Sr. Marie Joseph Fleming R.I.P.
Sr. Marie Joseph Fleming (Johanna) was born at Waterford Road, Springfield, Kilkenny on 16 April 1909. Her parents were James and Catherine Fleming. Marie was one of a large family, 9 girls and 5 boys. She was the last surviving member of her family.
Having completed her secondary education at Presentation Convent, Kilkenny, she went to London to train as a nurse. On completion of her training, she decided to enter the St John of God Novitiate, Wexford, where her sister Maris Stella had already entered. She went to the Novitiate on 3 September 1935, made First Profession on 8 September 1938 and Final Profession on 30 September, 1941.
Marie worked in many of our hospitals over the years including Kildare, Maypark, Aut Even and Parkton. On her retirement from nursing in 1972 she took up ministry in our Retreat Centre at Ballyvaloo where she remained until 1988. She always had a great welcome for all who came to the Centre. But Marie was not one to retire. So in 1988 she moved to Owning and ministered there until she finally retired to Kilkenny Convent in 2001.
Marie was gifted with a bright and cheerful personality together with a rare sense of humour. These qualities endeared her to her Sisters in community and to all with whom she ministered. Another of her many gifts was a sweet singing voice and she was always willing to entertain with a song at community celebrations.
Her deep spirit of faith was put to the test when in her 90th year her sight failed. This heavy cross she accepted with great resignation and patience and was often heard to say that the good Lord had graced her with many gifts and blessings during her lifetime and that she was willing to accept this heavy cross.
She had the distinction of being the first St. John of God Sister to reach 100 years. The highlight for Marie on this occasion was the special congratulations and gift which she received from the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. Marie continued with her indomitable spirit for two and a half more years before finally being called home to her eternal reward on 9 December 2011. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr. Dan Carroll. Fr. Dan had earlier interviewed Marie on Kilkenny Radio. During his homily he encompassed the many aspects of her life
Following her Requiem Mass Marie was interred in Foulkstown Cemetery. We pray that she is now enjoying the Fullness of Life with God.