Sr Angela Cavey was born in Dublin, Ireland on 25th January 1914. She was affectionately known as Peggy having been christened Margaret. She was the youngest of two children both girls. They remained very close to each other over the years. Her Sister married and had two children still living in Ireland today. A nephew, Gerard Potter and a niece Susanne O’Rourke.
Angela had her primary education in Dublin at the National School run by the Sisters of Mercy. Her Secondary education was with the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny in Mount Sackville, Dublin. It was here that she felt the call to give her life to God. In 1936, she entered the Novitiate and began her postulancy with 10 companions. They were received as Novices on 11th March 1937 and in April of the following year, 1938, sixteen Irish Novices of whom Sr Angela was one, left for Paris which in those days was a very long trip by boat and train. They were headed for the Central Novitiate in the General House in Paris. They joined other novices from all over the world, 100 in all.
On 20th March 1939, Sr Angela made her first profession and was missioned to West Africa. In preparation for this she was sent to England to do a Teacher Training course. However, World War 2 broke out in September 1939 and there was no hope of travelling so it was not until early 1942 that Sr Angela and 2 other young Cluny Sisters set sail from Liverpool for West Africa. They joined a convoy of 45 ships, carrying troops and civilians. The sisters were on the commodore’s ship, in the centre of the convoy, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in formation until they reached North Africa. Here they split up and the sisters continued on. It was a journey of three weeks and they arrived safely in Freetown on 1st April 1942. Sr Angela spent 8 happy years teaching in the Secondary school. In 1950, she set sail for a well-deserved break in Ireland and it was there that she received a new obedience, this time for Australia.
12 Sisters set sail from the Tilbury Docks in London on 12th April 1950 bound for Melbourne. This was a new mission and Sr Angela was amongst the pioneer group that were to work as Domestic Staff for the Seminary and open up an aged care facility for the elderly. Sr Angela spent two years helping in the care for the elderly and a further 8 years as Novice Directress for the young Australian Candidates joining the Congregation. In February 1960 she was transferred to New Zealand where she spent a short time teaching in Tauranga before taking on the responsibility of training the Novices in the New Zealand Province. She held this responsibility for 6 years after which she was transferred to the Mission in Fiji in 1967 as a teacher in St Joseph’s Secondary School. After six years she was given a break to visit her family in Ireland and was then missioned to Rarotonga in 1974 as a teacher in the Primary School. She remained in this mission until 1980 and spent the rest of her life in Fiji teaching at St Joseph’s Secondary School and holding the position of Community Leader until 1988 when she was asked to join the Novitiate team which was now based in Toganivalu Road, Suva, Fiji. In 1988 she joined the Community at St Anne’s Hercules Street and was very active taking some small groups for class and generally carrying out works of charity for which she was exemplary. She remained in this community until the Congregation withdrew from this apostolate and retired to the Novitiate Building in Toganivalu Road in 2012.
As the Province is in a period of discernment regarding various works, Sr Angela and her companions recently moved to the Convent in Waimanu Road and it was here that she suddenly fell ill having reached her 101st birthday a few months earlier. God gently called her home 1st March after a short illness. She gave her life back to God as she had lived it, gently, graciously and lovingly. The sister with her was touched by the humble way she asked for the sacrament of Confession despite her suffering. Perhaps she knew more than anyone, that her time to be called home was near.
Sr Angela was an outstanding missionary. Most of the younger members of the Province remember her as the one who helped them greatly in what it meant to be a Cluny Sister. She lived our Charism to the full….a true missionary whose heart reached out to those who needed most in whatever way. She lived as a truly humble and gracious sister who was always ready to serve in whatever way she was asked. Her witness to so many shone out and won hearts for God. We will greatly miss her calm, gentle, honest, humble and faithful witness. The Province is richer for having been privileged to have as a member, such a wonderfully dedicated missionary for 58 years. Thank you, dear Sr Angela. Now receive in full your eternal reward.
Rest in peace.