Sister Angela tells her vocation story
I, Mary Elizabeth Meaney (Sr Angela Marie de Jesus)
entered the congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor
at Glendalough, W.A. on 8th December,1949
I was living with my parents and brothers at Osborne Park and in those days the Little Sister’s Home wasn’t far away.
My parents were Irish and people of great faith, and very attached to the church. My early recollection was that we visited the house of the Little Sisters each year, for the procession of Corpus Christi.
I recall that I was with a group of other young girls going around the home, when an old man gave me a bag of sweets, which I shared with my companions. Sometime later at school, a teacher asked me to write an essay on my future. I wrote about the Little Sisters of the Poor and how I wished to help the elderly. Being the first generation born in Australia and my grandparents were still living in Ireland, I didn’t have much contact with older people, so no idea how to interact with them.
Over several Saturdays I went t the home and helped a bit and chatted with the residents. At the time the acting priest of Osborne Park, an Irish man, also had a sister who was a Little Sister of the Poor. I attended daily Mass and prayers - and the Rosary were common place in our home.
After Leaving school, a Sisters of Mercy thought I had a vocation and suggested I go to the Redemptorist Monastery and speak to a particular priest, which I did. He gave me some good counsel and asked if I wished him to consult with Mother Superior at the Sisters of Mercy, West Perth, and I said: "no I’ll do it myself”
Time passed but I didn’t go back to the Sisters of Mercy.Later, our Parish Priest asked me to arrange a group of young girls tot visit the Little Sisters Home, which I did. Shortly afterwards I spoke to my mother about my desire to help at the Little Sisters and rode over to Glendalough to consult with the Superior. The joy of the Little Sisters attracted me. They seemed simple, uncomplicated, going about their work.
The Parish Priest asked me what my family thought, and I said, “they think I will stay a few weeks.” He reassured me and asked my age and then he said, “you will be there until you are 87”. He died when I was a novice. The years have passed swiftly and as I approach that special number! I feel blessed with the joy, contentment and fulfilment which was beyond expectation.
I must say over the past years a quote from Exodus Ch19:4 speaks to me." I have carried you on Eagle’s Wings, I will care for you in all your years”!