February 10, 2005

Angela Bolster rsm RIP



When Betty rang me on Wednesday morning to tell me that Angela had gone home to God I felt a mixture of emotions but particularly two – sadness and gladness. I was sad because I felt that we Sisters of Mercy had lost a powerful advocate on earth but I was glad that we had gained an equally powerful advocate in Heaven.

I first worked with Angela in 1978 when we prepared for the celebration of the Bi-Centenary of the birth of Venerable Catherine McAuley. As I remember, it was a time of frenetic activity and a time of grace and renewal in which Angela urged us to really come to know our foundress. The celebration itself lasted for nine days 23 September- 1 October while the Sisters of Mercy of Ireland and England paid tribute to our foundress. It began with a national pilgrimage to Knock on 23 September.

We rushed from there to Dublin and caught an early flight to London the following morning . We celebrated in Westminster Catherdral, which Cardinal Hume declared to be at our disposal as our convent chapel with himself as our chaplain for the afternoon. On 28 September the Mercy Exhibition was opened in the Bank of Ireland Exhibition Hall. As Mercy Women we took great pride in this exhibition as we recalled with affection the achievement of a great Irishwoman, Our Foundress, Catherine McAuley.

Catherine’s wish was to bring to Christ those she served. This too was Angela’s wish. The extension and realization of God’s compassion was the dream of Catherine McAuley –a dream made to come through in her own lifetime and in the lives of generations of Sisters of Mercy who have followed her down to the present day.

The success of that exhibition was a great joy to Angela. The celebration concluded with a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Andrew’s, Westland Row on 29 September, Catherine’s birthday. There Bishop Carroll declared the framework within which to examine the work of Catherine to be Misery and Mercy. The misery that moved her soul was the misery of Dublin’s poor and the mercy with which she responded was authentically biblical.

Angela’s response to Catherine’s Mercy was to undertake the enormous task of adding her name to the list of saints. She was convinced and she convinced others that Catherine’s canonization would set before the faithful a fresh and unique example of Christian holiness. She undertook the task of searching out and illuminating what it was that made Catherine different; discovering what fresh and formative insight the love of God had produced in her.

She literally travelled the world making Catherine’s story known and loved. She published several books including The Correspondence of Catherine McAuley which have been great resources ever since. At the request of Dr. Dermot Ryan she commenced the compilation of a Historical Report on the cause and, as a result, a petition to have the cause opened went to Paul VI. The Nihil Obstat of the Holy See for the introduction of the cause was granted on 16th. June 1978. Angela commenced writing the Positio on the 2 February,1980.

In 1982 the Postulator for the cause, Fr. Martin Nolan OSA, nominated Angela for the position of Vice-Postulator and she was the first woman to have been accepted by the Sacred Congregation for Causes in this role. Angela presented the Positio for examination on Foundation Day 1984.

Six historical consultors and eight theological consultors presented very positive reports on Catherine’s spiritual qualities, her practice of heroic virtues and her stature as a contemporary model of Christian living. In 1990 Catherine was declared Venerable by decree of John Paul 11. What a day of great joy for Angela and Father Martin.

We, Sisters of Mercy, owe Angela great gratitude for her steadfastness, her courage, her unstinting generosity and her dogged work over so many years. She has truly borne the heat of the day.

To me, her successor as Vice-Postulator, she is an inspiration, an exemplar of single-minded purpose and persevering dedication to a lonely, isolated task. In her name, let us go forth from here and tell her story, Catherine’s story and God’s story so that we may bring hope to a world which is often without hope; so that we may bring faith to a world which is becoming more faithless and that we may bring love to a world which constantly sings about love but rarely experiences it.

Ar dheis De go raibh a hanam uasal!

Messages to: Anne Hannon rsm - Vice Postulator

Descanse en Paz Hermana Angela Bolster (La Congregación)

La Hermana Angela Bolster murió en la mañana del 2 de febrero, en el hospital Santa Maries de la Isla, Cork City, Irlanda. Ella era de Mallow en Co. Cork. Se graduó con un titulo de Historia en la universidad de College Cork y enseño en el colegio Santo Aloysius en Cork City. Mas tarde ella complete un Doctorado en Historia. Angela trabajó como la Archivista Diocesana para Cork y el diócesis de Ross por varios años y escribió y publicó cuatro volúmenes de la historia de Cork. Ella también escribió varios libros acerca de Catherine McAuley. Después de terminar como Archivista Diocesana, ella tomó la causa de Catherine McAuley y durante ese tiempo Catherine empezó a ser admirada.

Que el Señor tenga misericordia de su alma.

Por favor mande sus mensajes a la Coordinador de Comunicaciones Hermana Ailish O'Brien.

Redactor: Un tributo a la Hermana Angela puede ser visto en la pagina Web de diócesis Cork y de Ross pagina Web

RIP Sister Angela Bolster (The Congregation)

Sr. Angela Bolster died on the morning of 2 February, in St. Maries of the Isle, Cork City, Ireland. She was from Mallow in Co. Cork. She did a history degree in University College Cork and taught in St. Aloysius School in Cork City. Later she did a PhD in history. Angela worked as Diocesan Archivist for the Cork and Ross Diocese for a number of years and wrote and published four volumes of the history of Cork. She also wrote several books on Catherine McAuley. After finishing as Diocesan Archivist, she took up the cause of Catherine McAuley and during that time Catherine was made Venerable.

May the Lord have mercy on her soul.

Messages to: Ailish O'Brien rsm Communications Co-ordinator

Back to All News