023, in the 66th year of her Religious Life.
Born in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, Sister Veronica was the daughter of Michael Matthews and Agnes (Jeddore) Matthews.
Sister Veronica entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Martha on August 15, 1955, pronounced her first vows on August 15, 1957, and her perpetual profession of vows on August 15, 1960. Sr. Veronica began her studies in nursing the year following her first vows, which led to a lifelong career in Health Care. She received her RN designation from St. Martha’s School of Nursing in 1961, a Diploma in Pediatric Nursing from the IWK, Halifax in 1966, a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, in 1970 and a BScN from Dalhousie University in 1981. She ministered at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, Antigonish; St. Rita’s Hospital, Sydney; Eskasoni Community Health; Martha Home Health Care. She served on several Boards and Committees, among them Aboriginal Nurses of Canada; Eskasoni Health Board; Cancer Care Nova Scotia; Student Advisory Committee, St. Francis Xavier University.
Sr. Veronica’s contributions to Health Care are immeasurable. She worked diligently to help make sense of a health care system, that in her words "I knew was not working for my people." She never stopped working to remove barriers to access, and in doing so began a diabetic program and clinic for residents of Eskasoni, the first certified Aboriginal Diabetic Clinic in Atlantic Canada. She was the recipient of many awards, and recognitions, including an Honorary Doctorate from St. Francis Xavier University.
A woman of deep and abiding faith, she drew great strength from her Mi’kmaq culture, spirituality, and traditions. Her sense of justice was rooted in an understanding of the need for reconciliation. She loved her Martha life, and she loved her family.
Besides her parents she was predeceased by sisters Mary Wrobel, Janet Matthews, Mary Elizabeth Berube, Martha Matthews and Catherine Stevens. She is survived by many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews who were devoted to her, as she was to them.