During the summer months our faith community suffered the sad loss of Sr Luarena McCormick RSM [ late of Emmet Crescent] who died in Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, on 29th July 2021.
Luarena is survived by her sisters Betty and Margaret, her brothers Charlie, Liam and Frank, her sisters-in-law Mary and Aideen and their families.
Luarena was born in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, on the 6th of July 1942 to Teresa Brady and Arthur McCormick.
She was finally professed in April 1969 in Carysfort Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin having entered the Mercy Congregation there in 1963.
She spent her teaching years in the Secondary Schools of Golden bridge, Inchicore and Mourne Road, Drimnagh and in the Irish Prison Service. She also taught in the Prison Service in North East Brazil for three years.
On receiving news of her death, one former pupil at Golden bridge wrote ‘ I have fond memories of Sr. Luarena from school, a lovely gentle human being’.
In the last twenty years of her life Luarena’s consciousness of the sacredness of the Earth deepened. She lived her life out of this awareness and shared it with an urgency bourne out of a profound understanding and commitment to right relationship with God’s creation. She did much work for Eco-Congregation and at her funeral mass celebrant and dear friend, Tom McCabe OMI, spoke beautifully about Luarena’s gift for hospitality and of her ‘ breaking the bread of creation’.
Luarena never lost her zest for life and was an inspiration to us all in the Parish as she bravely bore her illness. As one Parishioner said, ‘Luarena combined all her hard work with great good humour and fun’. In spite of her physical suffering she remained committed to Parish events attending; liturgies, reflection groups, book clubs, Irish conversation classes, as well as baking delicious cakes for the community and weaving St Brigid crosses with the children at Our Lady of Lourdes NS.
In her latter days she was graciously cared for by the staff in Our Lady’s Hospice Harold’s Cross, in Catherine McAuley Nursing Home Beaumont and St. James’s Hospital.
Her funeral mass was a tribute to her life’s work in education and social and climate justice. She had asked the choir and musicians at St Michael’s to sing and play at her passing which they did beautifully. It was a particularly nice nuance to learn afterwards that Luarena had taught our two flautists, Martina Condon and Ann Macken.
The people of the Parish extend their deepest sympathy to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to Laurena’s family of origin, her many friends and especially her life-long anamchara, Sr Agnes Coll, on their sad loss.
We wish Luarena eternal rest and eternal joy. May her memory live on in our mind and be an encouragement and inspiration to us all.
Solas na bhFlaitheas, a Luarena a stór, go luighe an chré go héadtrom ar do cholainn uasal.
Pádraigín Clancy, on behalf of St Michael’s Faith Community.