'The kind and understanding school principal is in a critical condition after being hit by a van while crossing the road in Nigeria' (taken from a Dublin Newspaper, 14th. January 2022).
Everything was done to save her life but in vain, Bernadette passed away on January 15th surrounded by her family and the Infant jesus Sisters.
Sr. Bernadette O'Reilly, former teacher in Ballymun, Dublin and since 2003 has been a missionary in Jos, Nigeria.
How she is remembered:
I can hear the people wailing in the City of Plateau in Nigeria. Children, women and men, young and old, poor and rich, weak and strong. Catholics and non catholics, the Muslims and non believers, all weeping bitterly.
Like Rahab, they refused to be comforted for a gentle soul is gone.
Sr. Ber, you were a living saint that walked on the face of the earth. You were recognised and loved by all.Because everywhere and anywhere you went, your presence was felt and your footprint left behind.
Like the child Jesus, you were vulnerable and fragile yet strong and agile.
Like the Buddist, you sat still very early in the morning with your legs crossed in meditation before your creator to start your day.
Like the heroine that you were, you worked selflessly and tirelessly, until your last moment on earth.
Like the poor widow with the two coins, you were so generous with your time, talents and your resources to all and was available to all who needed your attention.
Like Mary, you nurtured your pain in silence and pondered on them, but you could share in the pain of others.
Like any loving mother, you had special love and care for your pupils, you knew each one and called them by their name alongside their parents. You knew the strength and weakness of each pupil and you never gave up on the weak but helped them to grow.
You were simple and humble in your dealing with people.
While on your sick bed we prayed, cried and burned candles day and night, for God to heal you and bring you back to us. But He says, No! let her come. She has fought the good fight; she has finished the good race and has kept the faith. Let her come and receive the crown that I the Lord, the righteous one has prepared for her.
Sr. Ber, you were such an amazing and an extraordinary sister that has travelled this part of life with us. You gave all that you had in the service of others.
Thank you for the life you lived and thank you for the lives you have touched. You live on the hearts of all the Nigerian Sisters, in the hearts of the pupils you loved so much.
For Sr. Ber, everybody is somebody.
We love you but God loves you more. ADIEU Sr. Ber, till we meet to part no more.