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Sr. DeLourdes   Gogarty

Southern

I was born in Castlegregory Co. Kerry, Ireland and went to primary school there. My great-grandparents and grandparents were teachers at that school. I attended secondary school in Cahir Co. Tipperary, run by the Sisters of mercy. It was during a retreat in my final year that my call to Religious Life became clear and I entered Cappoquin Convent on 12th December 1939.

I was particularly close to my mother whose care and compassion deeply influenced my life. She would recite 'The Thirty Days Prayer' from memory! The Rosary was central to our lives. The seeds of my Mercy Vocation were no doubt sown in my own home and amidst the beauty of Castlegregory. There I would feel so close to God! It is still very close to my heart and soul.

St.Paul's word: "Lord, what will you have me to do?" were uttered to me by an old Jesuit priest whom I will never forget. He concretised my call and inspired me to follow Christ. After Vatican 11, Scripture became for me a source of rich nourishment and consolation in dark times.

I have always loved working with young people in the schools - affording as it did, a satisfying outreach into the heart of the homes - embedding me in the local community. During the downturn in the economy in the mid-sixties, many local families were forced to emigrate. Keeping up correspondence with them over the years has been both a joy for me and a lifeline for them.

I have found my life most fulfilling both as a human being and as a Sister of Mercy. As I come to the end of my life I rejoice and give thanks to God for his abundant gifts to me.

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