Sr. Vincent O’Leary R.I.P.
On Wednesday morning, 30th May, the Sisters of St. John of God at Sallyville House, Newtown Rd., Wexford, were deeply saddened on learning the news that Sr. Vincent O’Leary had passed away very peacefully during the night. While Vincent’s health had been gradually deteriorating over the past couple of years, her death was most unexpected and came as a great shock to her community and her family.
Vincent – Catherine Mary (Kate) O’Leary was one of six children born to Ellen and Murt O’Leary, Fahamore, Castlegregory, Co. Kerry. She had two brothers, both of whom have pre-deceased her, and three sisters. Her sister, Irene, was a nun in Texas and also pre-deceased her. At the age of twenty, in response to God’s call, Catherine left her home and family in Maharees and made her way by train, accompanied by her father, to the St. John of God Novitiate in Wexford, where she was professed in August 1949.
Following profession, Sr. Vincent ministered in various houses of the Congregation in Ireland and in Cardiff and Torquay in England. She also spent three years ministering at the Propaganda Fide Office in Rome before returning to Wexford in 1972. Twenty – four of the past forty-six years were spent at St. John of God Retreat Centre, Ballyvaloo, where she was dearly loved and greatly appreciated by all who frequented the Centre. From there, she retired to the Convent on Newtown Road in 2005.
Vincent was a very kind, gentle and caring person, who always greeted people with a warm, welcoming smile. Her main ministry was in catering, where she was particularly mindful of and sensitive to the needs of others. She was a very competent cook and kitchen supervisor and is remembered fondly for hosting many special occasions. Sisters have spoken many times about her beautiful brown bread, tarts and coffee cakes. During her retirement she loved to knit and crochet matinee coats and other garments for the Children of Chernobyl. While doing so she always enjoyed listening to Irish Music.
Though Vincent left her home in Kerry many years ago, she always remained very close to her family and visited them regularly in various parts of Ireland and in the U.S. They, in turn, were extremely caring of her and obviously loved her dearly.
Vincent’s Requiem Mass attended by family and friends, was celebrated by Very Rev. Anthony O’Connell in Sallyville House, after which her remains were laid to rest in the St. John of God Convent cemetery. She is sadly missed by her St. John of God Community, her sisters Dora Clarke, Connecticut, U.S.A. and Maureen Spillane (Maharees, Co. Kerry), nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, extended family and friends.
Loved by all, may her gentle soul rest in peace.