n.1.A rectoress.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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Unfortunately there had been no approval at any level in the hospital for such procedures and Michael and I were summoned next day to a meeting with Mother Rectress, Monsignor Connolly from the seminary at Manly and other significant figures to explain ourselves.
Initially the offer was gratefully accepted by the government of the day but confusion about the role of the secular matron, the indomitable Jane Bell (a Protestant), and the Mother Rectress of St Vincent's Hospital resulted in the arousal of public suspicion.