Athenry mourns St. Colette – Summer 2005

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Sister Colette Dolan Presentation Convent, Athenry, and formerly of Monastery Road, Ballyglunin, Tuam, died peacefully on Saturday, February 19, following a short illness, bravely borne.

Colette was daughter of Frank and Mary Dolan the second youngest in a family of five girls. She is survived by her sisters Teresa, Phyllis, Nuala and Carmel, nieces, nephews, the members of the Presentation Community, and a very large circle of friends.

She entered the Presentation Convent, Tuam on October 7, 1963. After her teacher training, she taught in Tuam, Teeranea, Achill and had been in Athenry on teaching staff of Scoil Chroi Naofa, since 1976.

Throughout her teaching career of almost 40 years, apart from a few years with the First Class, she taught the Junior Infants and spent the past 28 years in Athenry. Close to a thousand pupils had their first experience of school and moving away from home in the care and company of Sr. Colette. Parents appreciated the easy transition for their little ones leaving home for the first time.

The news of her untimely death brought a cloud of sadness throughout the parish. The prayers that so many people said so faithfully for her recovery were now mixed with tears and good humour as they told their memories of her in the classroom. Her enthusiasm and playful spirit, her imagination, creativity and good humour made her easy company. And for the children, they found her so much one of themselves. The school and her pupils were her life. She was very devoted to her community, no job was too difficult, and she was caring in every way. She had a deep sense of faith and prayer, and this was evident in the past few weeks as she moved into acceptance and surrender to God’s plan for her.

Like so many of her Presentation Sisters down the years, Colette has sown the seeds that with God’s help will continue that tradition in the years to come.

Very Rev. Canon Tony King PP was the Chief Celebrant at her funeral Mass. Priests from all over the Archdiocese concelebrated with him. In his homily, Fr King paid a special tribute to the witness and work of Sister Colette and said that in her teaching she had brought a rare understanding of children to her classroom, and she had also filled their lives with mystery and wonder including such creative inventions as her magic television in which she could tell if children were doing their homework, or simply watching television; or indeed the mystery of how she could know who was talking in the classroom, though she had her back turned!

The high esteem in which she was held was evident from the large numbers of Presentation Sisters, past and present teachers and pupils of Scoil Chroí Naofa, their parents, and her many, many friends, who attended her removal and funeral Mass. Pupils from Scoil Chroí Naofa lined the route to Athenry Cemetery, many of them caring flowers, and many in tears at the loss of a teacher and friend who was loved and respected by pupils, teachers, the Presentation Community and the wider community.

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.

Summer 2005 Athenry Journal Page 32

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About this record

Written by Anonymous

Published here 27 Oct 2022 and originally published 2005

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