Sisters Angela, Mona and Zita from Spanish Point Convent share with us their memories of their time in Spanish Point Convent which they left this year.
Each Change of Place Involves More Than a Change of Location
Each change brings the challenge of soul searching and adapting to a new community, new expectations, different local cultures in the wider community and of course new learnings about oneself and society. This was very evident to me when I returned to Ireland and to South Central Province in 2015 after twenty six years in Kenya. The social environment in Ireland was utterly different from what I had known in the 1980s. Even the new motorways were a puzzle for me to negotiate but the outlook of individuals had been transformed with time and previous ministries of Mercy had made way for new ones. Adjusting to these changes took me most of two years. After that I settled into a mindset that now I had found a place of retirement for the remaining years of my earthly existence.
But over the next two years our community had shrunk to four and the inevitable next move came in 2020. Moving into an established community was difficult for me to consider and I was very fortunate to find a nice comfortable apartment where I could reflect and rediscover my strengths and weaknesses in my senior years.
Community says a social distance goodbye to the Sisters
Unfortunately the COVID-19 virus created some extra problems around saying a proper goodbye to close friends and also curtailed our movements. Since I was transferring to Limerick from Spanish Point it was necessary for me to get a letter from authorities to travel on ‘legitimate business’ even though I should be strictly confined to the convent, but every risk had to be considered in order to be ready to move. Then there were changes of addresses, notification to close friends of my imminent change and of course proper goodbyes to my beloved garden and the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. Our leaving was suitably recorded by a gathering on our front porch as a gesture of appreciation and affection. We were presented with suitable tokens of ‘appreciation of the long and fruitful ministries of our Sisters over ninety years of committed services.’
the Sisters enjoying the community drive pass
Now life for each of us is richer for our years of togetherness and Mercy life in one of the world’s most beautiful locations.
There is left now our memories and our ingenuity to enter a new chapter along life’s journey.
Angela Hartigan rsm
South Central Province
Musings and Memories of 16 Years in Spanish Point
2004 – 2020
Looking back with gratitude on these years and of the Sisters I shared life with, three of these Sisters are now enjoying their eternal reward and two of them have moved to nursing homes. All of these Sisters helped me in many ways and their stories and memories will remain with me always. The last of us Zita, Angela, Noreen and myself departed for pastures new on June 30th, 2020 with heavy hearts but looking forward in hope to healthy years to come God willing.
Spanish Point Convent
Nobody will forget in Ireland and throughout the world the year 2020. It changed everybody – COVD-19 was an eye opener for us all to slow down.
When closing the door in the Convent in Spanish Point on June 30th it was good to know our years in Spanish Point and the years of all the Sisters before us were not in vain. As was written in the Clare Champion, ‘The Sisters made a great contribution to the community with their tireless work, and it is a tribute to them that the school is still flourishing. The old order has changed but the good work continues’.
All the Sisters I lived with during these years played their parts in this work. Quoting from our local Parish Priest in our church newsletter, ‘On a deeper level it’s the legacy of kindness left by Sisters Mona, Angela, Zita, Noreen, Agnes and Lelia along with many others that linger on in the heart. Thank you to all the Sisters in Spanish Point and we assure you that your kindness did not go unnoticed. We are the poorer for your going. Slán go fóill agus Míle Buíochas, we certainly say we won’t see your likes again in this area’
Before I conclude I would like to thank two special people who helped us – Mrs Catherine McInerney and Mrs Carmel Talty along with the myriad of others who helped us on our way. I enjoyed my six years as a member of the Parish Council and Church Ministry involving Reading, Eucharistic Minister, Community-led liturgies and other church occasions. I was also privileged to be a part of the book published – Salty Faces and Ferocious Appetites – well worth a read if I may say so!
With this I conclude and look forward to the new chapter of my life I have begun in Greendale Community, Clonroad, Ennis, Co Clare.
Mona Cleary rsm
South Central Province
Reconnecting With My Past Years
Just a few lines to reconnect with my past years (26); when the news came to the four of us that our lovely house was closing and a change for us was coming our way I got a shock but as time went by it was easier thank God. No rush as we had five long months to get in order.
I look back now and it was a lovely change for me to move to Ennis but I enjoyed my 26 years in Spanish Point. I met up with lovely friends, male and female, just visiting old people whom I miss but most gone to God by now. Next I will also miss the swim from the months of May to October. Next I will also miss the swim from the months of May to October. It was fun and of course, a tonic for the year. I am thankful for being able. I have to say how nice it was to celebrate my Golden, and Diamond Jubilee’s, my 90th birthday and last year the Platinum years. The Sisters with me were all part of these joyful days.
I will always remember their company and appreciation of my work here. The Lord blessed me with good health and strength to work for Him as it was hidden and at times unnoticed. I am now back in Ennis and so happy to be where I entered on 24th September, 1946.
On my way to Ennis on the morning I entered. I was accompanied by my parents we met a man driving a cart with a white horse going to the creamery. The man said to my mother “that girl will be very lucky having met a white horse”. And it is so true I have been very lucky!
Ending with a special blessing on us all and I will always pray for you all.
Zita Reidy rsm
South Central Province