Sis­ter Joy had a kind heart and spent her life help­ing and giving

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

SIS­TER Joy Car­mody passed away re­cently af­ter ded­i­cat­ing most of her life to the Colum­ban Sis­ters.

Sis­ter Joy was born in Car­ri­ga­holt, County Clare on Easter Sun­day, April 21, 1935, as the an­gelus bell was ring­ing. A baby sis­ter had died a few years be­fore, so her safe ar­rival was a spe­cial cause of cel­e­bra­tion and also the cause of her be­ing called Joy – be­cause of the great joy that her birth had brought.

Joy loved the majestic River Shan­non, and had many sto­ries of hap­pen­ings on the river. She loved the Ir­ish lan­guage, tra­di­tional Ir­ish mu­sic and ev­ery­thing Ir­ish.

Dur­ing her long ac­tive life, Joy had a var­ied apos­tolic ca­reer. Af­ter her pro­fes­sion in 1958, she was as­signed to Dublin for stud­ies and in 1963 she set out on her first mis­sion­ary jour­ney, by boat, to the Philip­pines.

Her des­ti­na­tion was the north­ern Prov­ince of Pan­gasi­nan, where she spent the next 14 years, be­tween the towns of Lin­gayen and Labrador. There she gave her­self gen­er­ously to the ed­u­ca­tion apos­to­late – not only to her own as­signed classes, but also reach­ing out to the priests who were work­ing there.

It was dur­ing this time that she be­came prin­ci­pal of the school in Labrador. This was a big re­spon­si­bil­ity but she took it on and worked hard to build it up dur­ing the time she was as­signed there. Shortly af­ter her ar­rival in the Philip­pines, she had stud­ied Li­brary Sci­ence, was a very gifted li­brar­ian, and was most gen­er­ous in shar­ing her skills, both in the Philip­pines and once back on home soil in Magher­amore.

She re­turned to Ire­land in 1977, but was back in Lin­gayen in 1979 for one year be­fore be­ing as­signed to the cen­tral house in San Juan, Manila, as Re­gional Bur­sar, a par­tic­u­larly heavy re­spon­si­bil­ity at the time be­cause there was an on­go­ing build­ing project there which she helped to su­per­vise.

She was house­keeper also dur­ing the years in San Juan, and was al­ways wel­com­ing to all who came there.

She re­mained in Manila un­til 1986, when she fi­nally left the Philip­pines. She was not yet ready to rest on her lau­rels how­ever, and af­ter two years in Magher­amore, she was as­signed to East Kil­bride in Scot­land, where she spent five happy years.

Joy loved Scot­land and its peo­ple, and her min­istry as hospital chap­lain there gave scope to her unique gift of reach­ing out to peo­ple with warmth and com­pas­sion, gain­ing their con­fi­dence and lis­ten­ing to their dif­fi­cul­ties and needs.

Re­turn­ing to Ire­land in 2004, she was as­signed to the house in Crum­lin for nine years, un­til 2013. Her min­istry dur­ing this time in­cluded Eu­charis­tic min­istry in St James’ Hospital and, as was usual for her, she en­tered whole­heart­edly into this min­istry too.

It was dur­ing this time it be­came ob­vi­ous that her health was fail­ing, and even­tu­ally she was no longer able to con­tinue the Eu­charis­tic min­istry. Even then, she did what she could. She at­tended a day care cen­tre in the par­ish a few days a week, and while there, she taught the other women in the cen­tre how to knit.

Fi­nally, in 2013, it be­came ob­vi­ous that she was no longer able to give, but needed to re­ceive care her­self, and she joined the com­mu­nity in Magher­amore.

She will be re­mem­bered for her sense of hu­mour and wry turn of phrase, and for her some­times gruff ex­te­rior, behind which was a very kind heart. She was a pres­ence in the com­mu­nity there and she will not be for­got­ten.

Sis­ter Joy is pre­de­ceased by her par­ents, John and An­gela Car­mody, and her brother, Fr Patrick Car­mody. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her brother James, sis­terin-law Anne, niece, neph­ews, grand­nieces, grand­nephews, cousins, rel­a­tives, a wide cir­cle of friends, staff and re­li­gious Com­mu­nity.

The late Sis­ter Joy Car­mody.

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