A couple of weeks ago we got word that a regular visitor to our Sale of Work had died RIP. Her name was Kathleen Hogan and seh lived in Leixlip. I happened to be free and was able to attend her funeral. I knew nobody there but was soon befriended by Kathleen’s friends. The funeral Mass was a joyful celebration and gradually Kathleen’s story was told. She seemed to have had a great devotion to ‘Sales of Work’ and bought/gathered up all she could so that she’d have Christmas gifts for all those she knew – and didn’t know. As a child she was taken into care by the Good Shepherd Sisters in New Ross, in what was called a ‘Magdalen Home’. Contrary to the many horror stories that have emanated from those homes, Catherine never had a bad word to say about her treatment there. And we know that her memories were happy ones because she asked that her ashes, following cremation, would be buried by the Sisters in the grounds of the home where she was reared. True to her custom of giving out gifts, her dying wish was that all who attended her funeral would be treated to a ‘proper’ lunch in the local hotel.
I had the privilege of coming to know the greatness of one of God’s little ones. May she rest in Peace!
Coming fom the city on the 150 bus recently I shared a seat with a woman whom I had never met before. Her name is Breda. She told me she has been a widow for the past 29 years; her Dad suffers from Alzheimer’s and her Mom cares for him down in their home near Carlow. Breda’s daughter Ashling was 11 years old when her father died. There was another little girl 4 years younger who died of hepatitis at 7 months. Ashling was traumatized but gradually came through it and did well at her studies. She is a Church-goer, and a turning point for her was when she attended YOUTH 2000. At that youth celebration Ashling met her future husband, a young man who is spina bifida. They’re happily married since last year.
By the time I had heard that story my bus had arrived at St. Agnes’ Road and it was time to part from Breda. I was amazed that such a happy faith-filled woman could have come through so much suffering.
The No. 9 bus too deals with some wonderful passengers. Today I met a woman named Anne coming from town. She had been shopping for a plastic lunch-box. She seemed to be a grandmother, so I asked if it was for a grand-child. No, it’s for herself. She’s beginning a degree course in Sept. having attended preparatory courses over the past few years. In 1976 she did her Leaving Cert, then married and raised her family. They’ve now moved on, her husband is retired from work and at last Anne has time to do something for herself. She hopes to get involved in the food industry when she graduates in 4 years!
In Fr. Kitt Court too we have our special people. Helen has a little dog called Tuffee – her pride and joy. Today Helen told me that Tuffee is 82 dog-years old (14 years for us humans). She’s suffering from arthritis in her legs. She has heart problems, kidney and sight problems. But she seems to be so much loved that she’ll be around for many more “dog-years”
By: Sr. Mary Nolan,ssc
Served as a Congregational Leader of the Missionary Sisters of St. Columban and was missioned in Peru for many years. Mary is presently missioned in Ireland.