It was in the Summer of 1988 that I was assigned to the Community in Youghal, as a member and leader, anxious yet joyful at the prospect of experiencing the Presentation Way of Life in a beautiful seaside location. Youghal is the final residential ‘STOP’ in County Cork; it is on the edge of the South West Province; the last Parish in the Diocese of Cloyne; in the final electoral Division…well worth the trip. The area is rich in the social, political and religious influence of many famous persons…Thaddeus McCarthy, Oliver Cromwell, Dominic Collins, Walter Raleigh (to name a few) and of course the Presentation Sisters who have lived, prayed and laboured in the Vineyard here since 1934.
Having met with the Sisters and got the flavour of local circumstances in Community and local ministry, I looked at a list of our House-Staff and saw, among others, the name Vera DeLaCour and intuitively guessed that she much be French…or somehow non-national…with linguistic and other differences to be reckoned with? Then I met with the charming and capable lady who has given more than thirty-two years of pleasant and professional housekeeping/cooking service to the Sisters and all visitors to Presentation, Youghal. She is more ‘Irish’ than myself, with a local husband and family to prove it!
Meanwhile, having been assigned to ministry in Lismore, Midleton, China, Tralee and Cork since I first met Vera, I am here again now (Autumn 2020) to enjoy a little Covid-style farewell to Vera. We had a simple Soup-Party, with Vera’s soup and brown bread etc. as we chatted and remembered “the old days and the old ways” with Sisters who are now up to ninety-nine years of age…A SIMPLE EVENT WITH DEEP MEANING! and we shared a prayer as she retired to a well-deserved phase of life, with an invitation to to visit often and never be too far away.
For these thirty-two years everyone relaxed when Vera was available for work. There was creativity, excellence and variety in her cooking, even if the ingredients were sometimes amiss, and her presentation of meals was superb. Her loyalty to the Sisters and her confidentiality about Community affairs was exemplary at all times, even when we were planning and making transition from our old Convent to a property better suited to present numbers and relevant structures…what she heard in her ears she held in her heart! Her availability, punctuality and dedication were without blemish and when challenges came Vera always rose to the occasion with a smile and willing hands, apparent ease and excellence.
Together with other members of Staff, past and present, Vera DeLaCour is cherished among us. She was and is appreciated as a colleague, friend and companion in ministry who walked the Gospel-way with us, in Nano’s vision as a Presentation Associate…and we all simply want to say
THANKS AND BLESSINGS
Submitted by: Sr Placida Barry, pbvm