Journey of Discovery…
hidden pain, hidden joy.
On a wet and windy May morning, as the cherry blossom was falling gently outside the window, a book launch was taking place in our Motherhouse, Magheramore, Wicklow.
Sister Joan O’Connor has written an engrossing account of her time in China and her ministry specially to children with special needs and their parents. Joan, who is skilled in teaching Conductive Education which empowers children with severe limb dysfunction to walk upright, has travelled the highroads and byroads of this vast continent, working in orphanages and hospitals teaching medical staff and parents a better treatment for these little ones who have so often been forgotten. Her greatest challenge was dealing with their low, even non-existent expectations for these children. A challenge she met with infectious enthusiasm, skill and real love for the children. As a visiting academic from the US later wrote: “Joan O’Connor, an Irish Sister and nurse, has not only improved the lives of a number of children with cerebral palsy but she is also training a local teacher to carry out the programme in Chinese.”
It was truly ‘A journey of discovery’ as she touched into the joys and sorrows of people, as she learned the way of life of those who were left behind in the great economic advances, as she shared her own hopes and swapped stories with people she met on the way. For more than twenty years she inspired her co-workers and the ‘little people’, families and children, bringing hope and the possibility of a new life to hundreds of people. The stories of her discoveries make fascinating reading and the photographs add luster to the text.
Underpinned by her faith, courage and enthusiasm Joan’s book is a story of hope, an inspiration to all who willingly help others on their journey.