It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of two members of our Kildare Ministries community, Gabrielle England and Mary Harmes.
Gabrielle England, Kildare Education Ministries Board Director
We at Kildare Ministries, are deeply appreciative of all that Gabrielle brought to the Kildare Ministries community where she made a significant contribution to establishing its welcoming and professional culture. Gabrielle’s presence enriched our meetings and encounters at school functions. She was a wise and elegant presence, attentive listener and perceptive and understanding of people and circumstances in her judgements. Her comments and suggestions were caring, respectful and purposeful, so engendering trust and confidence. Gabrielle was acutely aware of the human dimension of matters under discussion and could balance genuine care with honest and necessary appraisal.
Gabrielle brought a broad base of experience in education both at school level and in systems administration which strengthened and enhanced the Board to carry out its governance responsibilities for the seven secondary colleges. She had a strong sense of professional responsibility in herself and of what is needed in others. Her focus was not in-turned, but rather she had a clear view of the big picture and the common good. Her professional knowledge and experience greatly assisted the Board to keep in focus current educational trends, particularly with regard to principal well-being and assistance. As the Director with a particular relationship with Killester College, Gabrielle generously brought her wise counsel and encouragement to the principals and its Stewardship Council.
Gabrielle really appreciated the experience of the Kildare Ministries pilgrimage to Ireland in 2017. She entered fully into the experience, her warm smile encircled all, and she spoke of it as a time of being touched anew by God’s spirit. Gabrielle embraced the Brigidine and Presentation heritage of Kildare Ministries that was heightened through her pilgrimage experience, and we appreciated the way in which she could translate the exploration of our foundational stories and values into contemporary issues and settings.
Gabrielle was a gift as an inaugural Director of Kildare Education Ministries Board. She will be greatly missed for her gracious presence, perspicacity, wry sense of humour and that spark of life that brings hope.
We offer our prayers and condolences to Gabrielle’s family at this sad time. We want you to know that we are deeply grateful for the slice of life that Gabrielle shared with Kildare Ministries.
Mary Harmes, Teacher, Star of the Sea College
The Star of the Sea College community mourns the loss of their beloved teacher, colleague and friend, Mary Harmes. Her care of the community, her compassion for those in need and her dedication to social justice were the hallmarks of her life.
Mary was the Social Justice Co-ordinator at the College for over 11 years, contributed to the KM social justice network since its inception and was a member of the Mission and Ministry committee of the Trustees for three years. Mary’s kindness and compassion ensured that everyone who met her felt welcomed into her presence and embraced by her kindness.
Mary was a strong advocate for the marginalised and advocated for their voices to be heard. She took this commitment into the classroom and animated many social justice student camps over the years. Mary will be deeply missed by past and present students, by the KM social justice network and by the many people whose lives she touched.
We offer our prayers and condolences to both these strong and magnificent Kildare Ministries women. Gabrielle and Mary have left their legacy and we extend our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues at this sad time. May they rest in God's peace.