Sister Charles Lwanga Blackledge
1926 - 2012
Born: 16th February 1926
Entered Religious Life: 11th July 1960
Died: 7th January 2012
Appreciation of Sr Charles Lwanga
Reflection given at Sr Charles Lwanga's funeral by Sr Teresa McAllister RSC
Sr. Charles Lwanga was born on the 16 February, 1926. She had a very interesting life and travelled extensively before she entered. She had lived and worked in Libya, and was very distressed at the sad conditions there today – she remembered it as a beautiful country with wonderful people. Perhaps, because of her travels, she had a great breadth of vision and was very interested in a bigger world, and kept herself informed right up to the end. She was a great reader and loved books on travel, religion, biographies and detective novels. She took a keen interest in sport, particularly tennis, cricket and rugby. She was an avid follower of Leinster and had hoped that 2012 would be a great year for them. She loved doing crosswords, and Roe supplied her with a copy of the Simplex Crossword in The Irish Times each day.
She loved and was loved in return by her family and she delighted in their achievements and successes.
Sister entered the Sisters of Charity on the 11 July, 1960 in Milltown. After her profession, she spent short periods in Temple Street, Whitney, Milltown, Chester and Ollerton. She studied at Plater College, Oxford and Josephine Butler, Liverpool between 1963 and 1968. She studied foundations of Psychology and the pre-school child at the University of Liverpool and spent some time as a Childcare Officer in Liverpool. She also did a 6 weeks course in Catholic Communications in Nairobi.
She went to Chikuni in 1969 and was a very capable social worker and spent her time with the poor enabling them to achieve a better standard of living. She was particularly interested in mothers and babies, and referred many to the local clinics for vaccinations and other Mother and Child Health Care benefits. She also instructed and trained the women in food and nutrition, and dispensed food where necessary in Chikuni, Charles Lwanga and Fumbo. She went to Ndola in 1972. She greatly admired Bishop deJong for his saintly life. She managed the diocesan Book Shop. Her aim was to promote the sale of good religious books and at weekends she travelled to different parishes where sales were often brisk as the people were appreciative of high quality reading material.
She had a lifelong interest in the Legion of Mary and the life of Frank Duff. She was fully committed to her ministry and was very interested in the Congregation and was very faithful in her call to religious life without making any display or fuss.
She returned to Ireland in 1999 and took up residence in N. Brid on the 9 April of that year. She did the accounts and annals for a number of years.
On the 19 April, 2011 she came to Loyola where she was very happy and found contentment, serenity and peace and accepted gracefully her infirmities and the dependence of old age. May she rest in peace.