Sr. Nora was from Berrings, Co. Cork where she
was born on June 1st 1924. She was one of a large family where the faith was
strong and a major influence in the lives of
the young O’Herlihys as they grew up. Nora and her sisters Joan (Sr.
Evangelista, who predeceased her by a few years) and their younger sister
Angela travelled the long distance from Co. Cork to the boarding school in
Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin where she found her vocation to be a Holy
Faith Sister. She entered in 1942 and was professed in 1945. From the
beginning of her religious life she had a strong desire to spread the love
and knowledge of God wherever she went. That desire was fulfilled when after
completing her training as a primary school teacher and some teaching
experience, she was sent to Trinidad. The missionary spirit defined Nora’s
whole life, whether in Trinidad, later on as a member of the Holy Faith
mission to New Zealand or in the many houses and schools in Ireland where
she ministered after her return from the missions.
Nora was an avid reader and had an enquiring mind. She liked nothing better
than a good discussion on religious matters, whether inside or outside the
community - wherever she got a listening ear! She was a great lover of Art
and of Nature in which she delighted. Her enthusiasm for the lovelier things
of life influenced all she met. On
hearing of her death one of our neighbours remarked “no one knows the good
she did by reaching out to so many people.” She also had the courage of her
convictions and did not hesitate to ask people how they felt about God and
what place He had in their lives. Her life was not just talk, but action too
- bringing Holy Communion to the housebound, involvement with the Legion of
Mary and more recently helping Chinese priests and students with English in
Myra House, Francis Street. She had a very generous nature and was anxious
to share her gifts with those who needed help in any field. Loyalty was
important to her, especially in her friendships.
Nora was no stranger to pain and suffering, especially in her latter years.
She did not become embittered but became more sensitive to the sufferings
and problems of others. Her great love of Scripture was a source of strength
to her in her life of prayer, as was her strong devotion to the Blessed
It was a fitting conclusion to a life of generous service that Sr. Nora
received her call to her reward on Good Friday, April 14th 2006 at the time of
the afternoon celebration of the Passion. It is not difficult to imagine the
Lord saying “well done, good and faithful servant; this day you will be with
me Paradise.” Nora was almost 82 years old and last year celebrated the 60th
Jubilee of her profession as a Holy Faith Sister. Her dearly loved family
shared in that celebration with her. She has left us a noble example. May
she rest in peace.