August 19, 2008

Sr. Angela Bolster's papers transferred on permanent loan to Congregational Archives

On 6th August, 2008 the Southern Province of the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy transferred on permanent loan to the Congregational Archives of the Sisters of Mercy the papers of Angela Bolster rsm (1925-2005).

The transfer ceremony took place in St Maries of the Isle Convent Cork from whence Angela had undertaken much of her great works of scholarship and where her papers had been faithfully and carefully stored and preserved.

In attendance at the ceremony in the convent chapel were the community of St Maries of the Isle including the convent archivist, Sr Raphael Downing, Sr Coirle McCarthy, Congregational Leader, Sr Cait O’Dwyer, Congregational Leadership Team Member with responsibility for archives, Sr Liz Murphy, Provincial Leader of the Southern Province, Sr Maria Goretti Comerford, Provincial Team Member with responsibility for archives, Sr Monica Mohally, Provincial Team Member and Marianne Cosgrave, Congregational Archivist.

The ceremony began with some words from Sr Liz who gave thanks for Angela’s life, work and great contribution to our understanding of Mercy history and that of church history in Cork, the latter epitomized by her monumental four volume history of the Diocese of Cork. She acknowledged how blessed we were in Angela’s giftedness, scholarship and her immense work for the Cause of Venerable Catherine McAuley. She expressed the hope that the transfer of the papers would encourage further research into Mercy and would preserve Angela’s scholarship for posterity.

A reading of Psalm 84 (85) reminded us of one of Angela’s early works, My Song is of Mercy and Justice.
Sr Liz then formally handed over to Marianne Cosgrave the Positio of Catherine McAuley as a symbolic representation of the treasure within her papers and in recognition of the labour of love that the Positio was for Angela.

Sr Angela’s papers relate to her scholarship in general and more specifically, her work on the cause of Catherine McAuley including, her appointment in 1975 as Secretary of the Dublin Diocesan Commission of Causes with special responsibility for the cause of Catherine McAuley, her membership of the Historical Commission for the Cause of Catherine McAuley and from 1982 her ministry as Vice-Postulator and Positio writer for the Cause.

Her papers include: some original 19th century letters and manuscripts, proceedings of Catherine’s Cause, photocopies and transcripts of the papers of Catherine McAuley, photocopies and transcripts of manuscript lives of Catherine McAuley, publications relating to Catherine and publications by Angela.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sr Cait O’Dwyer and Sr Maria Goretti Comerford signed the Deed of Permanent Loan on behalf of the Congregational Leadership Team and the Provincial Leadership Team respectively.

The ceremony ended with a prayer for the beatification of Catherine McAuley and the singing of the Suscipe.

Written by Marianne Cosgrave Congregational Archivist

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