Sr Maura Cranney

Sr. MauraFamily: Eldest daughter of Micheal and Maureen Cranney
Parish: Glenn
School: Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry
Language school in Musoma, Tanzania.

What brought me here? I have often asked that question in the past three months as I struggle to learn a new language and to discern the direction in which God is leading me. As I begin another phase of that initial call heard so long ago when as a teenager I tried to avoid the sound of that ‘still small voice’ that stirred within the depths of my being. The enjoyment of the dance and the football could not silence the desire for a joy that went deeper than all the fleeting joys of life.

So one week after my eighteenth birthday I left the wee Northern County of Down, my family, friends and the people of Glenn and travelled the length of Ireland in response to that call to serve God’s people in Africa. Very soon after first Profession I was blessed to set sail for Africa to begin a new life which deepened my desire to serve and drew me into a relationship with a people which has become so much a part of my being that the answer to the question asked above is to be found in that relationship.

Life has not always been easy but it has been fulfilling and satisfying. I have often asked myself, if a lay movement had been available to that eighteen year old who reluctantly entered the convent, would I have made that choice. I think not. The energy that has strengthened and empowered me all these years lies in the love of God deep within my own being and my feeble response to it. This has been encouraged and enabled to deepen and grow by the companionship found within the communities of the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles. The call of God was not only to serve his people but to a way of life that asked for total giving. The years have confirmed that any giving is returned a hundred fold, pressed down and flowing over.

Mission life calls for many talents, and while I trained as a teacher, the opportunity to be a mother, nurse, plumber, electrician and councillor have always been there. I was privileged to spend nine years training young teachers and another nine teaching secondary school girls, preparing them for life as Christian woman in modern Ghana. Over another fifteen years, with my bed and office in Ireland and my heart and energy divided between Cork and Africa, I saw Ghana grow into an independent province and our mission in Tanzania grow from one community to three with diversified ministries. I am now part of that third community with two Ghanaian sisters as my companions.

As the future opens out before me and the body is no longer as young as it was when it first began mission, I know one thing for certain, the supports of the past remain the same – the love of God and the encouragement of the Sisters of our Lady of Apostles. My new mission seems to be calling me to work with the handicapped here in Mwanza on the beautiful Lake Victoria. One of my great blessings has been to live in beautiful environments. Nine years overlooking the Atlantic ocean in Cape Coast, Ghana!