Late Sr Louise Ryan
Sr Louise Ryan: 1926 - 2016
Josie was born in Holycross Village on the 28th March 1926. She was the oldest of Mick and Nan Ryan (nee Cardiff) and one of five children, Kitty R.I.P, Sadie, Noreen R.I.P, and Lilly - Sr Philomena, Dublin.
She attended primary school in Holycross and then moved to the Ursuline Convent in Thurles. This was followed by a year in domestic school in Dundrum. She soon realised she got that special calling to the religious life and in October 1944 she joined the Little sisters of the Asssumption.
In Chapelizod in Dublin, she made her first profession, vowing poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1947, this was followed by a period of time in the Mother House in Paris where she received her Final Profession.
Following several short periods of time in Convents in Cork and Dublin, she eventually settled in York Road in Dunlaoighre. Here she would spend her time visiting people in need, caring for the sick and offering her help to the underpriveleged in the area. Josie carried out all these activites on her scooter as that was her mode of transport at the time.
In the eighties things began to change in Ireland and in Dublin, Convents were becoming unnecessary and the needs of the people become more complex. For the nuns to continue their work and decide what best serves the poor in society, they left the security of the convents and moved to smaller houses to live among the people.
Josie moved to Ballybrack in Loughlinstown where she would see first hand the difficulties young families were experiencing to survive in this disadvantage and crime ridden area of the city. She visited families in their homes helping and giving counselling advice and was always at hand to listen to their sad stories. They became known to her in person and soon became her other family and this was evident at her Funeral Mass as we got to know these people and they shared with us her huge generosity for giving.
Josie had great faith and believed in the power of faith and never lost an opportunity to pass that faith on to us all. She prayed with us and for us. She loved to visit her niece in Mayo as she lived a short distance from Knock and spent time on retreat and soon this became a yearly trip.
She was a frequent visitor to her native Holycross and never lost an opportunity to return home to be among her family. Her last visit six months before she died was in March 2016 to celebrate her 90th.
Josie was a great letter writer and never forgot birthdays, communions and all family occasions. She also mastered the use of the mobile phone and loved to keep in touch. She spent a short time in a nursing home prior to her death and died rather quickly in the end in St Vincents hospital in Dublin.
To our neighbours, relatives and friends we thank you for supporting us in so many ways at this difficult time. Mass will be celebrated in Holycross Abbey on Sunday 5th November at 11am to celebrate her life.