Sister Margaret Vincent Dockery
1925 - 2016
Born: 29th October 1925
Entered Religious Life: 6th February 1950
Died: 10th December 2016
The following Reflection was given at Sr. Margaret Vincent Dockery's funeral
by Sr Mary Benton RSC
in the Hospice Chapel, Harold’s Cross on 13th December 2016
Good morning to everyone. I have been asked to say a few words about Sr. Margaret Vincent (Aunty Frances as she is know to her family}, and whilst it is not usual for me to speak at funerals, I am happy to do so on Sr. Margaret Vincent’s behalf and I will do my best to portray her as I knew her.
I do believe that the readings today were aptly chosen and they do indeed portray aunty Frances, Sr. Margaret Vincent and reflect her life.
The first reading is taken from Job 19 and it reflects Job’s declaration of faith and his utter conviction that he shall behold God. This reading reflects Sr. Margaret Vincent’s life too. She had a deep faith that was nurtured by her daily attendance at the Eucharist, her presence at community prayers and also her own personal prayer and private and personal devotion. She was a woman of Dignity who always treated people with respect and kindness and she was practical and down to earth. She truly believed that “our Redeemer lives and that she too, in death, will be welcomed by God and see him face to face”.
The book of Revelation 14.13 tells us:
‘Blessed are those who die in the Lord, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work and their good deeds will follow them”. Reflecting on Sr. Margaret Vincent’s life – her life in ministry and community - I have no doubt that she was deeply committed to both. She was a distinguished nurse and brilliant tutor and many will remember her to this day and beyond it. When she completed her ministry in nursing she was appointed to the Mission Effectiveness Team to promote the mission and core values of the congregation in our healthcare facilities. This she did very effectively and with great skill. Her commitment and dedication to this ministry was outstanding. I learned so much from her myself and when I was in doubt about issues in healthcare Margaret Vincent was the one I confided in and she set me straight! Another ministry that Margaret Vincent was involved in and was dear to her heart was the Catholic Nurses Guild and she was committed and dedicated to this ministry. Margaret Vincent worked tirelessly right until the day before she died. Yes her good deeds will follow her and our God will indeed welcome her to eternal life.
In John 14 we read:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God… I go and prepare a place for you and I will come back and take you with me that you also may be where I am” During the last few years Sr. Margaret Vincent’s sight failed and this made life difficult for her. Nevertheless she was determined to keep going and she came to work four days a week. When she could no longer read or write clearly because of her failing sight she still helped in the office and did many jobs for us that she could do like shredding and tidying - tedious jobs but she was happy to do them. She also spent time listening to CD’s on Spirituality and Scripture., prepared music for Liturgies and practiced the organ to play by ear as she could no longer read the music. We were aware of Margaret Vincent’s vulnerability so we ensured that she was not left alone in the office and we always looked out for her. She worked until Thursday when Sibeal drove her home and on the way she asked Sibeal to take her to the chemist to return medications that she no longer needed.
I am sorry she was in pain before she died but again she was not one to complain. The miracle was that God took her home quickly and she did not suffer. Margaret Vincent will be happy that she was able to work until two days before she died.
You, her family meant a great deal to her and she loved you and would speak of you with affection. She loved her visits home to Elfin, visits from her nieces and going to lunch to her sister-in-law Noreen. She also spoke highly of her own community and the many sisters who journeyed with her through life. She was grateful and appreciated the many kindnesses she received particularly latterly when life was difficult for her. She is now with God, with her parents and brothers who have gone before her and all her relatives and friends.
Yes we were saddened and shocked at the suddenness of her death but happy for her that her suffering was short.
Sr. Margaret Vincent we leave you in God’s hands now. May you rest in peace. May you be enfolded in God’s love and peace.