Saying goodbye to Ursula Foody

Saying Goodbye to Ursula (RIP 22-2-2222)

Erica told me that Ursula died today. She had been dying before but this time her time finally came. To be honest, it’s a happy release, as they say. Yet still sad.

I have many happy childhood memories of aristocratic ‘Auntie Ursula’ as we called her. And, for a while, I worked with Ursula and Erica in the Good Food cafe in Marlboro street before I qualified as a Pharmacy Technician in 1988. Both Ursula and Erica were very hard workers. Very diligent and thorough. Professional

Mam got on very well with Ursula. Two very strong and intelligent, good and kind Vincent’s ladies. I kept in touch with her over the years, when I was single.

Ursula liked me, as well as Mam, I think. Like Mam, Ursula was very straight. To the point of bluntness.  And I got on well with Erica too. Erica has been a loyal rock for Ursula whose personality could be a bit highly strung at times.

In recent years, I have brought Mam to visit Ursula in her nursing home near Lucan. It was good for Mam too to see Ursula more since Dad died.

Ursula’s nickname was ‘Dotty Crotty’. Her late husband was John Foody who I did not know very well. He suffered from depression a lot. Her other daughter is Tara who lives in London.

Ursula loved to talk. She was chirpy, to put it mildly. She worked as a hostess with Aer Lingus after finishing nursing training in St Vincent’s. Way back in the 50’s.

Erica is very bright too. In recent years, Ursula’s deafness made conversation not easy. Poor old Ursula has suffered a lot bravely. Erica has been very wise and patient too. It was not always easy dealing with strong-willed, determined Ursula.

Ursula was a woman of Faith too. The old fashioned kind. No nonsense.

With a insightful, critical mind too. Like my own Mam, no fool.

In the nursing home, they called her Lazarus because she recovered from near death so many times. A great soul.

George Dennis 1936-2022

Saying Goodbye to George (RIP 16-2-2022)

Thinking about George brings a warm smile into my mind.

He was one of those people who lit up our lives.

He meant a lot to me and to so many others.

They call them Dublin Characters. All unique.  All  original.

Matt Talbot with a sense of humour.

I really liked George. He always put the best side out as the old people do.

Oh Yes, he could drive you crazy. But that was part of his charm too.

He called Mary Magdalene “Mary Mc Dillon” and his great friend in the Capuchins was “Patrick Pio”. George suffered a lot in his life. He knew grief. Love is like that.

Manys a good chat and cup of tea we had together. Since Fr Price came to Kilbarrack 25 years  ago. George was really hilarious talking about Fr Price but he really loved Fr Cathal as we all do.

George used to say “I am not judgemental just observant”!

Betty will miss him. George did not make sense without Betty. A great couple.

What a beautiful person. My wife Maura loved Betty from first meeting.

She will go straight to heaven too. George said he would be happy when he got into purgatory. He took his Faith very serious and decried the modern paganism.

God comfort Betty.


ps I have lovely cds of George singing if anyone would like a copy, let me know

Appreciating Veronica Duffy

Appreciating Veronica Duffy (3-2-2022)

Veronica died on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

February 2nd. Celebration of the Consecrated Life. A joyful mystery.

“You give leave to your servant to go in peace” – (Luke 1)

Veronica was big into the angels. She prayed for a long time to St Raphael the Archangel for me to meet a good wife and my Dad did too.

St Raphael did a good job as I met Maura in 2011 and started a beautiful whole new life with my stepson, Pauric, now 18, as well.

Mam and Dad used to joke about Veronica’s great devotion to St Anthony.

Funny, Maura and Mam are both not really into St Anthony. Though I am.

Maura is a St Jude woman!

And Veronica was mad about St Joseph too. She called her son Joseph and her daughter Marie Therese after the Little Flower.

Interestingly, Lauri is called after Cardinal Lorenzo Lauri who was in charge of the 1932 Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.

Veronica was a very staunch supporter of the Fatima message and helped Lauri for years run his Travel company bringing people to Fatima. This did an awful lot of good. A great partnership.

She was a VERY prayerful woman. She always seemed to be smiling and pleasant. She loved the Rosary and Adoration. Very devout.

Lauri told me how they met. A true love story. Guided by God.

Lauri will really miss her but it’s a happy release now as her dementia had got very advanced. Lauri was worn out minding poor old Veronica. A very heroic man.

Appreciating Ethna Stewart

Remembering Ethna  (RIP 5-1-2022)

Ethna was a great woman to pray and she thought about everyone eg old, battle weary Mattie, living on his own in Grace O Malley road, Howth.

She was dedicated to Joe, her husband, and Glenn, her son, and her whole family.

She loved Our Lady and the Rosary and the Legion of Mary.

She loved Mass and adoration and the Divine Mercy. What great Faith.

I know, for sure, that she is in heaven now because she suffered so much. She cared so much. Mothers suffer a lot  for others, as Fr Aidan Carroll notes.

All her life Ethna battled with her nerves.  A big cross. Nobody knows….

This gave her great compassion and sensitivity. But she is not depressed now.

Her kindness was legendary eg visiting nursing homes, way beyond a call of duty

We have another great ally now with our friends and Howth characters ‘Upstairs’.

I know Ethna will continue to care about and love us from the mansions above.

There was a lovely childlikeness about Ethna that was very charming.

She was the old school and lovely in her quaintness and her gentle, simple humour, albeit a little wacky at times. So very lovable.

But she was also an outstanding, totally dedicated prayer warrior, tested in fire. Proven true. Gold in the furnace.

Very genuine and very sincere. And deeply intelligent with God’s Wisdom,

which is not human or worldly wisdom, it seems.

“God’s Wisdom appears foolishness” as St Paul says

Joe also has this great spiritual intelligence and deep goodness. The stuff of saints.

Ethna was a kind of real martyr in the sense of being 100% committed to Christ.

An amazing letter to my granny Matilda

The famous historic letter to Granny Matilda typed up (26-12-2021)

                                                                           St Colum’s  college


                                                                               July 7th 1931

Dear Mrs Sheeran,

You will think it strange to get a letter from me seeing that I was never speaking to you in my life except once when I bid you time of day. You will think it stranger still when you hear my story. Fr Mc Kenna tells me that you have been received lately into the Catholic Church and that you got married also to Mr Sheeran of the National bank who i know well.

Now I have been looking out this long time for your conversion and the reason is this: I have been praying for you almost every day for the past seven years. I began to pray for you on the night before you came to Feeny (before i even saw or knew who you were). Somebody told me that a young lady doctor was coming to Feeny to do locum for Dr Thomson. I don’t know why I did it but that night I began to pray for you. I continued to pray, saying short prayers two or three times in the day, during the time you were  in Feeny. When you left Feeny (it was in August 1924), I stopped praying for you because I was going to Lourdes myself that year and I said to myself I will wait till I go there. I tell you candidly that I felt terribly unhappy during that time when I was not praying for you. When I arrived in Lourdes I went straight to the Grotto of Our Lady and the first prayer I said was for you and I cannot describe how happy I felt. Ever since, I never missed a day, perhaps one, that i omitted praying for you. Besides I was in Rome the following year 1925 and i said Mass for you at St Peter’s tomb in St Peter’s church. On the 15th August, in the following year, I said Mass for you again and included you several time in commemorations in Masses, I never forgot to pray for you and will continue. I am exceedingly glad therefore to hear you are now a Catholic and I am glad too you got married to a good, decent, respectable boy. May you live long and happy together. May God protect you and Mary always pray for you. All I ask in return is that you say a little prayer every day for me.             B. Mc Namee cc

free online understanding dementia course next Spring

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Fond Memories of Maura Crowley RIP

Fond Memories of Maura Crowley RIP (16-11-2021)

Fr Price’s sister in London, Maura, was one of the staunchest supporters of the Divine Mercy Conference, especially in the early days.

We all loved her. As Loretta said “She was really lovely”

We were all very fond of Maura, older sister of Fr Cathal.

What happy memories when she would come over for the Conference and stay with Fr Cathal. In Balgaddy and in Kilbarrack.

She had her share of trouble. Some bitter grief. We prayed for her and her family in London and she prayed for us in Dublin. She was one of the gang, it seemed.

Maura always seemed to be smiling and cheerful. There was a lovely simplicity about her but she had great common sense and genuinness

She supported Fr Cathal very well. It was not always easy to put on the Conference. Her husband was Tim. I think he died a few years ago.

I did not really know Tim. Her beloved son was Michael.

I used to ring Maura now and again to keep in touch. We did not see her recently but we will never forget her.

Her funeral Mass in London was on Friday December 10th. We all tried to join in online but the technology failed us. C’est la vie.

Fr Price bravely made it to London, God bless him, despite the threat of Covid.

Love had the last word…..

Appreciating Mrs Bernie Quinsey RIP

Happy Memories of Mrs Quinsey

I used to call into Mrs Quinsey in Turret road when I lived in Balgaddy (South Lucan) in the 90’s.

She always made me very welcome. Like a VIP.

She was lovely really

She had a great relationship  with Jimmy, her husband,  who  I really liked too.

God help  him now.

It’s a long time ago and I am sorry to say I lost touch a bit with Joe and Turret road.

When I got married I did not have as much time for visiting or keeping up with friends.

But a vivid  bright light shines in my mind when I think of Bernie, as Mrs Quinsey was called.

I can see her always smiling  and caring so much about everyone as mothers do.

A beautiful, sensitive and intelligent soul.

Appreciating Mary Hurley

Appreciating my good friend, Mary (Pat) Hurley

I got very emotional tonight when Robbie told me his Ma had died.

She  meant a lot to me. She prayed a lot for me. One of my pillars.

Mary was really a character. We had some great laughs

She suffered a lot and so much that many people couldn’t really believe it.

It seemed that she liked being sick because she was sick so often.

Still she had her little smoke and her little contented house and her beloved family, heartbreakingly complicated as all Irish families are, it seems

She loved Our Lady. Boy, did she.

She ended up right next door to the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rowlagh. How fitting.

She might be called St Mary Pat of Rowlagh.

But she could be a divil and drive you mad too.

How truly loveable was Mary.  How human. How caring. A strong heart of love.

How we will miss her. Mary really helped me a lot.

I will miss her total genuiness and almost extreme dedication to God

and her quaint womanly ways too.

A  very intelligent lady. So proud of her children.