Sr Jo's rich and long life ended on March 29 when she returned to our Father in heaven, leaving us bereft of her rich presence. Jo, so full of life, always sharing her faith in God, who is Love, to everyone she met. Truly an evangeliserin the many countries she lived and workedas a Franciscan Missionary of Mary.
All of us are here to celebrate an extraordinary sister, friend, family member, or maybe acquaintance, feel richer for knowing our Sr Jo.
Her firm faith was embedded in her family's strong Catholic faith. Her brother Gerry became a priest serving in East Anglia. She left the family to follow God's call to become a Franciscan Missionary of Mary and entered the Novitiate in 1941 where she pronounced temporary vows in 1943 and in the midst of dangerous warfare sailed across the Atlantic to her first mission field in the USA.
In 1960, Jo was sent to Ghana where she experienced real poverty among people in a very new mission served by the White Fathers.
On returning to the UK, her multiple roles included pastoral work, teaching the faith, runninga soup kitchen, visiting prisoners, and all kinds of parish and community service. During this time she was reunited her younger sister Mags, also an FMM, who had the audacity to die before her ' so Jo felt.
In all her missions, Jo was outgoing. She loved people and kept up with the times using modern technology to reach out to the lonely; sick; house-bound and needy with emails and visits. She met people in the street, in shops or on buses – always giving them the message "God is Love" through her interest in their lives and her wise advice. Sr Jo, so positive, active despite the barriers of aging, overcame obstacles by every available means to reach out and help those in need to the last.
Jo was blessed with a prodigious memory and maintained with friends worldwide. All of us remember her singlemindedness in "Giving God" to everyone she met; seeing good in every situation. Almost her last words were: "People are so good. There are good people all over the world."
Jo, We have been enriched by your presence and now cherish your memory: lovingly; joyfully; hopefully. Amen.