Sister Francis Rose O’Flynn
1922 – 2011
Born: 1st February 1922
Entered Religious Life: 26th October 1942
Died: 8th September 2011
Appreciation of Sr Francis Rose O’Flynn
The welcome given at Sr Francis Rose’s Funeral Mass by Sr Josephine McDonald RSC
On behalf of The Sisters of Charity and particularly the Ard Mhuire community I would like to welcome you all here this morning as we gather to celebrate and give thanks for the life and death of our Sr Francis Rose.
I welcome all her family and relatives, especially her sister Nancy to whom we offer our sympathy; Sheila, her other sister is not able to be with us so we remember Sheila.
I welcome all Sr Francis Rose’s colleagues and co workers, the staff members and volunteers of our Lady’s Hospice, particularly the staff of Marymount ward who were always so gentle and attentive to her every need.
I welcome also all her friends and all the Sisters of Charity and Sr Phyllis Behan, our Provincial Leader.
We have all come to say our farewell.
Sr Francis Rose or Moire/Mary O’Flynn was born in Co Derry. Next year, 2012, she would have celebrated her 90th birthday and 70 years as a Sister of Charity.
For practically all of her religious life she was involved in the ministry of health care both in St. Vincent’s Hospital and here in Our Lady’s Hospice, apart of course, from the 12 years she served the Congregation as our Superior General.
Sr Francis Rose could well be described as a woman of great integrity and forthrightness, of reliability and a tremendous sense of responsibility.
She was a woman of great vision who initiated and was closely involved in the setting up of the Home Care Service, the Education Unit and the developments of the Palliative Care Unit here in Harold’s Cross. But perhaps it was her concern and personal approach to the patients and their families that will never be forgotten.
Sr Francis Rose was always a lady, gracious and courteous to all and to the end. Nothing was too much for her and nothing too small.
Those of us who knew her at all would be aware that she was a perfectionist. Everything she did was done with the utmost perfection. She put everything into caring for the patients here and in St. Vincent’s Hospital; as tutor in St. Vincent’s she gave of herself to literally hundreds of students because she desired nothing more than that they would become good, kind and caring nurses. The patient was always central for her.
All through her life she was a woman deeply committed to her ministry and there is no doubt but that that flowed from her deep commitment to her vocation, to her devotion to our Foundress Mary Aikenhead and to our charism and spirit. She gave her all to God, to her calling to be a Sister of Charity, to her prayer life, to her vows, to her community, to the Congregation as Superior General, during which time she initiated some major projects.
She gave herself fully to everything she was asked to do right up to time she was admitted to the Anna Gaynor Unit.
She lived the words of St Paul (who was himself a perfectionist) when writing to the Philippians he said: ‘ … nothing will happen that outweighs the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus … I am no longer trying for perfection by my own efforts but I want only the perfection that comes through faith in Christ.’ She was a woman of deep faith, of great trust in God and of a love which she gave generously to so, so many. She knew in her heart that to love and serve others is to love and serve God.
Like everyone else she was weak and fragile but she knew herself very well and knew her faults. She loved the saying of St Augustine: ‘Leave the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future in God’s tender care.’
The advance of old age and the diminishments that accompany it can be very difficult and Sr Fr Rose was no exception to that. During these last months of her life she became more and more focussed on Christ and prayed for the grace to accept all from God and to let herself go into God’s caring and tender hands. She certainly desired the more. In her own way she longed for the prize to which God calls us upwards to receive in Christ Jesus. Now she has it.
She died on a beautiful feast ~ the birthday of Our Lady to whom she had a quiet and deep devotion.
She died peacefully in her sleep, in God’s hands.
The Resurrection has been described as Jesus entering Heaven after His death on the Cross and the Father embracing Him and saying: ‘Welcome Home.’
Sr Francis Rose, we believe, has now heard those beautiful words and in faith we believe that one day we too will hear them and be united in our true homeland in Heaven with those we have known and loved.