John De Vere Loder
Bridget Teresa McCrory (1893 - 1984):
Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa of the Order of Carmelites (Bridget Teresa McCrory) was dedicated to caring for the aged in the New York area. Her compassionate caring for the elderly was underpinned by a belief in the value and right to life of each person and was carried out in the context of her life in a religious order of the Catholic Church.
She was born in 1893 in the village of Brockagh (also Brocagh, or Moutjoy, County Tyrone) and when she was seven years old her family migrated to Bellshill, Mossend, North Lanarkshire in Scotland. In 1912, aged 19, she joined the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order which cared for the elderly poor in France. After her profession of religious vows the Order sent her to the United States where in 1926 she was appointed Superior of a home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Bronx, New York. She wished to alter the care practices of the Little Sisters of the Poor as the customs and the methods of care of the elderly it employed were derived from the circumstances prevailing in France, which she found did not satisfactorily meet the different needs of the elderly of New York.
She also believed that her Order should work to care for the elderly of all classes and not be confined to the destitute. In the light of these circumstances she, with six other Sisters withdrew from the Little Sisters of the Poor and with permission of Rome founded the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm which in 1931 became affiliated with the Order of Carmel. Eventually the work of the Order of providing care to the elderly extended beyond New York to care facilities at numerous locations in the United States.
Mother Angeline Teresa died on 21 January 1984. She is renowned for her reverence for the sanctity of life and for her compassionate care of the elderly and infirm which she pursued throughout her lifetime in the context of her religious calling. Her congregation remember her by her words “if you have to fail, let it be on the side of kindness. Be kinder than kindness itself to the old people.”
On 28 June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree formally acknowledging that she had led a life of “heroic virtue” and she is now known as Venerable Mary Angelina Teresa. The process of seeking her beatification leading to possible Sainthood in the Catholic Church was initiated some years ago and is avidly supported by her many admirers.
Mother Angeline is commemorated by an Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque, unveiled on 21 October 2014 on the wall of her family church of St Brigid’s in Brockagh, where there is also a shrine dedicated to her.
|Born:||21 January 1893|
|Died:||21 January 1984|
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