Patricia Henry, Platinum Jubilarian: a poetic reverie on Seventy Years as a Sister of Mercy

Having celebrated the beautiful feasts
of Christmas and the Epiphany when Christ was revealed to the whole world through Wise Men from the East, following a star,

I pondered on the significance of the date for me. January 6th 2018:
My Platinum Jubilee.
Seventy years as a Professed Sister of Mercy.

Felt deep joy, a moving sense of the significance of that sacred event: the journey of the Magi following a star, reflecting my own life’s journey.

I embarked on my journey to become a Sister of Mercy in 1944,
A quantum leap in the eyes of my family,
Leaving peaceful Ireland for war torn England!
Hazardous, daunting, fearsome
getting lost in the crowd, was to my advantage,
my guide. No Star, just a crowd! though unaware of my presence.

Arriving at Clifford, Convent of Mercy - a huge awesome building; numerous windows, staring silently at me. Fear gripped me; my heart beat against my ribs, butterflies fluttered within, playing out their winged notes “no turning back, no turning back” “hand to the plough.”


This is to be my home, for my early formative years!
Great contrast to my ‘Little Sweet Home in the West’

Life took on a new dimension, challenging; early rising, Postulancy, hard manual work, study, Chapters, Instructions, Clothing as ‘White Veil’ more study, exams more study.

Then 6th January 1948 First Vows; Black Veil:

I am a Religious, Sister of Mercy!

More study and more exams; Still more study and more exams. Then College - Teacher Training; Success: 1958 a qualified Primary School Teacher ready for action.

What a Great joy to be with children in various schools: Denaby Main, St. Albans; Edlington St. Mary’s; Doncaster St. Peter’s Sandy Lane.

            Then the big move to Wanstead East London in 1990.

It proved to be a deeply enriching experience where I blossomed, grew still, blooming in the dance of life.

I am thoroughly grateful, being weighed in the balance and found worthy to be a Sister of Mercy. 
I rejoice in my Platinum year, having travelled through, Silver, Golden and Diamond times despite the ups and downs to be still combined and entwined in the Circle of Mercy Life.

I have been privileged, gifted, by the Lord in my long, loving relationship with Him and hope to experience many more ‘Epiphanies,’ be they small or great. however long or short my time may be -

“Until I dance my last dance, into the embrace of the Lord of the Dance as he leads me in the dance to the Heavenly Ballroom." 

(with apologies for putting my own spin on Catherine McAuley’s words of Wisdom.)