A re­tire­ment age is likely to be brought in as the role can be de­mand­ing phys­i­cally when it in­volves help­ing the wheel­chair-bound

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

up, sort out the clothes and make lunches quite early,” the rus­set-haired young woman ex­plains.

Once Cather­ine’s health im­proved some­what, she was keen to give some­thing back.

“Any day you can get out of bed is a good day. My job here in Knock is deal­ing with Mass cards, but I feel it is more than that; I like to talk to the pil­grims. The last day I was here, a gen­tle­man wanted a Mass card for his daugh­ter and I fool­ishly asked if she was ill and he told me she had com­mit­ted sui­cide. He was dev­as­tated; he sat there and talked with me and the two of us cried.

“Lis­ten­ing is part of this. If peo­ple want to tell you their trou­bles — and a lot of them do — I would con­sider my­self to be a good lis­tener. Some­times peo­ple can talk more eas­ily to a stranger.”

Knock’s pri­or­ity, ac­cord­ing to Cather­ine, is the dis­abled and the sick. “They get pri­or­ity

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