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Rosaleen Galligan, CSJP (1923-2015)

Rosaleen was born 15 April 1923. She was the youngest child born to Patrick and Rose Galligan. She had two brothers and two sisters, and was the last surviving member of her generation. Rosaleen responded to God's call by joining the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace in 1948. She made her first profession in 1950 and her final vows in 1953. When she was quite young, her older sister Peggy joined the Presentation Sisters in Ireland. After her Profession, Peggy (Sister Phelim) went on foreign missions and spent many years in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Rosaleen's first assignment was to St Charles', Carstairs, Scotland. This was a residential facility for children with learning difficulties. She trained for this special ministry and was marvellous with the children. She was very musical and a great Irish dancer, and she taught the children Irish step dancing. Rosaleen served in this ministry until 1957 when she moved to St Hugh's Convent and nursing home, where she served for ten years. In September 1968 Rosaleen returned to St Charles', Carstairs where she remained for nine years caring for children and women with special needs. This was a very happy ministry for Rosaleen who endeared herself to the women and they to her. She also encouraged the women to sing and dance, and they had many happy hours of socialising.

In 1977 Rosaleen took a break and went to Hawkestone, the Redemptorist Retreat Centre, where she pursued a three-month spiritual renewal course. She thoroughly enjoyed this experience and was very enriched by the various talks, prayer sessions and liturgies. She made friends with members of other religious congregations with whom she remained in contact over many years. After the course, Rosaleen returned to Rearsby to help with various groups of people who came for days of prayer and reflection. A little over two years later, a priest in Bradford asked for a sister to work in his parish. The Provincial at the time sent a letter to all the communities inviting anyone who felt interested to contact her. Rosaleen responded as she felt very interested in this opportunity for Parish Ministry. She moved to our convent, St Clare's, Bradford and served as parish sister in St. Brendan's where she devotedly served the parish for many years. While there, another opportunity came her way to serve in an inner city parish. She took on the role of pastoral assistant at St Mary's Parish, Bradford City. This was a large inner city parish with many house bound elderly people living in high rise apartments. For many years, Rosaleen did outstanding work visiting housebound elderly people, bringing them Holy Communion and attending to their various needs. She also helped in the parish house answering phones and door bells. She was a most generous woman and gave of her best with her time and talents. The priest and parishioners were very appreciative of her. As her health became problematic, Rosaleen had to resign from St Mary's Parish.

In March 2004 she retired to our Convent in Wollaton, Nottingham. Rosaleen enjoyed six happy years there until her health failed, and she needed more care. In August 2010, on being discharged from hospital, she came to Tabor where she received loving care and attention.

Rosaleen was very close to her family. She visited with them in Dunstable and Ireland and delighted in sharing news of her nieces and nephews and their families. She loved holidaying in Ireland. Sister Phelim's home visits from Pakistan were less frequent. However, when she came, she and Rosaleen enjoyed holidaying together with their extended family. Clare and John were always very welcoming of them and made their visits very special. Latterly, when Rosaleen was unable to travel they visited her here in Rearsby. We all enjoyed their coming.

Rosaleen was a gentle, happy person with a good sense of humour and enjoyment. She was a deeply spiritual woman and appreciated days of prayer, her annual retreat and other opportunities for intimacy with God. She died peacefully on the 16th February 2015 and is now enjoying the glory of heaven in the company of the God she served so well, her family, and all the people she helped along the way.

May she rest in Peace.

Rosaleen Galligan, CSJP (1923-2015)

"You will hope if God blesses your work to sow the seeds of peace in modern society."

Bishop Bagshawe