Sister Sheila O'Toole RNDM

Sister Sheila O'TooleSelected to do missionary work in Vietnam in 1969, Sister Mary Laurence (Sheila O’Toole) packed a heavy wooden crate with a circular saw and a full range of carpentry tools – hammers, saws, chisels, spanners, electric drill, electric sander, screwdriver, nails, etc.
These were much used items of personal equipment which enabled Sister to do a personal reconstruction in that war torn country.
Standing trim and smiling in her religious habit, Sister Mary Laurence looks like many other Sisters of our Lady of the Missions, but her secret is that she is an accomplished carpenter and cabinet maker, who has left her mark on a number of Convents in the Auckland Diocese.

Sister Mary Laurence is not only an artist of the circular saw, but a kind of general handywoman, who is adept at minor and electrical repairs, wields an effective spanner on motor-mowers, and tackled routine car maintenance jobs, such as cleaning the spark plugs.

Her experiences in Vietnam (many of them humurous, others very sobering) inspired her to write a detailed account of her encounters. Behind the Visor is a remarkable story, made more so by the fact that it is a true story.

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