Birthday celebrations for centenarian Sr Rita Clare
WARM tributes were paid at Valentia Nursing Home in Camolin recently as a special celebration was held to mark the 100th birthday of Sr Rita Clare.
Sr Rita is fondly remembered by many who went to school in Wexford or Enniscorthy and some of them were among those who attended a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by her life-long friend Bishop Denis Brennan at the nursing home. Also present were 20 of her family members, and 20 Sisters of Mercy who travelled from all over, as well as residents and staff of Valentia Nursing Home.
Daughter of James and Mary Clare from Tinahely, Sr Rita was born Alice Clare on September 23, 1917, the youngest of 12 children. She is affectionately known in the family as Aunt Bella.
She was educated at Tinahely NS, and then went to secondary school in Arklow before entering the Mercy Convent in Summerhill, Wexford, on May 6, 1937. She trained as a teacher in Carysfort, before going on to teach in John’s Road in Wexford, and then the ‘ top secondary’ Mercy School. She later taught in Coláiste Bríde and St Senan’s primary school in Enniscorthy.
She ‘retired’ in 1983, but stayed active in the community, working with the poor in Wexford, through the Convent and local organisations, visiting people in their homes and in nursing homes. One such nursing home was Valentia, and she decided to move there in 2010, where she maintains her deep devotion to the Divine Mercy, and to St Padre Pio.
She was delighted to receive a letter from President Higgins on her birthday, and Sr Miriam Kerrisk, Provincial of the Sisters of Mercy southern province helped her cut a celebratory cake.
Sr Rita thanked all for their good wishes. Thanks to went to the director of nursing an her staff at Valentia for the loving care they give Sr Rita.
Those who know her often speak of the air of joy and peace that Sr Rita has about her. She is known as a woman of prayer, and a woman of mercy who is filled with the love of God, and will always pray a blessing on those she meets.
Sr Rita Clare pictured with Bishop Denis Brennan, Fr Cushen and the Sisters of Mercy at Sr Rita’s 100th birthday celebrations at Valentia Nursing Home, Camolin.
Sr Rita Clare pictured with Bishop Denis Brennan, Fr Cushen and members of Sr Rita’s family at her 100th birthday celebrations at Valentia Nursing Home in Camolin.
Sr Rita Clare receiving the President’s letter from Bishop Denis Brennan. Also pictured is Sr Miriam Kerrisk.