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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happiness - A Poem by April O'Leary, RSCJ

The Happy Faces of Sacred Heart Schools Chicago -  "Brownie Troop"


The mad philosopher

nibbling peanuts, feeding

lettuce to his

tortoise, chocolate


to children button-eyed

with wonder,

burrowing into skies

like velvet

with a telescope

once used

at Trafalgar

is happy

to advance the cause

of happiness

by being


April O'Leary , RSCJ (1922-2013)

Province of England - Wales

As we end National Poetry Month and enter the Merry Month of May how providential that I should discover this evening a lovely poem written by Sr. April O'Leary. The photo above is taken from Sacred Heart Schools Chicago and shows the very happy faces of the Brownie Troop. 

More about Sr. April O'Leary taken from the Society of the Sacred Heart England & Wales website is below. 

Born in 1922, April was one of 34 cousins to be educated at Sacred Heart schools, like their mothers and grandmother. During the Second World War she worked on farms as a "land girl", then in a NAAFI canteen and an aircraft factory before joining the Society in 1946. She made her first vows in September 1948 - 65 years ago - and was finally professed in 1955.

April read English Literature at Oxford, and taught this for many years at our schools  in Hove, Tunbridge Wells and St Julian's in Malta, and at Digby Stuart College. She later moved into spirituality work, spending seven years as part of our community at Llannerchwen, near Brecon, and then at Marden Lodge, in the grounds of Woldingham School. Both were rural locations, which the former "land girl" enjoyed immensely. In 2010 ill health meant a move to Duchesne House, where she died after a short illness.

Among other things April was a gifted writer and poet, and it is fitting that she should express herself in her own words. You can read her account of her vocation here, and some of her poetry here and here.
Several years ago, when a young sister made her first vows, April sent her a quote, from Julian of Norwich, which meant a lot to her. We can be sure that when April arrived in the fullness of God's presence, she heard these words once more:
My darling I am glad that thou art come to me, in all thy woe I have been ever with thee, now seest thou my loving, and we be oned in bliss.

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