Like many children growing up in Dublin during the 1960’s and 70’s, I was one of the lucky ones to be born into a family of faith and religious practice. I am one of five; my twin brother and I being the eldest. We were not a ‘rosary’ family, but my mother, to this day, lights a candle on her ‘sacred space’ which is the mantle piece! Each day when I was growing up, as the candle was lit, we called to mind a special intention. We were fortunate that we lived beside the church and we seldom passed it without paying a visit to Jesus in the tabernacle and having a chat with him.
I attended a Religious Sisters of Charity school, both Primary and Secondary, so I got to know many of the Sisters. I was always impressed by them and their generosity in helping us, always going the extra mile!! Having finished school, and like many girls of my age, I enjoyed being in the company of my peers. We went to the cinema, discos and even the pub where the real chats happened. Some of us were in the Legion of Mary. I was also involved with the organisation, which still exists, Young Christian Workers (YCW) – see, judge and act was the core value of this group. While we saw, judged and acted on many issues we also had a very healthy social life, and we travelled abroad to meet other YCW groups. Putting faith into action was important to me then.
I began to feel that there was more to life – that I needed more than work, my friends and social activities.
When I turned 20 years, I began to feel that there was more to life – that I needed more than work, my friends and social activities. While I enjoyed all these, there was the yearning for the more. Religious life came to mind and once it came, there was no getting rid of it! My friend, Veronica, who could read my mind, encouraged me to follow it up. Eventually, with her by my side, she picked up the phone and rang the Noviciate house in Milltown, asked to speak to the Novice Mistress and then handed me the phone! The following year in October, 1977 I joined the Religious Sisters of Charity.
35 years on, I still feel great gratitude to Veronica for her encouragement in helping me to take up my mat and follow Jesus by answering his call ‘Come and See’. I came and saw and I soon felt very much at home with having time and space for daily prayer, which is now a vital part of my life. I have never looked back. Like any human life I have had my ups and downs, but maybe as a Religious Sister of Charity I have learned to find God in all the bits and pieces of life. This has helped me grow into a deeper personal relationship with Him who is the food for my journey of life.