Sister Frances Pollard
1940 – 2022
Born: 10th March 1940
Entered Religious Life: 7th July 1958
Died: 21st February 2022
Welcome and Reflection by Sr Mary Teresa, Provincial Leader
at the Sr Frances’s Requiem Mass.
Sr Frances, who was always known to her family as Pat, was born in Dublin on Sunday 10th March 1940 to parents, Margaret and James, who had five boys and one girl, Patricia, who later became – Sr Mary Frances.
Frances attended School in Basin Lane School and Mountjoy St, later entering the Noviciate at Mount St Annes, at the age of 18 in 1958.
After Profession of Vows in 1961, Sr Frances’ journey as a Sister of Charity, took her across the Irish Sea to St Werburg’s Parish, Birkenhead in 1961 for two years.
In 1963 Frances moved on to Clydebank, Scotland and back to Birkenhead for a short stay before continuing on her journey to Hammersmith, Walthamstow, Macclesfield, Bath, Witney and back for the third time, to her beloved Birkenhead Wirral, on the 19th January 1986. Frances worked in Parish Ministry in Birkenhead, for over 45 years in total.
Frances was very happy in Parish Ministry and cherished the title of ‘Parish Sister’ and indeed, in her last months, even as her health began to fail, she continued her visits every day and any advice to take it easy was met with the answer ‘I am the Parish Sister.’
From comments made by many parishioners of Our Lady’s and friends, Frances was indeed a ‘Sister in Christ’ to countless people over the years. One thing we all knew about Frances was, once she knew your story, she carried you ever after in her heart and prayers.
The lovely tributes on the Parish Facebook to Sr Frances are a testament to the impact she had on the lives of many generations of families in Birkenhead and indeed Frances must have quietly touched the lives of many thousands over her life through her Parish Ministry, Flame, Legion of Mary, SVP and the famous Saturday Club!
Frances was gentle, quiet and unassuming in nature, but possessed a strong spirit, had great compassion for those who were suffering or in any need, and quickly became determined to find ways to help and support them.
Frances loved the prayerful atmosphere of Lourdes, especially her own quiet moments before the Shrine in the early morning, but from the stories told and friendships made, there was a great deal of fun and laughter between the Rosaries!
Frances loved flowers, enjoyed walking and was a familiar figure walking around Birkenhead in all weathers! She also seemed to know every little parish dog by name!
It is customary among us as Sisters, to write a piece about our life and Ministries. Talking about herself was something, as we know, Sr Frances would never find easy!
So, in concluding, I would like to read the short, very simple piece which Frances wrote some years back, in which she expresses gratitude for her family, her friends in Ministry and her life as a Religious Sister of Charity:
‘’I have been blessed with wonderful parents, Margaret and James, and was the ‘favourite’ sister of five brothers. I had five very special sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews, whom I care about and love dearly and receive great love from them. I started school at 4, with the Sisters of Charity, so have known them for a long time. It has been a great joy and a privilege to be a member of the Congregation and I thank God for His gift. I have so much to be grateful for, the Sisters I have lived with in the different Communities and the many Blessings I have received from those I have worked alongside in Ministry’’
But we know, no words can ever encompass a life or express our love and loss.
Sr Frances, Pat, a member of a family, a woman of strong faith, a Religious Sister of Charity, inspired by the charism of Venerable Mother Mary Aikenhead at a very young age, followed faithfully in the footsteps of Christ for over 60 years. We believe Sr Frances is now in the loving embrace of her Lord.
To her beloved Parishioners of Our Lady’s, her many Parish Priests and many friends, you have been part of Sr Frances’s life for over 40 years. I would like to say a very sincere thank you for the love, care and support you gave her.
+ May Frances now Rest in the Peace of the Lord +