Sis­ter Rita Clare marks her hun­dredth birth­day in Camolin

Gorey Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By FIN­TAN LAMBE

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.

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