Convent of Mercy, Westport
A retired primary school teacher, she was aged 86 years.
Sr Perpetuo had a great love of music and, throughout her teaching career, she instilled that love in many of her pupils. She also had a passionate interest in the Irish language and was herself an accomplished Irish speaker. Reading was one of her favourite pastimes. She was a very private person and it was often said of her that her left hand never knew what her right hand was doing. For many years she was an active member of the St Vincent De Paul Society, an organisation that was always very dear to her heart. In her retirement she devoted much of her time to the work of the society.
Sr Perpetuo entered the convent in 1948 and in 1956 she was appointed to Mulranny where she taught in the primary school. She endeared herself to the people of Mulranny and always spoke fondly of her time there.
She will be sadly missed by her brother, Aibhistín Waldron, Carlow (retired CEO of Carlow Vocational Education Committee); sisters Sr Maureen Waldron (Presentation Sisters, Mullingar) and Mrs Kitty McMahon, (Feakle, Co Clare), nephews, nieces, Sisters of Mercy, other relatives and a wide circle of loyal friends.
Following repose at the Convent of Mercy Chapel, Westport, where prayers were said by Fr Denis Carney and Archbishop Michael Neary, removal took place to St Mary’s Church, Westport. Fr Carney officiated at the reception ceremony and was the main celebrant of Sr Perpetuo’s funeral Mass, assisted by Fr Vincent Kelly and Fr Kevin Hogan.
In his homily Fr Carney said the Mass was the celebration of the life of a remarkable woman who, for more than 80 years served the Lord with all her heart and for almost 60 of those years gave herself in service to the Lord and his people in religious life.
“While Sr Perpetuo will be remembered for many things, the most important one will be for the generous way in which she lived her vocation as a Sister of Mercy. Focusing her daily life around the Eucharist and prayer, she bore great witness to the Christian calling of love. She was ever faithful to the Lord and to giving witness to His Word,” he said.
“She gave 30 years of her life to the people of Mulranny – a place her heart never really left. They were very happy years for her where she gave completely of herself to the children in her care, to the parish and the wider community. In 1986 when she came to Westport she immersed herself in the Sacred Heart School and she was also to serve as Chairperson of the Board of Management of St Angela’s in Castlebar, where she oversaw major development. She certainly contributed enormously to education in the whole West Mayo area and for that many people are grateful today.
“She had a great love of Irish and instilled a deep appreciation of it in many others. She had a tremendous grasp and appreciation of music and many people who are musically talented today owe her a great debt of gratitude.
“But Perpetuo did not put all her talents in the education field. Right up to the time of her illness she was an active member of the St Vincent de Paul Society, attending meetings, visiting people in need, fighting for their rights and always maintaining complete confidentiality. In serving those in need she saw herself as serving the Lord and living out his message of ‘in so far as you did it to the least of these you did it to me.’
“In many ways I feel that it is fitting that Perpetuo died on the Feast of St John, the beloved disciple as he is referred to. For she was a beloved disciple – living out her Christian and religious calling to the full in his service. As we see in today’s Gospel the beloved disciple on finding the empty tomb believes in the resurrection.
“I have no doubt but that the belief Perpetuo had in the empty tomb and risen Lord will now be fulfilled for her. Our prayer today is one of thanks for her life, her faith and her service and we ask the Lord to welcome her into the joy of eternal life.
”She has run the race and fought the good fight. She has done the Lord’s work. May she now enter the company of John the beloved disciple and all the other saints who have gone before us into the joy of God’s presence and may you, her family and community, be comforted in the knowledge that the Lord is near to you at this lonely time.”
At her own request Sr Perpetuo was laid to rest in Burrishoole Cemetery.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam.