Monday, October 19, 2020
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Sister Cecilia Barry

Sister Cecilia Barry
My days are filled with thanksgiving.

The first 10 years of my life were lived in the small, Irish farm community of Colgan, Ontario. My home, where I lived with my parents, five brothers and two sisters as well as my aunt and grandfather, was a place filled with love, music, faith and laughter.

When I was six, bovine TB became a big part of my life and stayed with me until I was nineteen. My routine included three months of bed rest every second winter. My time in bed gave me a love of prayer and reflection and the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, introduced to me by my mother, started me thinking about being a missionary.

The Big Challenge

With medication for TB soon available, I chose to go to the sanatorium. Being there strengthened my call. A walking patient, I was able to visit many lonely people. Four of us were on sun treatment on the roof. I used to say my rosary and some of my companions asked me to teach them to pray. Thus began the first sun-treatment prayer group!

Steps along the Journey

After being refused by two missionary congregations because of my lack of education, I applied to the Sisters of St. Joseph where three of my aunts were members. My priest uncle had suggested I try a community that had a variety of works. The Sisters of St. Joseph were my first choice. After waiting a year, I was accepted.

My days are filled with thanksgiving. God gave me a great desire to serve the sick and poor. I was blessed to earn an RN, which has helped me as I worked with the sick in hospitals and walking with the poor in parish ministry. Now, in my older years, as a member of our In Good Company ministry I visit shut-ins as our first Sisters did in France.


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