County Limerick parish helps care for nurse who took care of so many

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Collections were taken up for Sophia Lorense at Masses in Caherconlish and Caherline
A NURSE who cared for the residents in a Caherconlish nursing home is now, sadly, being cared for by the parish.

A NURSE who cared for the residents in a Caherconlish nursing home is now, sadly, being cared for by the parish.

Sophia Lorense, aged 59, has returned to her native India after being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Sophia has worked in St Michael’s nursing home since it opened in 2013 and has touched the lives of everyone she met – locals, residents, their families and colleagues.

Collections in Caherline and Caherconlish churches at the weekend, along with donation boxes in the Millennium Centre and St Michael’s have raised over €3,500 to date. Some families of men and women, who Sophia looked after, put hundreds of euros into envelopes.

Sandra Farrell, manager of St Michael’s Nursing Home, spoke movingly at a Mass at the weekend having just returned from accompanying Sophia home to India.

“In March 2005, Ireland and Limerick was fortunate to welcome Sophia. Sophia shared her knowledge, spiritual believes and practices, love, kindness and warmth to whomever she encountered. Sophia worked in various nursing homes around the area. On January 14, 2013, St Michael’s was honoured to recruit Sophia as senior night nurse.

“Sophia has touched so many lives by working at St Michael’s both within the nursing home and the wider community,” said Sandra, who shared stories with the congregation.

“Sophia is the essence of spirituality, belief and reverence. Sophia nursed, supported, comforted all residents at St Michael’s both past and present equally. Sophia had an exceptional gift of supporting residents who were nearing end of life but also supporting and nurturing their grieving families also.

“Every day Sophia would attend Mass in the village where she would actively engage in prayer, lead song with her sweet singing voice. On her way home from Mass she would visit any person sick in the community. She would administer Holy Communion, spend time comforting them and pray with them. Each day Sophia would then call back into the nursing home on her way home from Mass to administer Holy Communion to all the residents. Sophia always brought back gifts to us from India of altar cloths for both this church and our own oratory altar at St Michael’s. Her generosity knows no bounds,” said Sandra.

Unfortunately Sophia took ill on night duty and was brought in to A&E by her dear friend and colleague Amanda Bond. After various tests and scans Sophia was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

“With hearing this devastating news I promised to take Sophia home and to be reunited with her family,” said Sandra, who was as good as her word. “The memory I want people to cherish today is my last moments with Sophia in Delhi hospital. When you are feeling angry, lonely and sad about Sophia’s illness please smile instead as Sophia is home in her own country, home with her amazing family and she is happy,” said Sandra.