Sister Bridget Ambrose

I was born on the 23rd of February 1935 in County Limerick Rose. I am the oldest of twelve children (7 girls and 5 boys.) I attended National School in Shanagolden until I finished my schooling certificate. The Sisters of Nazareth often came to our school recruiting vocations and we were given many pamphlets and information on the life and works of the Sisters. After reading, studying the Charism and all work that the Sisters were doing, I was impressed and I decided to follow their journey. My interest and love for the poor, aged and lonely people were uppermost in my mind. Next in line was my brother John, who was also showing signs and interest in religious life and the priesthood. A few years later he joined the Mill Hill Fathers, in Kilkenny, in Ireland. The following years other siblings namely, Tom, Mary, Kate, Ita, Con, Pat, Anne, Nora, Frances and Willie all arrived in due time to enlarge the family. After discussing with my parents, and receiving their blessing, I left home in January 1949 to enter the Juniorate in Mallow in Ireland. I spent 2 years in Ireland and then left for the Novitiate in Hammersmith in 1952. I was then Professed in November 1953 and took my Final Vows in November 1959. After profession, I was sent to Mallow in Ireland, to care for the old men, for 2 years, then to Bristol, England. I then qualified as a State Enrolled Nurse in Southampton Hospital. In 1965 I was then asked to come to South Africa. I was broken hearted because I had to leave my dear Mother who was very ill and was to be hospitalized. Two months after arriving at Nazareth House Johannesburg, I was informed that my mother passed away. I was not allowed to return to bury my mother, which caused me a lot of distress, because I was the eldest in the family. I asked myself, “Who would console my siblings?”. I nursed in Johannesburg House for 13 years, directly after qualifying as a state registered nurse, in Johannesburg General Hospital. Thereafter, I was sent to Fourteen Streams Clinic and Centre. I assisted in community maternity care. I travelled each day, on a bicycle, and even gave injections to the cattle when requested by the farm manager. I also collected food and money for the upkeep of the Sisters of Nazareth and children in the school. I also worked in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Elsie’s River and Kimberley. I have returned, to Nazareth House Johannesburg, for the last 20 odd years, continuing in my beloved outreach programmes, which was my first fervour 70 years ago. I have never wavered. I thank my God for so many graces and blessings . It has been 21 years since I suffered a brain aneurysm in Kimberly and am still here to tell the tale. I feel privileged to have 2 of my biological Sisters (namely Sister Raphael and Sister Nora Christina who are stationed in Glasgow Nazareth Community) to have followed in the footsteps of Victoire Larmenier. ‘To God be the glory’.

You might also enjoy