Sister Brigid Naulty
1935 – 2017
Born: 10th July 1935
Entered Religious Life: 29th June 1960
Died: 18th December 2017
The following are the two the eulogies given at Sr Brigid’s funeral. The first by Sr Rita Dawson RSC Provincial Leader of the English/Scottish Province and the second by Sr Brigid’s nephew, Robert Heuston.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I wonder what he will have to say to me? How often do we ask ourselves this question as I am sure Brigid did during her own reflections on life? Will he say ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in small things. Now Come and share your master’s happiness.
Brigid Naulty was born in Co Meath to loving parents, Mary Anne and John Naulty and was the only survivor of triplets. Her other siblings were sisters Sheila and Kathleen both deceased and brothers Johnny and Benny also departed RIP.
Robert her nephew who was very devoted to Sr Brigid and is with us today. Brigid was very close to her family and enjoyed her holidays immensely each year.
During her childhood Brigid enjoyed a healthy outdoor country life and developed a love for farm animals. Nevertheless, her early school years must have been somewhat difficult as she was very short-sighted from birth. Her love of the countryside was still evident, when at Art classes in later life she preferred to paint ‘real’ animals to something abstract.
Her prayer life developed in her happy home and as a very young person she made her first attempt to follow a Religious way of life. This did not work out for her and she only stayed six months.
After some years back at home she was attracted to the Religious Sisters of Charity and as they say, the rest is history.
Sr Brigid’s first ministry was in catering at Mount St Anne’s, Milltown. After two years she was transferred to the English/Scottish Province where she has remained for the rest of her life.
She has moved house three times. Brigid loved cooking and spent nineteen years Catering in Sowerby Bridge and a further twenty-five years Housekeeping and Visiting the Elderly in their own homes in Bristol. She did some home visits to local parishioners and these people confided in her sharing their personal problems.
She had a natural ability to draw a community together by her interest in each one and their Ministry.
She also had a good sense of humour and one day when a sister fell on the kitchen floor her remark was ‘well you have plenty of padding so you should be all right’. She enjoyed the simple things in life. Brigid always loved taking a picnic out and loved long drives in the summer which was not as easy for them in Brigid’s time as it is for us now. She also was very quiet, loved Irish music and had her Radio set to RTÉ always.
In 2009 she retired to Hackney, gradually becoming more dependent on care.
While she enjoyed listening to music she also very much looked forward to receiving the RSC newsletter and being informed on events throughout the Congregation.
Brigid’s life was a simple uncomplicated life one which had its own challenges which she bore bravely but we know she is now resting in peace with the Lord whom she served so faithfully.
I should like to thank all of you for your attendance here today, particularly Brigid’s nephew, Robert, who was very devoted to Sr Brigid and she loved his telephone conversations each week and of course his visits to her.
On behalf of the Congregation, Robert and the Hackney Community, I should also like to say a very special thank you to Father David Evans not only for his presence here today but for all the support he gives to this Community throughout the year.
Our very sincere thanks to all of the staff on the Care Floor for their tremendous care and love shown to Sr Brigid, especially during her final weeks.
A special thanks to Sr Geraldine and Sr Helena for the beautiful care and support to Sr Brigid over many years. Also to the Community for their visits and prayerful friendship.
I should like to say a special thanks to Sr Mary Christian, Congregational Leader, for being here with us today and I do not know how Sr Mary keeps up with all of the travelling but we do appreciate very much your presence here with us today. Also to all the Sisters who have travelled to be here with us in thanksgiving for Sr Brigid’s life and her dedication as a Sister of Charity.
In Philippians 3:13-14, “Let go of what has gone before and press on to what is ahead. Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Do not be afraid about the future – instead, give everything over to God in prayer.
Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. We have so much to be thankful for; the beauty of the surroundings we have here and the wonderful care given to each of us every day.
As we come to the end of the Christmas season and we reflect on the trust and the hope that the Kings had on following the star, each of us has our own personal star guiding us – the star of prayer, love, friendship, support…the star has a different name at different times. We should be grateful for our own star – and be grateful that you have been a star for so many other people each day of your life. In the book of God, each of us is a star.
May Brigid now Rest In Peace.
Sisters, Father David, Carers, Friends of Sister Brigid.
I would to thank all those who are here today and who have organised the Requiem Mass to celebrate the life of my beloved Aunt Sister Brigid.
Sister Brigid or Aunt Bridie as she was affectionately known by myself should be very proud of her life’s work and achievements.
A loving daughter to her deceased parents Maryann and John and sister to her deceased siblings Kathleen (My Mum), Sheila, Benny and Johnny, Sister in law to the deceased Joseph (My Dad) and Christian. She was loved by all.
Sister Brigid was born in the Royal County of Meath and grew up on the family farm. A devotion to God brought her to the Religious Sisters of Charity starting in Linden, Blackrock followed by Milltown. In the UK Sister Brigid formed a positive part of the wonderful communities in Sowerby Bridge, Bristol and in recent years in Hackney here in East London.
Sister Brigid was a huge part of my life for over 40 years. My Aunt, My Friend and one of the greatest supporters. Birthdays, First Communion, Confirmation, School Holidays, College Graduations, when my parents were ill, when I needed support. Sister Brigid was always there for me.
The Summer visits each year to Limerick and County Meath were always joyous occasions. With my Mum and Dad, there was much adventure whether it be trips to Kerry or Cork Galway or Knock in County Mayo. Great times and great Memories. The weekly phone call was never missed when we chatted about so much over the years. Sister Brigid also loved her radio and it kept her in touch with all that was happening in Ireland.
Sister Brigid fought a good fight throughout her 82 years. Born a triplet and the only one of three who lived she suffered with declining eyesight for much of her life. But Sister Brigid lived her life by making best use of what she had and didn’t complain about what she hadn’t. That was Sister Brigid. It was who she was and what she stood for.
In recent years her health deteriorated significantly and she was confined to bed for much of her days. I was pleased to be able to come to Hackney particularly over the last 3 years to visit and where I have always been warmly welcomed by the Community here.
On December 18th 2017, Sister Brigid sadly passed away. I was fortunate to be able to see her and say goodbye before she died.
May I take this opportunity to thank the Religious Sisters of Charity, Carers, Doctors and all others who have cared for Sister Brigid in her latter years. Also for the kindness, support and welcome always given to me.
Thanks also to Father David for the Requiem Mass, Father Peter St Joseph’s Hospice Chaplain for anointing Sister Brigid before she died and the Funeral Directors for all their support and in particular affording me the opportunity to see Sister Brigid in Beckton yesterday morning.
Today the last of the Naulty family will be laid to rest. It is a very sad day for me. But Today is not about me. Today we celebrate the life of a wonderful person who brought so much to her religious community and to her family. Thank you Sister Brigid. My Aunt. I will always remember you and be thankful you were part of my life.
May you rest in peace!