SR. PHILOMENA CORBETT R.I.P.
The sudden death of Sr. Philomena on April 1st 2015, came as a huge shock for all the Sisters, her family, friends and colleagues.
Philomena was born at Gortrack, Kilsheelan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary on the 19th May 1938. Her parents were Ellen (nee Nolan) and Michael Corbett. She is survived by her brothers John, Pat and Michael, her sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces. She was predeceased by her brother Tim.
She entered St. John of God Novitiate, Wexford on the 11th February 1954. She made First Profession on the 8th September 1956 and her Final Profession on the 8th September 1959. Having trained as a chef at City and Guilds, Dublin, Philomena ministered in various locations, including Wexford Convent, St. Johns, Enniscorthy, Aut Even, Torquay and London. In 1972 she was appointed to the catering staff at Good Counsel College, New Ross where she remained until 1987.
Philomena was creative and artistic and had a heart for and commitment to those who struggle in life. She had a great sense of being called by God and over the years she heard ever more strongly the call to the margins. Then in 1988 the opportunity came to follow that call when she was transferred to Waterford and was able to be fully involved in caring for the disadvantaged. She commenced her ministry in St. Bridget’s Adult Education Centre, Waterford. She worked with women’s groups in Ballybeg, Waterford City and Ferrybank areas. She involved these women in various programmes including home making, budgeting, and arts and crafts.
The much publicized 2005 earthquake in Pakistan led Philomena to travel to Lahore where she lived with our John of God community in Bagriaan, Greentown, Lahore. While there she was very touched by the suffering among the badly affected, fear stricken children. On her return to Ireland, Philomena, who was a gifted artist, decided to sell her paintings and with many of her faithful friends, she arranged table quizzes, car boot sales and many collections. All the proceeds went to the children of Lahore to try and alleviate their suffering. Shortly before her sudden death Philomena intended putting her Art Collection on display, with the proceeds to be divided between the children of Lahore and local Waterford causes. To honour her memory her colleagues went ahead with the planned exhibition on the 10th May at Tramore Coast Guard Cultural Centre.
Philomena’s Requiem Mass was concelebrated at Gambonsfield Church, Kilsheelan, Fr. Fegan IC, was chief celebrant. Concelebrants were Augustinian Fathers, Kiernan O’Mahoney, Ger O’Brien, John Hennebrey and Aiden O’Leary. She was laid to rest in the local cemetery in Gambonsfield. We thank God for all she has given so generously throughout her life and pray that she now enjoys the fullness of life with God.