RIP Sr. Roisin Cox

 

Sr. Roisin Cox was born in Enniskillen on the 29/11/1932, the 3rd eldest in a family of nine, six sisters and three brothers.  A qualified nurse, mid-wife and a registered T.B nurse, she held a staff nurse’s post in Marlin Park Hospital, Galway.  Roisin also spent some time caring for her mother in her final illness before becoming a Missionary Sister.
It was in March 1965 that Roisin answered the call to become a Missionary Sister (as did her three sisters, Srs Aine, Carmel and Josephine) and she entered the Missionary Congregation of Our Lady of Apostles, Ardfoyle in Cork.

After her first profession in 1967 Roisin worked in the infirmary in Ardfoyle, in Silverdale and in Lancaster for short periods of time.  In September 1968 Roisin was very happy to be missioned to Nigeria where she ministered in Our Lady of Apostles Hospital in Jos for nine years.  At that time the Bishop of Ilorin (Bishop William O’Mahony) made a request for nursing Sisters to go to a remote and underdeveloped area in his diocese called Papiri. Roisin had no hesitation in taking up this great challenge, to care for the poorest of the poor in an area with few social and material amenities. She already had a working knowledge of the Hausa language and quickly gained a greater fluency among the people who had no word of English. All her working personnel were uneducated at the time but they were willing to learn and Roisin was a good and patient teacher.

Roisin was a supreme giver and made few, if any, demands on others. She invariably took on the most difficult tasks herself and tried to make life easier for others. She often expressed the need for a specific missionary spirituality not realising that she was living it out each day of her life

 In 1985, Roisin was transferred to Zawan, Kaduna and to Bacita where she continued her dedicated medical service. However in 1996 she was asked once again to return to her beloved Papiri where she spent her last and probably happiest years on mission. She had the joy of seeing the results of her earlier years of hard work and dedicated service which was continued by others. She was shown great appreciation for her untiring work and selfless love of the people so dear to her heart. They easily recognised in her the qualities that, as Bishop Tim Carroll said of in his homily; made her the person Pope Francis would be proud of today. It was indeed with a mixture of sadness and satisfaction that Roisin returned to Ireland in 2005.  Roisin had a year in Castlemacgarrett before moving to the new house in Claremorris. By now her health was failing and having suffered a minor stroke she returned to Ardfoyle. Her first few years in the infirmary were enjoyable as she was independent and loved to get up early and walk the avenue admiring the beauty of creation. Often she would stand listening to the bird song and watch the morning light fill the sky, at peace with herself and at one with God’s creation.  As ever, the generous Roisin she would give up her room to accommodate others, taking up temporary residence in the hairdressing saloon or sharing with another. 

She always showed gratitude and appreciation for the slightest service and when no longer able to communicate verbally her warm beaming smile said it all. She was blessed to have her sister Joe visit her each evening and looked forward to their precious time together.  Roisin died as she had lived, quietly and without fuss early on the first morning of the New Year 2015, with a peaceful smile on her lovely face.