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Service Times

Exposition
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at any or all of the services.

They will be held in the chapel unless otherwise shown

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Sr Anne Donockley

On April 22 at 11.20pm, Sr Anne Donockley died peacefully in her room in Bethany surrounded by the care of her Sisters and staff. She had endured her long illness with great patience and courage maintaining her warm outreach to others to the end and showing more concern for others than herself. She is greatly missed. 

On Friday 29th Sr Anne’s coffin was brought to the Community room and the Sisters gathered as is our custom to take time to remember and pray for her and ourselves.

The Office of the Dead for Anne began with the Office of Readings at 8.20 pm and Anne’s Requiem Mass was on Saturday 30 April at 12 Noon.

As we anticipated, the Requiem was very well attended by Anne’s family, friends, colleagues, Sisters and former students. Maria Hall, a teacher, liturgist, organist and director of music played the organ. She was grateful that Sr Anne had encouraged her to develop these gifts. The funeral had been prepared by Sr Anne, hence its personal touch and beautiful liturgy.

The remaining music was led and performed by former students who had led worship in the Chaplaincy. Anne had written a poem, now offered as a card, expressing her faith in the life of eternal love which follows death.
Fourteen priests concelebrated Mass.

The chief celebrant was Fr David Russell, Anne’s colleague at Newcastle University Chaplaincy where Anne worked from September 1989 to April 2005. Those around the altar included Anne’s cousin, Canon Paul Mitcheson.
We opened with ‘In Christ alone my hope is found.’ The Gospel was from St John 3:12-17: ‘God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.’ At the offertory we sang words so fitting for Anne’s spirit of service: ‘Take me, Lord, use my life in the way you wish to do.’
Fr David Russell spoke warmly in his homily of Anne’s energy, generosity and dedication to the students, her love of children, her love of liturgy, the courage with which she endured the limitations and sufferings imposed on her by her illness. His sermon had a light hearted touch as he recalled some of their humorous encounters in the chaplaincy.

You can CLICK HERE for the text of his homily, and the 4 items mentioned are shown in the slide show of photos of the event near the end. The photos will change automatically every few seconds.

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At communion we sang words which so well fitted Anne’s open-hearted invitation to her Lord: ‘Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus, come!’ A beautiful solo rendition of James Moore’s “Taste and See” by Catherine Simcocks enabled time for quiet reflection. We ended with a hymn which captured Anne’s spirit of praise and gratitude: ‘Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord.’ 

Sr Anne was buried in the Community cemetery, with its view over Morecambe Bay, in sunshine. Many of the congregation came to the graveside giving support to her family and the Sisters. A buffet in Boarbank followed of which Anne would have entirely approved; time for everyone to be together sharing food, faith and fellowship. The funeral was a testament to Anne and rightly joyful in tone and celebratory.

While there was deep sadness, a strong note was the joy that Anne wanted to be brought to the occasion. The funeral was deeply moving and evocative of Anne’s spirit. It was uplifting and consoling for those who mourn her loss.

Her cousin, Canon Paul, said, ‘What has happened for Anne is wonderful.’ May she rest in peace.

 

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