Sister Mary Cyprian Cotter
1918 - 2011
Born: 9th December 1918
Entered Religious Life: 4th February 1957
Died: 19th November 2011
Appreciation of Sr Cyprian Cotter
Reflection given at Sr Cyprian's funeral by Sr Rose Cashman RSC
Sr. Mary Cyprian was born in Cape Clear, an Island in West Cork - being a Yachting area she naturally learned to sail. She had one sister and one brother, both of whom have predeceased her, her sister-law Hester, niece Mary and nephews Ciaran, Paddy, Liam and John remained very close to her. She worked in the family business until her brother Ciaran married and she then moved to Cork City, where she worked and lived with her sister Nellie
After her Profession in 1959 she came to the English/Scottish Province and worked in Parish Ministry in Birkenhead, Rock Ferry and Bath. This entailed visiting the sick and the poor in their homes, attending meetings of the Union of Catholic Mothers, Children of Mary and Agnesian Guild. She had a great heart and love for the poor and in her own quiet way helped many people. In Rock Ferry she would visit the ladies in the Home in the evening, especially those who did not have many visitors. She learned to drive in Birkenhead and drove in Rock Ferry for some years but she preferred to take the bus.
In 1985 she went to St. Patrick’s, Cork on compassionate leave to be near her sister who was in ill health and she had the privilege to be with her when she died. On her return to the Province in 1986 she went to live in Basildon and was assigned to Hospital Ministry, into which she entered with her usual enthusiasm. She had a good relationship with the Chaplain, Nurses and Ward Clerks who were very helpful to her. On return from the hospital when she had to change buses she conveniently cut through Alders Store and had a spray at the perfume counter. On Wednesdays Fr. Dick the Chaplain joined the community for lunch after which they went to the Hospital together; Cyprian had a list of the people who needed to see him. He said that from the time that Cyprian came he never had a night call for which he was very grateful.
When Basildon closed she went to Sowerby Bridge again to Hospital Chaplaincy - she had a good relationship with the local Priests who appreciated her contacting them about their Parishioners in Hospital. She loved this Ministry and she brought many souls back to God at a very important time in their lives.
She retired to Hackney in 2002, she was very active until she fell and broke her hip. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee here and was determined to walk up the Chapel unaided that day. She really enjoyed her celebration joined by some of her coes and family.
Her hobbies were knitting, sewing, flower pressing and discovered a hidden talent in Hackney of painting, which she enjoyed
All this changed when she needed total care which she lovingly received from the devoted staff, they all loved her, she could be awkward at times but she had a good sense of humour and would give them a smart answer! One of the carers said “Sr. Cyprian was an inspiration to me, she told me many stories which helped me in my life, she was very straight and a complete pleasure to have known and to look after”. Everything that Sr. Cyprian did she put her whole self into it.
Sr. Cyprian loved God and the Congregation. I am sure she will have many friends to greet her in Heaven. May she Rest in Peace and receive the reward of her work in the vineyard here. She was a very sincere friend.