Sunday, 24 December 2017

DEATH OF A SERVANT OF CHRIST'S POOR



SISTER MAYRA LYNCH

Born: September 10, 1938

Died: December 9th, 2017

The Irish Times 23.12.17

When the Angolan civil war broke out in 1975 an Irish nun attached to the Medical Missionaries of Mary regularly crossed a bombed bridge over the Cunene river to visit medical colleagues at a remote health centre in the south of the country.

There are photographs of Sr Maura Lynch, attired in her white veil and habit, wading through the water and being pulled up the dangerously tilted bridge on the final leg of an 80km journey which she usually made by bicycle.

When she died in Uganda on December 9th - on the day she was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her arrival in Africa - colleagues recalled one such trip when Sr Maura and a Nigerian nun had to repeatedly abandon their bicycles and dive for cover in the undergrowth because of aerial bombardment. They had set off with food and medical supplies because there had been no word for three weeks from the staff at the Cuamato health centre , and Sr Maura was worried for their welfare.

It was feared that travelling by jeep might make them a target, so cycling was the only option. Friends recalled that her only complaint afterward was the sunburn she suffered on that adventure.

Sr Maura’s sister, Breda, remembers their parents worrying during the Angolan war as the only form of communications were letters which could take six weeks to arrive, and many of the more hair-raising tales were not told until years later. “It was a worrying time - Maura and her colleagues treated both sides so there were soldiers armed with rifles in theatre during surgeries”, recalled Breda.




Sr Maura who joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary at 17, after doing her Leaving Cert, had trained as a doctor in UCD, coming in the top three in her graduating class in 1965. Twenty years later she interrupted her missionary work to return to Dublin to train as a surgeon.

During almost 20 years at Chiulo Mission Hospital in Angola, she shared the entire workload of that 200-bed facility with just one other medical Sister. When UCD awarded her an Honorary Fellowship of the School of Medicine in 2009 - the highest award that the school bestows on medical graduates - Prof Bill Powderly pointed out that in Angola she had to cater for large cohorts of people with TB and leprosy.

Over a 30 year career in Uganda where she was based at Kitovu Hospital, in the diocese of Masaka, it was her pioneering work in the area of obstetric fistula repair which won the Irish nun a reputation as a champion of impoverished African women. Prof Powderly estimated that she was responsible for conducting over 1,000 vesicovaginal fistula repairs between 1993 and 2007 “an astonishing record that one can confidently say will never be bettered”.

“As a result of seeing at first hand the physical, psychological and social isolation endured by African women, she became a champion of dignity and justice for women in the developing world,” according to Prof Powderly’s citation. Breda who had expected her to arrive in Dublin for a holiday this December agrees that looking after vulnerable African woman was her passion. “This was her vacation- looking after these women and babies. She loved Africa. And she always wanted to die there”.

Sr Maura was the fourth of nine children - three girls and six boys - born to Patrick and Jane Lynch. Patrick Lynch worked for An Post and with each promotion was transferred, so the family lived at various times in Youghal, Carrick-on-Shannon, Killarney, Tralee, and Limerick before finally moving to Dublin. Their mother was a teacher, and the family spoke Irish at home.

A founding member of the Association of Surgeons in Uganda, Sr Maura was passionate about passing on her knowledge, and she pioneered innovative training programmes in obstetric fistula repair for Ugandan doctors and nurses. She wasn’t too busy to fundraise and helped secure an Obstetric Fistula Unit in Kitovu Hospital which was officially opened in April 2005. She received many honours from the Ugandan government, including a unique Certificate of Residency for Life in recognition of her contribution to the health and welfare of its citizens over three decades.




Sr Maura is survived by three brothers, Fr Finbarr Lynch SJ, Kevin Lynch and Enda Lynch, and by her sister, Breda Rogers.

She was predeceased by her sister, Kathleen, and three brothers, Brendan, Aidan and Ciaran.


PAT SAYS:

While we know that the Institutional RC Church is rotten to the core - we must NEVER FORGET that there many members of that Church who have absolutely nothing at all to do with the rot and spend their whole lives in service of their God and their fellow men and women.

Sister Maura Lynch was quite obviously one of those very special people.

I'm sure that like all of us she has her personal failings but she gave 50 years of her life serving the poor and neglected women of Uganda and she loved the people there that she wished to be buried among them.

She sacrificed not only the ordinary desire to marry and have a husband and children of her own - but she left her own land to give every ounce of her love and strength to the people of a strange and poor land.

The only reward she wanted was the reward of knowing that she was doing the will of the God she fervently believed in and the normal human satisfaction of knowing that you bring a little hope into utter hopelessness.

She lit the candle of her life in a very dark place and allowed that candle to be consumed with a passion for the God she saw in the suffering women of one of the poorest nations on the earth.

And she did this because she believed that the Man who died on Calvary wanted her to do it.

On this Blog, we so often have to deal with the opposite of people like Sister Maura.

On this Christmas Eve let us acknowledge all those little candles that refuse to let the darkness consume them.



46 comments:

  1. A wonderful lady indeed!
    She was often discussed and our latest reunion of the medical graduates was in 2015 in the Conrad Hotel in Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin. A great occasion! Maura always felt that her inspiration and role model was Mother Teresa..

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07vngrh

    An interesting radio programme for you Pat

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sr. Maura, about whom I have read much over the years, personifies the essence of living a Christ filled life. She, along with many religious men and women have given selflessly to the poor and disadvantaged, often in great danger to themselves. They truly live the gospel and represent the many colleagues whose heroism, courage, integrity and love never diminish. Sr. Maura has left an amazing legacy. She teaches us about commitment, true service and how to be Christ like. A true disciple of Jesus, a faithful follower of Mother Mary Martin. (Pat, your smarmy remarks, espoused in typical self righteous fashion were unnecessary: the article on Sr. Maura speaks for itself. It didn't need your cynical, self serving comnentary). Thank God for women like Sr. Maura - people who have no time for nastiness, judgment or condemnation or who waste precious time gossiping or sneering - but who engage fruitfully in DOING MUCH GOOD IN IMITATION OF CHRIST. They are the true pioneers to follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Christmas Taliban Catholic.

      Delete
    2. No, Pat at 9.54. Not a taliban catholic. You cannot bear the TRUTH of criticism. You always feel the need to be superior. And you delight in downing all dissenting voices. NOT AT ALL CHRIST LIKE. May Christ bless your begrudging heart.

      Delete
  4. I hooe Pat that you take a leaf from Sr. Maura's life: allow Christ to toych your heart and let the light of his mercy inspire you to show respect, tolerance and cinpassiin to others: allow Christ to speak to yoyr heart and stop extinguushing the lights if orher people by caricaturing, sneering, arrogance, self righteousness and unfair judgments and condemnation. May the deep goodness and integrity of Sr. Maura, a Christ-bearer, impact more positively on your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sr Maura diagnosed women's fistulas.

      I diagnose clerical fistulas.

      Delete
    2. Typucal disgusting remark and comment Pat. You dig deeper holes and lose your self respect daily with your porno commentary. Disgraceful.

      Delete
  5. A great lady who shows what it's all about. Christmas good wishes and blessings to all

    ReplyDelete
  6. Remarkable lady, she lived her faith.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remarkable and amazing woman, who lived the gospel and followed faithfully the vision of Mother Mary Martin. Women like Sr Maura are present in our parish communities and Church, who do their work without fanfare and whose dedication is inspirational.

      Delete
  7. Your commentary is superfluous and disingenuous. The life story of Sr. Maura speaks eloquently for itself. She was and will be a true inspiration to many, many people of all faiths and none. You didn't need to make any comment but you can never restist a temptation to twist the narrative to suit your agenda. May a real, true Christmas spurit invade your being this Christmas. We are indebted to women like Sr. Maura who "DO" rather than "TALK". There are many priests and religious who quietly live the gospel and who make a huge difference to the lives of thousands. Thank God for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there are many who live anti gospel lives too.

      Delete
    2. Anti gospel. You know lots about that way of living Pat. It's part of your daily behaviour. Just accept criticism and stop moaning. You are not a victim. Learn from the humility of Sr. Maura who emulated the Christ of Bethlehem..A good dosage of humility hopefully will find its way to your heart.

      Delete
    3. 11:17, what are you frightened of? What have you to hide? You, and your fellow critics (priests?) of Bishop Buckley today? The role of devil's advocate is a necessary and honourable one: no society (no person) is truly free without it, for each one is his own greatest flatterer and deceiver. For society, this advocate is called a 'free Press'; for individuals, 'a friend'.

      Being devil's advocate here is not about 'digging the dirt' on people or institutions (which, of course, is how you and others prefer to denigrate it...so you can ignore its lessons), but about exposing individual, social and institutional evil. Isn't this, in part, what so-called 'Judgement Day' is all about? A searching (and, probably, searing) self-revelation of personal and other sins that have been suppressed or denied, or, worse, 'justified'? You know: those unpleasant and uncomfortable facts that would make one squirm in absolute self-shame...were they inconveniently brought to light. Will you be as critical of God for tactlessly exposing this evil on 'Judgement Day' as you have been of Bishop Buckley for doing likewise on his blog? Of course you will! For you, and those others here, prefer the...er...'comfort' of darkness, don't you? The reassurance of self-deception?

      And doubtless you'll find it...forever and a day.😆

      Delete
    4. Magna 12.48; I'm not fearful of anything! And your commentary - sorry - lecture - is as unnecessary and boring as Pat's sideswipes at the Catholic Church. Why do you always feel the need to be so nasty and vitriolic? You too stand in need of inner renewal. Get some real Christmas spirit - "Christ" - into your soul. It might tame your venomous rants.

      Delete
    5. That 'Christmas spirit' you mentioned is open to ALL truth.

      The presumption, from your last post, is that you have this spirit (Christ), and yet, you criticise Bishop Buckley for exposing dark truths about institutional Roman Catholicism that Christ himself would want brought out into the open to protect HIS flock, not 'Peter's'. Why this opposition...if you really do have Christ's spirit?

      Delete
  8. There are plenty of good priests and religious in the Church. The institutional Church will always have its problems but it is NOT “rotten to the core”. It your mentality, Pat Buckley, that is rotten to the core”, despite your having been useful in identifying a couple of unworthy priests and would-be priests. No one takes you seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I speak about rotten to the core I mean the RC institution and it is indeed rotten to the core.

      It's a rotten barrel that contsins many rotten apples.

      Of course there are "good" Apple's.

      But why do the good Apple's stay in a rotten barrel - denial, blindness, fear, lack of courage, respectability etc.

      There is more of Satan than God in the institution.

      That's why people are walking away in their droves.

      Delete
    2. More details are emerging about strange goings on in Honduras. The auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Maradiaga has been spending over a million dollars on male friends, including Mike, a police chaplain, who has been celebrating the sacraments for years, despite not being ordained or even a Catholic. The troubleshooter from Rome was shocked.

      And guess what's happened to the auxiliary bishop? He's been sent on a retreat with the Jesuits in Madrid.

      Delete
    3. 13:08 You will now be accused of being nasty about the Most Pure RC Church.

      Delete
    4. You keep telling yourself that, Pat. You need to in order to justify your own myopia of heart. Your own prejudices have blinded you. “For if the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness”.

      Delete
    5. No exaggerations, believe me. Look up the personal ads where men arrange to meet in the Graf, the big green area in Gaynooth college, behind St Mary's House, well-wooded for secret liaisons.

      Delete
  9. Thanks Pat, for the article on Sr. Maura and your balanced commentary. I would never heard of her otherwise. It is a rare good news story about a religious. Thank God we heard of it. What other blog would have included such an appreciation. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 14.43: Pat has plenty of opportunity to highlight the enormous good carried out by religious orders - individual men and women - both at home and abroad, but their lives and good works don't suit his anti Catholic agenda. He has no vision for genuine, truthful Christ like living in those for whom he has a deep disdain - i.e - anyone who claims to be a CATHOLIC....Christ Child bless you Pat....

      Delete
  10. I was delighted to hear about Sr Maura too, an amazingly energetic and dedicated lady. She deserves every tribute that has been paid to her here and more!
    I regularly read other interesting pieces about the lives of people like that who are a credit to the Church and thank God they are not at all scarce. I have been reading The Universe and The Catholic Herald for years and so I am well placed to know what is happening very currently as many of the journalists write from an insider's point of view.
    But some of the most inspiring accounts have been in the truly international St Anthony Magazine to which I have been subscribing myself for years. I have amassed a huge library of back copies which are always interesting and inspiring to re-read.
    These resources enable the reader to get a much fairer full picture of what is going on in the Church globally, both the problems and the wonderful successes.
    That means when I check in to see what issues are being dealt with here on the blog, I arrive with a much more balanced perspective. I think that's important. I highly recommend it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does anyone really believe that the son of god was born to earth ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thousands of historians recorded the birth, census, and death details. Thousands more saw His miracles...

      Delete
    2. Well you know what I mean Magna.
      If he lives in heaven ?
      Lovely music on Rte now

      Delete
    3. That’s why there are so many iniquities recorded on this blog. Very few truly believe in anything they preach, or at least appear not to.

      Delete
    4. @ 18:36: As someone asking themselves these questions, you might find the website / blogs / homilies of father Sean O' Laoire interesting / helpful, as I have... Wishing all readers a Happy Holy & Blessed Christmas! x http://spiritsinspacesuits.com/index.html

      Delete
    5. Anon@ 18:36. I see, hear and read all around me that yes indeed, very many do actually believe in an infinite God whose Son, Jesus Christ was born here on earth. I don't think we can reliably argue against this belief as anything other than a factual reality.
      However if you were to ask a complementary, but completely different question I'm sure you would get very different answers.
      Perhaps if I were to frame what may have been the real query behind your question,it might be put as: "What reliable objective convincing evidence exists that there is an infinite Creator God Who sent His Son to be born here on earth?"
      Now that's an entirely different matter!
      MMM

      Delete
  12. No, I did not know what you meant.

    Why do you think (as you appear to do) that Heaven and Earth are spatially apart? (A tactile and territorial notion of Heaven. Interesting concept...for a child to hold. Are you a...?)

    ReplyDelete
  13. all that about a manger is strange.
    And when I read about all our unholy priests theses days...I wonder

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are ment to give good example, so yes if they don’t many do question the whole concept of faith.

      Delete
    2. If you have lost the habit of daily prayer and you have even lost respect for your Faith, why should you continue to be given a Gift that you no longer appreciate?

      Delete
  14. Omg...beautiful music then
    Mrs Brown...grrrrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anon@20:46: I'd greatly appreciate if you could indicate the historians and their contemporaneous records you refer to. I've read that indeed the census was recorded in the contemporary Roman records: that they kept detailed records: but that there are no reliable independent records from the relevant Roman historians concerning Christ's birth, life or crucifixion. It has been argued that the gospels were written after Christ's alleged death by "committed believers " drawing on handed down stories and legends with little of what they personally witnessed.
    So it would help my understanding If, from the "thousands of historians " you refer to you could consider posting about a dozen or so of the most objectively reliably convincing.
    Or can anyone else?
    Thanks
    MMM

    ReplyDelete
  16. Could anyone tell me what’s the difference between priests dues and the weekly envelope ?
    Why is this needed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is the weekly envelope for the running of the parish?
      And the dues go to central office for priests salaries ?
      Does anyone know the answer?

      Delete
  17. Of course we believe! We are not fools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your reply is so typical.
      When asked a question, because you don’t know how to compose an answer you denigrate the questioner.

      Delete
  18. The Bp of Leeds, Marcus Stock, is not unlike, in appearance, the former Dean of Belfast.

    Poor Hugh. He would have so loved to have been a bishop.

    It is said, that Big Lily, with a few drinks taken, can sometimes be heard pacing Prince Albert, plaintively calling his name - “Deeeeean! Deeeeeeean!”

    So how was your Midnight Eucharist, Bishop Pat? I hear there were queues, far down Princess Gdns, of folk seeking admittance?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you Magna and Tom.
    No Not a child, far from it,just one of the many indoctrinated.

    ReplyDelete