Paschal Carey, who died on 28th April at the age of 77 years, was a great friend of the SMA. He was a native of Kilconnel near Ballinasloe, Co. Galway and was one of 16 children.
One of his sisters, Sr. Francis (Lyla) is with the Sisters of the Poor in France and a brother, Cornelius, is a member of the De La Salle Brothers in South Africa. Four of his siblings pre-deceased him.
His association with the SMA began when he entered the Society’s secondary school at Ballinafad, Co. Mayo where he studied for his Leaving Certificate. Though he did not go on to the major seminary at Dromantine, Co. Down, his interest in the work of the Society and his friendship with many of its members never waned.
When he left Ballinafad he studied as a psychiatric nurse but later took up employment as a sales representative for Dwyers of Cork. His work took him to many towns throughout the country and his amiable disposition and positive interest in those he met in his travels ensured that he was a welcome figure wherever he went.
He married Theresa, a native of Crosshaven, and lived in Galway for a number of years where his three children, Mark, Miriam and Frank, were born. They came to live in Cork in the mid 1970s and they were blessed with six grandchildren.
He was greatly appreciated by the SMA community in Blackrock Road for his commitment to the care of those in the infirmary attached to the main house. When he retired from his work he took on various roles in the SMA Blackrock Road parish church, St. Joseph’s. Later he found his niche in our SMA St. Theresa’s Infirmary when he volunteered to help the nursing and caring staff with the ill and inform priests.
Our picture shows Paschal – middle row, left – at a celebration in St Theresa’s with some of the lay and SMA staff.
His day began at 9.30 in the morning and rarely finished before 6.00 in the evening. He brought some of the infirm to daily Mass in the community chapel, stayed with them and afterwards brought them back to their rooms or to the Day room. On days when the weather was pleasant Paschal would take each SMA in turn around the grounds in a wheelchair and rarely showed impatience or irritation. At meal-times he helped to feed those who were unable to feed themselves. He was often called on to accompany a patient to the hospital and spent hours there without complaint. He treated each person with dignity and respect, irrespective of his condition.
Some years ago he was treated for cancer and although he received the all-clear in 2008 cancer was once more diagnosed half-way through 2009 and eventually he was confined to bed at his home in Avonlee Court in Blackrock. He was blessed with the loving care of his wife, Theresa, and his family from last November but finally died at home on Wednesday 28th April 2010.
It was fitting that his mortal remains were brought to our community chapel to rest overnight before his funeral Mass and burial in St Michael’s Cemetery, Blackrock.
We miss him deeply, not just because of the good work he did in the SMA family, but especially for his example of dedicated service and cheerfulness. We extend our sympathy to Theresa, Mark and his wife, Anne; Miriam and her husband, Denis; Frank and his wife, Catriona and his brothers and sisters.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.