Sr Patricia, Sr Teresa and Sr Miriam pictured at the farewell Thanksgiving Liturgy at Presentation Ballingarry.
On Monday 9th October, Sisters Miriam and Teresa returned to join the school community in Presentation Ballingarry for a farewell Thanksgiving Liturgy.
The sisters were joined by Sr. Patricia, former Principal of the school, who continues to work tirelessly among the people of Ballingarry and Sister Colette who lives with Sr. Teresa in the Clonmel community and who completed her leaving certificate in Ballingarry in 1942.
Sr. Teresa and Sr. Miriam moved into The Commons in 2006 and this summer they said goodbye to their many friends there as they moved to pastures new.
Sr. Teresa returned from the Philippines in 1998, joining the Staff of Presentation Secondary School in Sept 1999, retiring, in 2008. Sr. Teresa taught Religion, Irish, Maths, Music - (inclusive of singing) and she recalled how “Presentation Day was always a very big school event in the school when all the staff and students walked up to the Parish Church where the Choir generally surpassed themselves, with singing and creative dance.” Sr. Teresa’s Choirs were also involved in other big events, such as First Year and Leaving Cert masses.
Sr. Miriam having returned from America was very active among the people of the village teaching knitting to local primary school children. As an avid card player she soon found herself enjoying new friendships and these were cemented through her work with the local senior citizen’s committee.
Following her retirement from the school, Sister Teresa continued, on a voluntary basis to teach music and direct the choir in the secondary school. She also played an active role in the parish playing the church organ, directing a prayer group and visiting her neighbours and fellow parishioners. In his homily Fr. Quike thanked them for their dedication and prayed God’s blessing on them in their new communities.
This liturgy also marked the opening of a new school year and parents of first year students were invited to attend as their children were welcomed into this new community. Before the mass began, Sr. Teresa lit the lantern flame and passed it onto Principal, Ms. Cahill who in turn passed it onto the head boy and girl who then passed it onto the first year prefects. As the candle was passed from one to another each group acknowledged how we are stronger because of the ones who have gone before us and how it was now their responsibility to keep that flame alight for the ones who would come after them.
To symbolise their planting of roots in the school, the first years were invited to plant a daffodil bulb which, like themselves will grow, flourish and blossom during their six years in the school.
The Seinn choir provided music for this very meaningful liturgy and at the end of mass Ms. Cahill made a presentation to the sisters and thanked them for their work in both the school and the community.