Sister Naomi Coffey
1936 – 2017
Born: 14th May 1936
Entered Religious Life: 11th October 1954
Died: 9th February 2017
The following words of appreciation were given at Sr Naomi’s Funeral Mass by Sr Monica Byrne:
“Be still for the Presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here”. These words echoed in my heart every time I visited Naomi over the time of her illness. She said many times that she was very grateful for the ‘graced time’ that she was given for prayer and reflection to prepare for her death. She called her room her own little Sanctuary. Every time I entered her room I felt I was on ‘Holy Ground’. One of her icons had pride of place. I have no doubt that she was drawn into its embrace as she prayed before it every day.
Naomi not only accepted her illness, she embraced it. She never complained, never showed self-pity. As she embraced it she had that inner freedom which enabled her to be so grateful to Sr Helen and each one in Temple Street community for all their kindness and care. Which she appreciated. In peace and calmness, she was able to say, in her dying moments to those around her bed – ‘Thank You’.
I have been a friend of Naomi’s for many years and as I reflected on her approach to her illness and dying, I could see the same pattern in her approach to the events and experiences she had in her life as a Sister of Charity. For example, when she was asked to go to England, Venezuela, California, Nigeria and Ireland, wherever or whatever she was asked to go or do, without hesitation she said ‘Yes’. And set forth with a calmness and confidence and embraced the situation she found herself in, mastering whatever was needed to help her fulfil the ministry in the very best way she possibly could. No doubt her deep relationship with God and in the knowledge that it was His work and He would be her strength and guide would have been very much part of her life.
Naomi, now that your life’s work is over, may you be enfolded forever in the love of the God you loved and served.
May we enter into the celebration of the Eucharist in Thanksgiving for Naomi’s life.
“Be still for the Presence of the Lord, the Holy One is here”