Remembering Sr Vernonica Crowley RIP

Johanna (Joan) Crowley was born in Letter, Goleen in September 1925 and entered the Ursuline Convent in Blackrock in 1945 making her first profession of vows in April 1948 taking the name Veronica, spending all her religious life in Cork, mostly in Blackrock with just a short spell at Saint Angela’s on St Patrick’s Hill.  As an Ursuline Sr Veronica was known for her kindness, gentleness and compassion to everyone – to students and staff in school, convent staff, to other sisters and most especially to the poor who called to the door seeking food or help.  The boarders in Blackrock especially remember her for her kindness to them, in the dormitories, the refectory and in the infirmary, Veronica had a listening ear and a kind word for each of them.

In the community Sr Veronica was the reliable one, she was always there to make sure the daily life of the convent ran smoothly – doors open, food prepared, tables set, gardens and plants tended and visitors welcomed.  The sisters who were sick or frail received her special attention and they could be sure their every need would be tended to when Sr Veronica was around.  She never spared herself in the care she gave to others.

Sr Veronica was a very sociable person, keeping up with friends and family always wanting to know how life was for them. She had two great loves in her life – poetry and nature, and often the two went hand in hand.  No social occasion or special event happened without a poem recalled from her school days recited to the wrapt attention of all.  The garden and house plants benefitted from her tender care – the roses bloomed and the birds who came to make their nests in the trees were well fed.

She very much enjoyed being part of the parish life especially when there was no longer Mass in the convent and the Thursday coffee mornings became a feature of her week.  She thrived in the company of others and loved the visits from family, past pupils and staff.  Sr Veronica was the one who kept in touch with everyone who came her way, with letters, cards and phone calls.

When she left Goleen for Blackrock, while always having a place in her heart for West Cork, its people and its natural beauty, she gave herself unsparingly to her life as an Ursuline and all that religious life asked of her. Her commitment on making her vows never wavered and she remained faithful to her “yes” to God to her last day with us.  What sustained her through all of her service in life was her faith and her prayer life – as she was heard to say – “if I had my life over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”   Rest in peace, Sr Veronica.