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Sr. BredaDeath of Sr. Breda O'Farrell fcJ, former General Superior

A Limerick woman and religious sister who played a pivotal role in the national and international development of her order the Faithful Companions of Jesus, has died.Sister Breda O'Farrell, FCJ, died at Maryville Residence, Laurel Hill on June 23 2006.

Born in Limerick on October 29, 1924, the fourth of the five children of Patrick and Mary (née Vaughan ) O'Farrell, she attended Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ as a girl and entered the Society of Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus in 1944. After her profession and studies at University College Dublin, Sr Breda taught in Toronto before becoming novice mistress in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In 1956, she returned to Europe and after a short time in Gumley House, Isleworth, returned to Broadstairs, Kent where she taught at The Grange, a school for overseas students. She served as assistant novice mistress (1958-68) when she was appointed novice mistress.

Sr. Breda with Sr. Campion and Sr. Moira.

This was immediately after Vatican II and Sister Breda  was responsible for introducing the changes called for in religious formation.  In 1971, she became a member of the Superior General's Council and in 1975, was herself elected Superior General of the Society.  In this role, she served until 1993, being re-elected in 1983 and 1988.

During that time, Sister Breda was responsible for the Society recovering its original constitutions and getting ecclesial approval, something which had been denied to the foundress Madame d'Houët in 1826 and 1837. 

One of the last pictures of Sr. Breda.Breda travelled widely, sharing with the Sisters the fruits of her reflections on the founding experiences of Madame d'Houët and their relevance and implications for the present day.

Under her leadership, the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus made foundations in Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, South America and Eastern Europe. New Apostolates were undertaken in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the UK.

After leaving the Generalate in 1993, Sr Breda served in Turin before retiring to Paris and finally to Laurel Hill, Limerick in 2004.

Sister Breda is mourned by FCJ Sisters worldwide, by her sister-in-law Mrs Mary O'Farrell and by her nieces and nephews and their families.

Text from an articlel in the Limerick Leader

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Nous devons glorifier le coeur de Jésus
                     par tous les moyens possibles ...     (Marie Madeleine)