Barbara Mulraney, long-time friend, companion in prayer and ministry, and pioneer Associate of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, died peacefully in Melbourne on February 27.
At the vigil and funeral Mass, both held at Santa Maria Chapel, Northcote, Barbara was remembered with love and affection, and saluted for her contribution to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
Addressing those gathered for the vigil on March 6, Sister Cecilie Eastaughffe described Barbara as “a unique woman in many ways”.
”One outstanding feature of that uniqueness was that she lived with the Good Samaritan Sisters for at least 70 years of her life span of 88 years. And I had the pleasure and joy of sharing nearly 20 of those years with her,” said Cecilie.
Barbara first met the Good Samaritan Sisters in the 1940s as a young 17-year old when she began working with them at Coragulac in south-western Victoria. There she cooked for the sisters and boarders and was general housekeeper.
“In the time that I lived at Coragulac I always said that the kitchen was the heart of the house and it was there that Barb offered warm, loving and generous hospitality to all who came,” reflected Cecilie.
In her words of remembrance at the funeral Mass on March 7, Sister Mary O’Shannassy echoed Cecilie’s sentiments.
“Hospitality was the hallmark of Barb’s 70 years of service to people with such love and care. Barb extended her service and her love to all. Her love was all-embracing,” she said.
“Initially the sisters in community and the girls boarding there, the female and male day pupils, the people for the courses and retreats, the parishioners – all benefitted from Barb’s expertise and were sustained by Barb’s support.
“Barb was like the innkeeper in the parable of the Good Samaritan. She took good care of the people. People were important to Barb, and at Coragulac, the people became the fabric of Barb’s life.”
From a teenager until she died at age 88 on February 27, Barbara was deeply involved in the Good Samaritan way of life. When the Good Samaritan Centre at Coragulac closed, Barbara moved to Marian House, Northcote where she continued to contribute to the life of the Good Samaritan community.
In May 1991, Barbara was the first person to become an Associate of the Good Samaritan Sisters in Victoria.
“Barb recognised herself as a member of the Good Samaritan community; Barb belonged,” said Mary.
“I was privileged to see Barb grow and mature, to see her blossom from teenager to young adult and then into her adulthood and ageing years.
“Barbara Mulraney – a real woman, a woman with a touch of magic, a woman who cared, a woman who loved, and as someone who knew her well wrote, ‘Barb who lived the life of a holy woman’.”
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