Margaret Dillon was born in County Tipperary, Ireland in 1818. At the time of her arrival in Australia she had only been professed as a Sister of Mercy for a little over a year. She entered the Sisters of Mercy, Baggot Street, Dublin on April 1, 1842 and her Religious Profession took place on December 28, 1844. Her religious name was Sister Mary Anne Xavier. After her profession she was appointed to the ministry as a lay sister.

Anne Xavier Dillon was of a quiet disposition. Although little was known of her by the rest of the Baggot Street community as she was a lay sister and worked in the background, Mother Cecelia Marmion selected her for the Mission to Australia.

While on the Barque, Ursula wrote home to Mother Cecelia that Anne Xavier was a “most angelic creature”. Ursula added the following in her letter: “What short sighted poor creatures we, at least I am; when you told me that Sister Anne was coming I heard it with perfect indifference…I found her all I could have hoped for…”

It was while on this long and arduous journey that Ursula and Anne formed an effective, supportive and religious partnership. Sr Anne Xavier Dillon was appointed to the office of Mother Assistant in August 1846. In 1850 she accompanied Ursula Frayne to Europe and Ireland, returning in 1851. She was re-elected Mother Assistant on June 5th 1851, resigning from this office on June 1 1854 and re­elected on the same day.

Sr Anne Xavier Dillon resigned as Mother Assistant on 27th June 1856 and accompanied Mother Ursula Frayne to Melbourne in January 1857 where she was to work with Ursula until her death.

She died on May 11th, 1890 and is buried in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Convent of Mercy, Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, Victoria.

-Joan Smith rsm, 'The Pioneer Women'