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