Pauline O'Regan

Sister Pauline O’Regan started writing when she was 60, and began her long association with Bridget Williams in 1986 with the publication of her autobiography, A Changing Order. A Sister of Mercy / Ngā Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa for more than 70 years, Pauline died in May 2019 aged 96.

She was a secondary school teacher for three decades and turned around the fortunes of Villa Maria College in Christchurch during her 17 years as the school principal. Pauline resigned from that position to establish, with two other Sisters, the Aranui Community of the Sisters of Mercy, where she lived and ministered for about 40 years.

Pauline’s dedication to her work in Christchurch was recognised when she was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1995 and the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001.

The book she wrote in partnership with Sister Teresa O’Connor, entitled, Community – Give it a Go! has been widely used ever since by community workers all over New Zealand. It was later turned into a workbook under the title, I Can Change Anything – But Not On My Own. Her book, There is Hope for a Tree is a clear-eyed challenge to the Catholic Church from one on the inside.

"Pauline's long ministry has been one of affirmations, challenge, encouragement and empowerment – especially of women. She was truly a prophetic leader, a clear thinker, a good listener, with the ability to ask a disarming question at just the right time." – Pauline’s friend, Sister Marie McCrea, The Press, 1 June 2019.

Publications include

Miles to Go (Penguin Books, 2004)

Parish: For the People in in the Pews, co-authored by Kevin Burns (Glanmire Publishing, 2000)

There is Hope for a Tree (Bridget Williams Books and Auckland University Press, 1995)

I Can Change Anything – But Not On My Own, co-written with Teresa O’Connor (Glanmire Publishing, 1992)

Aunts and Windmills (Bridget Williams Books, 1991)

Community – Give it a Go!, co-written with Teresa O’Connor (Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1989)

A Changing Order (Allen & Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1986)