Mass of thanksgiving held for departing Belfast Marist sisters

Mass of thanksgiving held for departing Belfast Marist sisters Bishop of Down and Connor Dr Noel Treanor with Marist sisters from St Peter’s Cathedral parish, September 19. Photo: Fr Brian Watters.

The sisters were praised for embodying the mission of welcome and care, at a thanksgiving Mass held September 19.

The Marist sisters are leaving the parish of St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast, where they had ministered since 1986, invited by then-Bishop Cahal Daly.

The first sisters moved in to the parish and lived in the flats in Divis Tower at the height of the troubles in the area.

Bishop Treanor joined the priests and parishioners to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving for the sisters.

Fr Martin Graham Adm. said in his homily that they “embodied the mission statement to welcome others and see others as God’s children”.

“They have reached out with care, with strength and determination, they have reached out because of their goodness and Godliness,” Fr Graham continued.

They were involved in many pastoral activities in the parish, developed many community and inter-church projects and took on the management of a hostel on Grosvenor Road.

In the past 12 years Sr Georgina Cawley, Sr Augusta Thornton and Sr Elsie Gilmartin continued the pastoral work in the parish of bringing Communion to the sick and housebound, as well as preparing families for Baptism, comforting the bereaved and many other numerous jobs around the parish and the Cathedral. Sr Elsie also was one of the Chaplains at the Belfast City Hospital as well as the Cancer Centre.