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Audrey Kettell, CSJP-A (1929 - 2018)

There is so much one could say about Audrey. Her life was so full and her involvements so many that portraying her with only the written word seems impossible. But what else can one do? Here, we will let her family and friends speak, and then hear from Audrey herself as she moved with great faith through the final months of her life on earth.

From her daughter Catherine:
She married Dad in 1950 and started the marriage the way they meant to go on, with a honeymoon cycling to Monte Carlo on a tandem… We had an open house, full of children and of people from all over the world. I remember Muhammed Zamman from Lahore whom she met on a train and brought home; …three young Tanzanian trainee school teachers who took us children to their hearts; …her childhood French penfriend (with whom she maintained life-long contact)… She tirelessly campaigned for human rights, for the underdog, extraordinary rendition; she loved poetry, recycling, McDonald’s milk shakes and surfing; she loved her family so much, we meant the world to her, she loved life…

From CSJP-Associate friends:
Audrey worked tirelessly in the Diocese of Southwell. She was an intellectual and spiritual “tour de force”, she was practical and reliable… she strongly believed in healing as part of her ministry…she was a mystic, a healer, teacher and spiritual councillor… her creativity was evident, her style quiet and holy but driven by her intimate knowledge and love of God. Her deep faith led her to the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace. She became a life-long member of this group, she attended their excellent teaching days locally and travelled to their conventions both in the UK and America. On one occasion she went to El Salvador in support of the bereaved victims of their military civil war. She went to the Holy Land and loved Jewish poetry which she shared with her house group. This remarkable woman will be sorely missed in her parish, diocese and religious order. (Anne Pask, CSJP-A)
I have known Audrey for about 50 years but increasingly well for the last 30 of them. Despite our very different personalities- or perhaps because of them – our friendship grew into that rare quality of the meeting of minds which I valued immensely and, despite the trials of her final illness, we remained in close touch until fairly recently. Audrey was one of the few people with whom I felt on the same spiritual wavelength and we often found we were reading the same writers… Despite a busy life, Audrey always found a moment to help others in need and was often seen around the village on her bike on such a mission… What I will miss most of all is our shared laughter which could often bubble up at the end of a serious discussion. Thank you Audrey for your friendship, but do try not to organise St Peter! (Mary Bird, CSJP-A)

From Audrey’s message to the Sisters and Associates, Dec 6, 2017
…the prognosis was six to twelve months if I opted not to go for treatment which could have extended my life for a few months. I had no wish to live for the sake of living, preferring to live as fully as possible for as long as possible… I am very grateful for being surrounded by the prayerful community of the Sisters and Associates of St Joseph of Peace, friends and a wonderfully supportive family and am upheld by everyone. I am also very aware of being blessed day and night by God’s love and upholding – and an excellent palliative care GP (and McMillan nurse). This is the 12th month of my prognosis and I continue to have times of feeling strong… I felt wonderfully missioned for this last part of my journey through the Saturday of the Autumn Assembly… It has been my desire to live as an Associate and to die an Associate; it looks as though God and the CSJP community are enabling me to do so. I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Many friends, family, Sisters and Associates gathered at St Helen’s Church, Burton Joyce for her funeral service on 14th February – Ash Wednesday and

Audrey Kettell, CSJP-A (1929 - 2018)

"The prophet does not compel, but asks people to see themselves, the world, and God in a new way."

Dorothy Vidulich, CSJP