Sister Magdalen Bluett
1915 – 2018
Born: 4th June 1915
Entered Religious Life: 29th January 1934
Died: 2nd October 2018
Alice Christina Bluett, daughter of John Bluett and Helen Carroll was born in Effin, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick on the 4th June 1915. She was the third youngest daughter of eleven children. Two of her siblings had entered the Religious Sisters of Charity before her and two other had joined the Mercy Order. She entered the Religious Sisters of Charity on the 29th January 1934 and was received into the Novititate on the 16th August 1934, receiving the name Sr. Magdalen Regis. She was professed on the 19th August 1936.
Sr. Magdalen lived a long and active life. From the time of her profession until she reached the mandatory age of retirement at 65, her ministry was that of education. She studied at first in Mountjoy Street and then attended Carysfort College where she qualified as a primary school teacher. She taught in Stanhope Street, St. Vincent’s, Cork, Ballaghaderreen, Clarenbridge, Harold’s Cross and back to St. Vincent’s, Cork. In 1960 she took a special course to qualify her to teach children who were hearing impaired. Following this she taught children who were deaf in St. Vincent’s for twelve years before spending the last seven years before her retirement as a teacher in Walkinstown. Sr. Magdalen had a great love for children, especially those who were needy in any way. She was a dedicated teacher who wanted the best for her students.
Although she was ‘officially’ retired, she lived a very active life for the next thirty eight years. The next phase of her life took her to Merrion where she spent fourteen years caring for adults who were visually impaired. This must have been a great change for her after all her years in education but she applied herself to this work and was devoted to those with visual impairment. In 1994 she moved to St. Patrick’s Cork and between then and 2003 she involved herself in parish visitation. At the age of 88, she gave up her parish ministry and became the Sacristan in St. Patrick’s, a ministry which she loved and carried out with great care and dedication.
Finally, at the age of 93, she retired to Lakelands where she looked after the sacristy and had a keen interest in gardening and grew both flowers and vegetables which were used in the community. She was interested in the whole Congregation and loved to meet Sisters visiting from other areas. Although she spent her entire life in Ireland, with the exception of a few short summer visits to Germany to work with the children of the American troops, she had a special love for Africa. The mission in Malawi was foremost in her thoughts and prayers and she loved to see photographs of the various activities there. She was a very good correspondent and kept up with many sisters throughout the congregation.
She was a great champion of Care of the Earth. She loved and studied Laudato Si and other books which helped her understand and appreciate God’s gifts. This knowledge was shared with those around her.
Magdalen’s years in Lakelands were full and varied. She brought communion to sisters who were unable to attend Mass. She kept an eye on everything that was happening, especially in the Chapel. She celebrated her 100th birthday on 4th June 2015 and received her cheque and medal from the President. This gave her great pleasure which continued each year when she received a letter and medal from the President on the occasion of her birthday. All of these were acknowledged personally in her own very legible handwriting.
She was up and about until she had a fall in August. She was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and from there she moved to a step-down facility in Mount Carmel. A few days before her death she became unwell. She was moved to St. James’s Hospital where she died very peacefully on the 2nd October 2018.
Her remains were returned to Lakelands on Thursday 4th October and were received by her nephew. Here she lay in repose following a special Evening Prayer. She was removed to Star of the Sea Church, Sandymount on Friday 5th for her Requiem Mass concelebrated by three of her nephews together with our chaplain and the priests of the parish. She is buried in the community cemetery in Donnybrook.
May she rest in peace after her long life.