Mount Saint Michael, Rosscarbery

Eulogy for the late Sr. Regina.....delivered by Sr. Angela

As requested by many, here is Eulogy delivered by Sister Angela at the Requiem Mass. Sr. Regina would have given it her unique wink of approval as it says it all,  and it is with gratitude that we print it here in full.
Eulogy for the late Sr. Regina.....delivered by Sr. Angela

It was with great sadness that we all learned of the passing of Sister Regina Kenny – Sister of Mercy in the Rosscarbery Convent for many years and one synonymous with the Boarding School of Mount Saint Michael Secondary School at that time. Her good friend and colleague Sister Angela delivered a powerful eulogy at the Requiem Mass on Friday last.

Sr. Regina would have given it her unique wink of approval as it says it all, and it is with gratitude that we print it here in full.

Good Afternoon,

It is a privilege for me to reflect on Sr. Regina’s life with you, her family, her Mercy Sisters and her many friends, especially her much-loved boarders in Mount Saint Michael Rosscarbery, from wherever you are joining us today on Clonakilty Parish website.

There’s a time for everything the first reading from Ecclesiastes tells us…..A time to be born.

Sr. Regina’s time to be born came on August 8th 1933, when she was welcomed as the seventh and youngest child of Maurice & Mary Kenny, in Ballyheigue, Co Kerry where she spent a happy childhood and youth. These years influenced so positively her entire life. When she reminisced, there came to life a home where hospitality was the norm, an open house for neighbours and in particular a watchful eye for elderly neighbours living alone. She often quoted her mother telling her not let any caller go away without a treat to take home and visiting elderly neighbours meant sharing something from the family table. Seeds of kindness and neighbourliness took root and flourished in the young Mary Kenny.

She also remembered her mother’s care for her with comforting home remedies long before antibiotics and other medicines were freely available. Memories of her father accompanying her on her way to school and watching out for her on the way home grounded her in love and security. She was very close to her family in Ireland and America and that family bond was reciprocated in their many visits and phone calls when the roads to Kerry and Roscommon became too long for her. To the younger generations of family who cannot be with us today - she loved you, prayed for you and you became familiar to us as she shared your pictures and stories with us.

My soul is longing for your peace - Today’s psalm echoes Sr. Regina’s search as a young woman who enjoyed her employment in Tralee and spending time socialising with her group of close friends. She and some friends visited Mount Mellery on weekend retreats and eventually her search brought her from one seaside to another as she joined the Mercy community in Rosscarbery on April 12th 1964. She spent her novitiate in the Mercy Convent, Clonakilty, where she took her vows on October 24th 1966 when she returned to Rosscarbery. At this time, Mount Saint Michael had introduced boarding facilities for national and international students, with an outreach for boys to board with local families.

Having had experience in childcare in England, Sr. Regina assumed responsibility for the boarders who returned home only on term breaks. Whilst the Sisters shared with supervision and recreation - and household staff became trusted and lifelong friends - the overall responsibility for 80 young girls was hers. The boarders became an extended family each of whom was accepted, respected and cared for with wisdom, endless patience and compassion. They were given the motherly care she experienced herself – a care which also reached out to the boy boarders who remember her visits and being rounded up for the Rosary before being given the buns or chocolate.

When there were incidents that needed correcting, her wisdom and patience, in unravelling the situation by degrees rather than reacting, always impressed me. She believed and trusted in each person’s basic goodness – a trust which was underpinned by her belief in the power of Christ to transform each person in her care and to conform to His love and His dream for them. To her family of boarders joining us from many countries today, each of you and your families, were loved and prayed for. Your communications and visits were always welcome and pleasing to her.

Responsibility for Boarders necessitated contact and communication with secondary school staff and she often found herself arbitrator in resolving classroom misdemeanours. She was greatly respected by principals and school staff and was supportive of all aspects of school life. The wider Rosscarbery community became an outreach for Sr. Regina, especially those living alone or those who were ill. She was a frequent visitor to Mount Carmel hospital always with the packet of sweets or biscuits and the comforting medals and scapulars.

Similarly, on her retirement from the Boarding school, her Yaris was frequently on the road visiting the elderly, the sick, the lonely. When the Convent closed in Rosscarbery in 2015, moving to Aras Muire was a challenge for Sr. Regina. The care and attention she received from her Sisters and dedicated staff helped her adjust and as advancing years took their toll, she has so grateful and happy to be surrounded by such loving care and spiritual comfort.

The Gospel we have just heard pinpoints the source of Sr. Regina’s life as a Mercy Sister. God’s Mercy and compassion is channelled to His people through the lives of those who show compassion, care and hospitality especially to those in need. Jesus identifies with us in this need when He says: What you did, you did it to Me. Sr.Regina drew strength from vowed life and her Mercy family in bringing God’s loving Mercy to many.

She embodied Catherine McAuley’s advice: Be careful never to make too many laws, for if you draw the string too tight it will break and also there are things the poor prize more highly than gold though they cost nothing – the kind word, a gentle compassionate look, and the patient hearing of their sorrows. I am sure that Regina would also agree with Catherine’s request to her Sisters before her death Would you tell the Sisters get a good cup of tea when I am gone and to comfort one another.

Sr. Regina, may your legacy of humility, compassion and loving kindness live on in us all. May you hear the Lord’s invitation: Come inherit the kingdom prepared for you. May you rest in peace.

Plan detailed by Year Head Meetings on Monday January 11th
School closes on Tuesday 22nd at 1130 & reopens on Wednesday January 6th.
Congratulations to TY students Conor Ringrose, Joseph Craig and Luka Unger
Presentation of proceeds!
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