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Sr Angela M: teacher, thinker, willing servant

Sr Angela Moran, 1934-2018

Sr Angela Moran SJC died in Ireland on January 4. She served at the St Joseph of Cluny convents in Port of Spain, San Fernando and St Joseph. In her memory The Cluny Province of the West Indies recently submitted an article which has been edited for length.

With some holiday leave, spiritual courses and medical breaks, Sr Angela lived from 1957 to 2015 in Trinidad and Tobago. As we say in local parlance she had become “a Trini”.

Anne Moran was born June 19, 1934, in Knockvicar, Boyle, Co Roscommon in the diocese of Elphin. She made her First Profession as a Cluny Sister on August 19, 1954 in Ireland and her Final Vows in Port of Spain August 27, 1960. Her jubilees—Silver, Golden and Diamond,were also celebrated with us in Trinidad.

Every July from 1976 to 1981, she visited Ireland for a few months to help care for her ailing mother who passed on September 10, 1981. She had left Ireland that year on September 4 and missed by a few days what she so dearly longed for.

Sr Angela taught for many years at our schools here in Trinidad and enriched and deepened the life of the schools in which she worked. As a teacher she was always approachable and very patient even when she probably thought “Why can’t you understand simple Math?”

Sr Angela’s great passion for Math distinguished her as an excellent teacher in this field, but what has distinguished her even more was the patience she took as she went from student to student explaining, ensuring that each individual understood what had been taught. She would even invite you for a private lesson!

One of the most beautiful recollections of the enduring contribution she has made, is the presentation of a Palm Sunday play. The animals: the ox, camel and horse, consumed with their own self importance, extol their virtues as they vie with each other in order to determine who would have been chosen by Christ as he rode into Jerusalem.

The meek and humble donkey is bluntly silenced as he attempts to give his two pence worth. Yet of course it is ultimately the donkey that is chosen by Christ. The message though simple and obvious is profound, and it reflects something of the quality of Sr Angela’s life. Though self-effacing, modest and humble she was strong, wise and discerning and would speak forcibly against injustice.

After her retirement from the teaching service she was involved in Spiritual Direction and ministered at our retreat house for a number of years. She was Superior of several of our communities from 1967 and following and she also served as vicar provincial under three of our provincial superiors: Sisters Francis Xavier Urich (8 years); Regina Leiba (12 years) and Anne Marie Rodriguez (8 years).

Her name is inscribed in our Hall of Excellence run by the past students’ association. She was also chosen to be one of our representatives for the bicentenary celebrations of our congregation in 2007.

In Community, she was gentle and helpful, always willing to put herself out to help: if she happened to raise her voice, you then knew she was very upset. When her hearing became a problem, she would come after the ‘table talk’ and inquire how she could help or what were the issues.

As an educator, Sr Angela was deeply interested in the universal challenges that face the youth and family. She was quite a modern thinker and in her own life journey, she constantly sought spiritual nourishment.

Sister was not without a sense of humour or a capacity to be playfully mischievous. Sometimes as she recounted an adventure from her girlhood days, she would blush and revel at the little pranks she enjoyed with her brothers and sister whom she loved so much. How excited she would become in the days of aerogrammes, holding one in her hand she would share some bit of news from home.

Henri Nouwen says: “We must live life less as an attempt to conquer new land and hold on to it, and more as a grateful response to the gifts of God.” This Sr Angela did with grace and dignity.

Dear Sr Angela, you have blessed us with your presence; you have taught us all; you have been a quiet light for us all. May you receive your reward and rest in God’s eternal peace and joy.

Our deepest sympathy to Sr Angela’s family, Sr Rowena, Provincial Superior, Sr Maeve and the Community of Mt Sackville, the nursing home and all who were a part of her life since her return to Ireland.