Remembering Dolores Farrell

Dolores Farrell- a personal appreciation

Dolores’ qualities which struck me were her compassion, wisdom, gentleness and joyful Faith. She was a very plucky, determined lady. She had a will of her own. Firm in her beliefs. Clear about them. Forthright. And she was invariably positive and encouraging.

From her own real-life experience, she realised the importance of good human formation. Of our humanness. As Fr. Andre Rochais, Founder of PRH education calls it: ‘our humanizing’. She had a lovely sense of humour. Very discreet and sensitive.

I first met her in Bayside, Dublin, in 1988, at her first Irish PRH education workshop, ‘Who am I?’ She helped to foster my own personal growth. Slowly but surely. To learn the humbling necessity of self-appreciation. Building on the inner ground of our personality.

Recognising essential qualities of my being. Rejoicing in the goodness.

Determination to progress. Fortitude in face of obstacles.

Taste for truth. Happy humility. Inner honesty. Straight talking.

Docility to the voice of the Spirit and our deep conscience within.

I remember her starting out from a basement Sandymount flat in the early ‘90s. Her courage in the early days. Her hope. Despite illness.

Many chest infections. Learned to cope with weakness and fatigue.

Taking the mortgage on the house in Clondalkin. Stepping out in trust.

Giving up teaching in school. Her patience with the gradual process of self-discovery. Waiting through setbacks and false starts.

Essential courses of action  and essential  bonds of being.

Relationships that count. Above all having confidence.

I only discovered recently, through Kathleen, that Dolores had been a Mercy sister. Her name in religion was Sr. Celine, after the beloved sister of St. Therese, the little flower. Their common emphasis was on genuine interiority (simplicity) of Faith and devotion. No need for many words. Or signs. The heart contains all. An art of the Heart, as it were.

We can surely pray to Dolores. She never offended anyone, it seems. She was, in manners, a perfect lady. Her inner harmony radiated.

She listened with deep compassion and understood. She was very determined and confident in her own gift and mission.

Let us be confident in our gifts too and try our best to complete what God asks of us as Dolores, my friend, did so well.

She loved and cared for her own mother, Angela, despite difficulties. She stood by me too like Mary, Mother of Dolours, Dolores namesake, who also shares all our feelings with much affection. And a smile.