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A Day in my Life ...

02 April 2012

Ireland SW Province

My day starts with Mass in the local parish church.  As most of our senior citizens attend, I usually meet with them afterwards and catch up on events in their lives.  Since my retirement from teaching I devote some of my time to working with First Communion and Confirmation parents and pupils in our local Primary School, so I usually go to the school each day around 11.00 a.m.  At the moment I am working with the Confirmation teacher and pupils on a prayer service based on the Stations of the Cross which they will present to the rest of the pupils in the school and to parents.  Working with the Sixth Class can be challenging!  I am Chairperson of the Board of Management in the school so I regularly spend time with the Principal discussing the many school issues that crop up constantly.  Some days I call to the First Communion Class to encourage them and to remind them and parents to come to the liturgy preparation meetings.  These activities bring me to lunchtime so I then return to the convent for lunch.  I live in a community of twelve sisters.  As most of these sisters taught in the local schools, they maintain a great interest in all school events so our lunchtime chats revolve around school related news as well as other local and foreign news.

After lunch I attend to various tasks - contacting members of Liturgy or Baptismal Groups re-upcoming meetings or other events, delivering The Messenger to homes in the parish.  Some of these visits can take longer as people love the visit and the cup of tea is always welcome.  Other days I call to the nursing home to see Lelia, one of our sisters in her 96th year.  Lelia’s mind is very alert but as a result of a stroke her speech is impaired but she loves to hear community and parish news.  Then comes some breathing time - time to do a bit of reading or preparation before Evening Prayer with the community.  If I’m leading the prayer I like to give extra time to preparing.  After the Evening Prayer we have supper and another sharing of the news of the day.  We are situated in a very busy part of Limerick city.  The wall of the Garda Station borders our garden.  Garda sirens are part of our everyday lives.  However, we have a lovely chapel which is an oasis for prayer.  After supper I get to spend some quiet time with the Lord.  This time nourishes my inner being and inspires me to carry on doing the Lord’s work. 

Most evenings I have a meeting in the local Resource Centre.  It could be a Pastoral Council Meeting, a Baptismal Meeting or a Diocesan Liturgy Meeting.  I also meet with First Communion Parents once a month to prepare the liturgy for the Family Mass.  I find this meeting both enjoyable and energising. And we take time afterwards to relax and chat over a cup of tea.  I’m usually home around 9.30 p.m.  If some of the sisters are in the kitchen I join them for chat.  Before bedtime I take some time alone to notice the presence of God in the “bits and pieces of the day”.
[Sr. Helen O’Brien, Roxboro Road, Limerick]