Sr Maureen had a gracious spirit
Sister Maureen Byrne of the Columban Sisters sadly passed away peacefully in St Vincent's Hospital surrounded by her family.
She was born in Inchicore, Dublin and spent time serving with the Columban Sisters in Hong Kong and London.
Maureen wasn't yet 17 years of age when she crossed the threshold in Cahiracon in Co Clare where the Columban Sisters were founded.
After training as a nurse Maureen, now called Immaculata, was sent to Hong Kong where she nursed tubercular patients in the Ruttonjee Sanatorium. A brilliant nurse, an excellent administrator and a nursing tutor, she held many demanding roles over the years but it was her gentle approach, her warm smile and her lovely laughter that won people over. Patients and staff loved her and many became long time friends.
The Legion of Mary Praesidia, of which she was the spiritual director, knew that they had a treasure, a wise guide in this prayerful woman.
When Vatican 2 came in the sixties and seventies with all the radical changes of the Council, how enthusiastically she studied the documents, attended endless meetings and encouraged the sisters to be part of this great movement of the Spirit.
In the late seventies Maureen was sent to London Colney, where she adjusted to a very different ministry with the same graciousness that characterised all her life. The same is true when she came to Crumlin as housekeeper and bursar. Her eyesight continued to fail but despite the 'dying of the light', her spirit seemed to grow brighter.
Maureen was pre-deceased by her brothers Jimmy, Christy, Billy, Patrick and Francis. Sr. Maureen was much loved and will be greatly missed by her loving sister Laura (McDermott), nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, cousins, relatives, a wide circle of friends and Religious Community. Her funeral mass took place last Wednesday in the Convent Chapel, Magheramore, Wicklow, followed by burial in the Convent Cemetery.