The Columban Sisters in Magheramore remember
our Columban Sisters who have gone before us, together with more than 300 families and friends of the Sisters.
Lord God, you consecrated our Sisters to yourself in baptism and dedicated them for mission by your gift of religious missionary vocation.
We ask you to give them a place amongst the blessed. May they praise you forever and intercede for all of us, their families, their Columban Sisters and the people amongst whom they were missioned, until we all unite with them in glory, through your goodness and the merits of Jesus, your Son, forever. Amen
Below is the reflection of Sr. Patricia Quigley during the Mass:
Greetings to you and I would like to join with Sr. Rose, Fr. Pat and all the Columban Sisters here in welcoming you and thanking you for coming. We are delighted you could come
The words on the cover of our mass booklet sum up for us, very beautifully, why we are gathered here today. We have come to remember, to celebrate and to believe. To remember your beloved family member who in response to a call from God became a Sister and how privileged we were that it was our Congregation that was chose. Where ever they went they were laying the foundation for us to follow and at the same time witnessing to the words of Jesus in the Gospel “you did not chose me, no, I chose you and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last”
And how faithful they were to their calling, as we remember the seeds they sowed in China, the U.S., the Philippines, Burma, Hong Kong, Korea, Peru, Chile, Ireland, England and Scotland. And although none of our deceased Sisters were ever missioned in Pakistan they would have certainly prayed for that mission. These seeds sown have continued to bear fruit in plenty e.g. churches coming of age, institutes handed over and being successfully run by the local people, people working for the good of their own people, people acknowledging that they were passing on to others what they received from the Columban Sisters, – the list is endless. And we never cease to marvel at the way our deceased Sisters continue to be remembered. During the past few years we have welcomed a number of visitors who have come from various parts of the world to visit the graves of their favourite Sisters and to say thanks for what they have received from them. And as they visit with us, they share how they were enriched and how they have used what they received. Often old photographs are produced or a helpful sentence or experience is shared. So if there were any doubts about fulfilling what the Gospel asks of “bearing fruit, fruit that will last” these doubts are quickly banished when you listen to their stories.
Therefore it is little wonder that we are happy that you have come here today – not only to pray in remembrance of your loved ones but to celebrate how they have enriched our world in many, many places by being missionary Sisters. And yet we know that as missionary sisters they were always blessed by their families who encouraged them and supported them and our Congregation down through the years. So, we are celebrating you, too, as you were and continue to be part of “proclaiming to the gentiles the infinite treasures of Christ” as St. Paul puts it so clearly in the first reading.
I know, last cemetery day Sr. Ita asked those who were present to pray for vocations and I am sure you won’t mind if I ask you again to pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest. At the same time please join with us in joyful gratitude to God – today in Korea Sisters Julie and Bella, two of our Sisters from Korea, missioned in the Philippines, have made their profession of final vows. And last month Sr. Enda, also from Korea, made her profession of final vows in Myanmar (Burma).
And finally, last February, when one of our Sisters died and her sister was unable to attend the funeral, she wrote to us in gratitude for the care her sister had received and one line in her letter really stayed in my heart – it read “please continue to pray for us and always regard us as members of the Columban Family”. I believe and I hope that is how it is for you, too, that you regard yourselves as members of the Columban Family. Be assured we will continue to pray for you and I believe that you will pray for us, too. So can we start right now to pray for each other by having a short silence.