11 Nov HOLY SOULS – Day 10
Sr Mary of the Ascension (Eileen Foley) was born on November 11th 1907, in Liverpool, of an English Mother and Irish Father. She was the eldest of four children, the youngest being 15 years her junior. She was educated by the Sisters of Notre Dame and summer holidays were spent on her Grandmother’s farm in Limmerick. She obtained a place at Liverpool University and was always grateful to have this opportunity to develop her mind in an age when it was still the exception for women. She taught Latin and English at the Ursuline school in Ilford for many years. Sister entered Notting Hill carmel on Pentecost Sunday 1949. She was clothed six months later and made her profession on December 10th 1950. She was a soul of prayer and she made a rich contribution to community life, not only by her stimulating conversation and her memory store of literary treasures, but above all by her sheer humanity, her keen interest in the other person and her ability to communicate warmth and genuine regard. Her spiritual life became increasingly simple and all-pervasive. She said it was no longer a question of praying; she desired to “become pure prayer”. Everything was reduced simply to “God” and in those final weeks to “Joy”. Late one night she fell and fractured her upper arm. She was taken to Charing Cross Hospital where she was to undergo surgery. However, while the nurse gave sister her morning wash sisters head bent forward and she slipped into eternity. It was somehow right that her passing into His presence should have been so swift and silent as she had always had a wish to die alone, among strangers, without fuss.