Words of remembrance for Sr Marguerite MoloneyPrint
Sr Marguerite Moloney
July 26, 1921 – June 19, 2021
Mass of Christian burial at St Monica’s Catholic Church, Moonee Ponds VIC
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Motto: “Heart of Jesus, my portion and inheritance forever”
Congregational Leader, Laureen Dixon, who is most disappointed not to be here today, has provided these words of remembrance.
The emphasis on the readings chosen for this farewell liturgy today is on love.
As you ponder the sacred words, love is…I’m sure you might do as I did and easily transpose love is…. to Marguerite is…
Only once did I have the privilege of living with Marg, but a lifelong relationship was formed.
Now, I know I’m not unique – because Marg to me was a people magnet. She was always focussed on the other and in her presence, you would think you were the only person in the world. What a wonderful gift of loving.
In a letter written in 1978, by a cousin she says: “when you came through my door, I could feel love all around me.”
Marguerite was the youngest of three children to dad, Parker, and mother, Margaret. She had two brothers, Parker and Bryan. This was a very loving nuclear family who experienced some hardships during the depression years.
When I visited Marg after her stroke, she said and I quote: “Parker got the brains, Bryan got the good looks and after that there wasn’t much left for me!”
The Marguerite that each of us knew and loved would be challenged to agree with that!
When Marg came to the Novitiate in Sydney, she was 23. Her mum had died when she was 14. Her dad was not all that happy about her entering as both of her brothers had left home. This was a wrench
Marg had ministry appointments in Sydney and Melbourne – you can see the list on the inside cover of the Mass booklet.
Another little story from a letter she received in 2009:
“How lucky I was that you came to Strathmore. I’m sure I would not have had the opportunity to learn the piano without your generosity, kindness, and talent. It is only as I have gotten older that I can fully appreciate what you gave me.
All your time, patience, teaching skills and most importantly encouragement.
How fortunate I was to have all that experience with you, singing and playing guitar in the church choir – allowing me to practise and develop confidence that not only helped me with music but assisted me in many other facets of life.”
As well as being a people magnet, Marg was a great storyteller – many of which are told against herself.
I’m sure everyone knows the “follow me story”?
Whilst Marg was the Pastoral Associate here at Moonee Ponds there was to be a school carnival one Sunday after Mass. A father with his son, new to the parish asked Marg if she could tell him where Aberfeldie Park was. No problem says Marg just follow me.
It wasn’t until they were down the block that Marg looked in the rear-view mirror and saw the man and his son running at a pace to try and keep up with the leader!
What about the incident in St Francis church?
I think this took place during the year when she was doing Assumption.
It was time to kneel during Mass. So, Marg reached down to lift the kneeler down. Hmm… It was very hard to move so Marg pulled and pulled until the lady in front turned around with a slight scowl. Marg was pulling her shoe instead of the kneeler.
When Marg told these stories she usually said something like I broke up or I fell apart. These stories never lost their appeal.
The pioneering Marguerite took up a position as a Pastoral Associate in the late 70s.
Fr John Lanigan PP at the time greeted Marg when she arrived. She asked him what he wished her to do in the parish and he replied, “Marg, I have no idea!” She realized then that this ministry was as new to him as it was to her.
These are Marg’s words:
During the first couple of months, I walked around the parish to assess what were the needs amongst the parishioners. It was evident to me that the elderly, the lonely and the disabled needed something more in their lives. So, I gathered a wonderful group of about 20 ladies who formed a committee for what we called the “GET TOGETHER CLUB”.
This gathering was held each month in the parish hall commencing with Mass, followed by “sherries” and a delicious afternoon tea prepared by the committee ladies, who also drove a number of people to and from the venue. We were amazed that each month anything up to 200 people turned up, and by the way I had to persuade Fr Lanigan to have a ramp erected into the hall for access for wheelchairs and frames etc. This was done and Fr Lanigan called it, MOLONEY’S RAMP!!!”
As we listen to the readings during this Mass, we are reminded and give thanks that the love of God was given expression in Marguerite’s life. Her nuclear family was the first place in which she experienced God’s love, and this has been continued through her niece Marita and nephew Bryan and their families. Their love and care of Marg has been outstanding and inspirational. We thank you for that and for allowing us to share with you.
When I had my visit with Marg after her stroke, she said, “Laur, I’ve got my bags packed”. After this, I said “I think (Sr) Colleen (Bell) is waiting for you with those bags. What do you think?” Her reply: “Unspeakable grief. I have missed her so much”.
Many of us are experiencing deep grief that Marg has gone from us, but we are deeply grateful for her life among us.