Sr Margaret, in community at Hengist House, Westgate-on-Sea, England died in hospital on the 25th of August 2020. She was in her 87th year of age, 65 years in religious life.
Sr Margaret’s funeral took place on Tuesday, 22nd September at 12.00 noon, at Holy Family Church, Minnis Road, Birchington, Kent CT7 9SP. Mass was celebrated by the Rev. Fr Anthony Shryane with burial afterwards in Margate cemetery.
Margaret was born 5th November 1933, in Glenville, County Cork in Ireland. She was the eldest of nine children where they grew up on a farm, still run by her brother Danny.
Margaret waited for her sister Hannah to be old enough to go to school. Hannah remembers their walks to school in all weathers, bare foot in the summer. Margaret and Hannah were confirmed together, and Margaret left school at 14.
At home, cooking was on an open fire, with iron pots and an iron kettle which would sing when it was boiling. Their mother cooked on an iron bastable, with water was from the spring, and the children all had their jobs after school.
In 1950 Aunt Anna (Sr Finbarr) was already working as a dietitian in Shooters Hill hospital in London and found a job and a cookery course for Margaret who then came to England.
In 1951 Anna had decided to join the Daughters of Jesus, the following year Margaret decided to follow in her footsteps and went to the house in Princes Risborough to prepare to go to the Novitiate in France. In 1952 Margaret went to Kermaria to begin her novitiate. She made profession in 1955 and returned to Colne in the north of England.
Almost her entire religious life was spent at the service of the community and of the local parish. For many years she cared for elderly ladies in the care home at Princes Risborough where she had a number of responsibilities. When Massingham St Mary changed from being the English novitiate house to become a retreat centre, Margaret became a kingpin in the housekeeping and organisation.
She had an excellent memory and was often the memory of the community. She knew how things should be done – a bit of a perfectionist!
In Westgate as in Rickmansworth she showed herself to be an excellent housekeeper. She died as she had lived, faithful to the end. She had fought the good fight and finished the course. “Heart that was pure, hands that were strong, lips that spoke no lies, Always the other to be cared for.” A gentle soul. May she rest in peace.