| 4.5°C Dublin

Dublin nun delighted as queen honours her work

AN Irish nun has been named on Queen Elizabeth's new year's honours list for her services to the elderly.

Sister Pascaline Joseph, originally from Roebuck, south Dublin, said that it came as a great surprise when she was informed about the honour by the lieutenant governor of Jersey - where she has lived for 50 years.

She has been elected for the honour for her tireless work with the elderly on the island, where she helps to run a day centre and organises arts and crafts at St Helier.

It was a second big moment in her life in just a few months - she recently received a papal blessing for her jubilee.

"I was celebrating my 70-year jubilee (as a nun). I wasn't expecting it at all. I didn't know a thing about it until the lieutenant governor called," she told the Herald.

Queen Elizabeth announced that the 89-year-old Dubliner would receive an honorary BEM (British Empire Medal) for her work with the Little Sister of the Poor.

But the nun had to keep the award secret for a number of days, only informing her family after it had been made public.

"It was only for a few days. I was told I mustn't say anything until it was in the press," she said.

She was one of five people from the island to be named on the honours list.

"People ask me how I feel about it and I say I feel humbled and I also feel grateful.

"It's an honour for the congregation," she said.


She said she didn't now how her work had come to the attention of the queen.

"Some of the people who come here can be very sad, very lonely so they need compassion to be loved and cared for," she said.

Her niece Una Whelan, who lives in Dublin, explained that the family were all very proud of her.

"We think she's a Duracell bunny, she has more energy than us and most of us are in our 40s," she said.