Last week Sister Mary Campion celebrated her 100th birthday and Sister Mary Coen celebrated 60 years of religious life. Here in the parish and at the convent in Rearsby were joyful celebrations. From the Rearsby Mass leaflet we learn:
Mary Campion was born 22nd July 1917 and although her birth certificate names her as Evelene Mary Campion she has always claimed Mary Magdalen as her name (22nd July is the feast of St Mary Magdalen). When Sister was received into the congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace she took the name Sister Mary Gabriel but reverted to her own name when that became an option. For more than eighty years Sister Mary has ministered generously and with such good grace.
Mary Teresa Coen knew from a young age that she wanted to be a Sister so in 1957 she left
her parents and her two brothers in Rahara, County Roscommon, and came to Rearsby. Her parish priest at the time described her as “a young lady of excellent character” whom he could confidently recommend. The Sisters say how beautifully Sister Mary has ministered over the years – and that she is still a young lady in terms of energy and generosity, continuing her ministry of service and healing which began all those years ago. The Sisters thank her for her caring nature and willingness to take on whatever challenge came her way.
We can imagine the joy at Rearsby shared with all the Sisters who were able to come and we were glad at St Joseph’s and the Rosary Church to share that joy in our prayer and gratitude. How generously over the years the Sisters have served in our parish and diocese and elsewhere. Many of the people of the parish will remember being taught by the Sisters at our school and how good it has been to be with them in the parish services and ministry.
Thank you, Sisters, for all you have meant to us during the many years.
God bless you,
(30th July 2017)
Dear Sister Campion,
I have learned with great pleasure that you will celebrate on 22nd July 2017 the hundredth
anniversary of your birth.
What a wonderful occasion for you, your extended family and friends as you reminisce and celebrate a life great in years and, I have no doubt, rich in accomplishments. I join with your family and friends in wishing you a very happy birthday.
Born, as you were, in the second decade of the 20th century, you have lived through remarkable times in the history of Ireland and the world. You have witnessed remarkable changes and developments.
May you be surrounded today by the warmth of happy memories and secure in the knowledge that you continue to make this world a better place for all who love you. I am delighted to send my warmest personal congratulations and most sincere good wishes.
Yours sincerely, Michael D Higgins,
President of Ireland
I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your 100th birthday on 22nd July 2017. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.
Queen Elizabeth R
Miss Mary Campion
(PS a beautiful photograph of our Queen
Elizabeth is on the card that Sr Mary received)
Dear Miss Campion,
Warm congratulations on the occasion of your 100th birthday. My best wishes go out to you for a most enjoyable day.
The Right Honourable David Gauke MP
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions