Sister Una Casey
1937 – 2022
Born: 17th December 1937
Entered Religious Life: 2nd February 1959
Died: 1st November 2022
Una (Agnes) Casey was born in Waterford on the 17th of December 1937. She was the 5th of 8 children. After leaving school in Waterford, she worked for a few years in retail in an accounts department and she built up quite a number of friends who remained friends for life. She entered the Novitiate in Milltown on the 2nd February 1959 and was professed on the 16th August 1961.
Following her profession Sr Una was missioned to Merrion and spent seven years working with blind children. In 1968 she went to Walkinstown, in Dublin, to supply for the Social Worker and the following year was sent to start the parish ministry at Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Una spent three years at Hebden Bridge before being missioned to Basildon where she did parish work.
In 1974, Una returned to Ireland and went to St Joseph’s, Kilkenny, where she worked for two years with children again, before returning to Hebden Bridge parish. At that time, a youth club had been started in St Mary’s Community Centre in Halifax, so Una began to help there a few nights a week and she went on to do her formal youth training and leadership, eventually taking on the job as a full-time youth and community worker. At that time, the local authority was looking for someone to work with the Asian community, particularly the women of the community, and who the men would trust, and Una fitted the bill. They had no big Mosque in Halifax at that time, so they held all Eid prayers and weddings at the centre with the help of Una.
In October 1983, Una visited Pakistan with a small group of clergy and lay people and spent four weeks travelling through the country, visiting relatives of some of the families of Hebden Bridge. This was an experience Una really cherished and often spoke about and it made a great difference in her relationship with the Asian community.
In 1990, The Church of the Good Shepherd opened replacing three other churches. Una resigned from the Youth and Community Service of Halifax and took on full time parish work in Hebden Bridge, a parish covering 98 sq. miles. It was at the time; Una found a great friendship with Fr Gott.
During all the years working in the parish, Fr Gott, Fr Moxin and Una took groups of young people through into East Germany, Poland and Russia, delivering medicines, clothing and money. They also visited Palestine with aid which at the time, had to be money as they couldn’t take any goods there.
In 1996 Una came to St Margaret’s Convent in Clydebank as Leader and Parish Sister at the church of St Pious in Drumchapel. This had been her first time in Scotland and she found it a great experience and she really loved it. During her time at St Margaret’s, the new convent was built and the Hospice Sir Patrick Hamill Education Centre was built on the site of the old convent.
Una stayed in Clydebank for six years and then moved to Birmingham, caretaking the house for fourteen months. She then went to live in Leeds with Sr Eileen Carroll and again, did parish ministry in Mytholmroyd. In September 2006 Una moved into a flat in the parish and spent a very happy four years there, however, she would regularly spend holidays in Clydebank, and it was during these many visits, she would often say ‘I could die down there and nobody would know because I live on my own’. So fortunately, Una moved back to St Margaret’s in September 2010. Right up until she became unwell, Una worked in the hospice bringing Holy Communion to the patients and helping with the fund raising. Una really enjoyed her work at St Margaret’s and always hoped to stay there. Her wish was granted and she died very peacefully on the feast of All Saints Day on 1st November 2022. Her funeral Mass took place at St. Margaret of Scotland Hospice on 15th November and she is buried in North Dalnotter Cemetery.
Mother Teresa once said ‘Peace begins with a smile’ and never was that truer than in the case of Una.
May she rest in peace.