17 Nov HOLY SOULS – Day 15
Sr Fidelis of Jesus – Denise Marie Holman was 3 minutes younger than her beloved twin, Sr Mary of the Child Jesus, who died at Glasgow Carmel in 2005. It was a happy home in a loving family circle in Scarisbrick, Lancashire. Their first acquaintance with Carmel was the Carmel of Birkenhead where their Aunt was a nun. Margery, being the senior, was the first to enter the Carmel at Efford in Devon. Denise stayed home to be with their parents and took up teaching with great zest. During World War ll she worked on the Isle of Wight and had loving memories of the children in her care. She loved cycling and would make the journey by bike from Dorset to Devon to visit her twin in Carmel. When at last she felt free to leave home she entered Branksome Carmel. She entered fully into the life of the community where she received the habit in 1948 and made her Profession in 1949. She loved the garden where she put to great use her green fingers. She showed great enthusiasm and generosity in all aspects of community life. Having suffered an injury to her back in her younger years this became a real impediment in later life, leaving her with a stoop that became more and more pronounced. She held the office of Novice Mistress and first councillor. It was with these responsibilities that she took part in the discernment process that finally led to the courageous decision of the Branksome Community to close and disperse in 1992. She chose to go to Reading Carmel where she settled and was very happy. Alas in 1998 Reading Carmel also decided to disperse. They say that this upheaval is one of the most distressing experiences for a Religious. Yet Sr Fidelis, at the age of 81 went through the whole process again. Her courage, her smile, her acceptance, were exemplary, but must have hidden so much pain. She chose to come to Notting Hill where she once again settled down to the Carmelite rhythm of life. The dimming of her sight was a huge blow to her yet she would come to choir and recite the psalms by heart, no longer able to read with a magnifying glass. Sister died peacefully in the hospital next door to our monastery with the sisters around her bedside. She is laid in our cemetery, not far from the grave that holds 16 of her former Branksome Community. They are all united once more in heaven.