“My life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Sr Leo died peacefully at Calvary Ryde Retirement Community on 7 December 2022.
Josephine Mary Clancy was born on 23rd May 1923 in Tamworth NSW. She would have turned 100 next year. She was one of eight children born to Michael and Johanna Clancy. The family moved from Tamworth to Inverell where her father had his own business.
After finishing school, Jo or Josie as she was known to her family, undertook a Business Course and in her words “made it last as long as she could”, stretching the normal 12-month course to 18 months. She had little interest in religious life, until one day she informed her mother that she thought she would “give this nun thing a go”.
It was on a visit to Lewisham to see her father’s favourite sister Sr Leo (the Senior) that young Jo met Mother Dominica LCM who told her about the Charism of the Little Company of Mary and Mary Potter. She was touched by how Mother Dominica spoke with her about Mary, our Mother, being at the foot of the Cross for her dying Son and how the LCM was founded to do for the sick, suffering and dying of the world what Mary was for her Son on Calvary. It was the ministry aspect of our spirit and charism that had called to her heart and so on 8th June 1945 she entered the Little Company of Mary, taking her first vows on 26th April 1948, the feast day of our Lady of Good Counsel. She had been given the name Sr Andrea, which she later changed to Leo once Sr Leo Snr had gone to her eternal reward. She made final vows in 1951 and took as her motto “my Life is hidden with Christ in God”.
Her devotion and closeness to Mary was real and stayed with her throughout her life. She described herself as living an interior contemplative life and even thought of joining a contemplative order at one point, however she was happy, as she said, to follow what Mary Potter told her Sisters to be – contemplatives in action.
During her years Leo was involved in many of the LCM Health Care facilities at Lewisham, Cairns, Melbourne, Wagga and Hobart, Canberra, Kogarah and finally at Ryde.
She enjoyed her various ministries and undertook a number of responsible positions in both General and Midwifery (her great love), as well as that of being the Community Leader while in Hobart. At Calvary Kogarah, before coming to Ryde, she was very involved with the Hospital Auxiliary and would often be seen attending to the Kiosk during those times that were not convenient for others. She was one who rolled up her sleeves, especially at the annual Fetes.
A compassionate woman who enjoyed life and people and was very welcoming and gracious to those who would come to visit. She loved music and dancing, she once described herself as “twinkle toes” because of her dainty feet.
She loved her family and would often recall stories of her parents or siblings. Her visits to the family to who she was ‘Aunty Lee’ were always very special and held many cherished memories.
Leo lived out that Spirit and Charism that first captured her heart all those years ago at Lewisham. She did for others what Mary did for her Son on Calvary in whatever ministry she undertook.
We thank you, Leo, for all that you have been as an LCM woman over the past 77 years in loving service to others.
May you now rest in peace and in God’s love.
(Taken from the funeral eulogy of Sr Kathleen Cotterill, Region Leader)