Home > Audio > A Living Word – Heydi Foster – Retirement, what’s that?

Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster delivered RTÉ Radio 1’s A Living Word programme from 18th March to 22nd March 2019. Heydi highlighted the work of Misean Cara members in Ghana, Haiti, Sierra Leone, and the Lebanon.

In this episode, Heydi speaks about legendary Sr. Louis-Marie O’Connor from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny who in her 80s set up 2 schools in Haiti.


A Living Word – Heydi Foster – Retirement, what’s that?

This episode was aired on RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday 21st March 2019.

There’s a lot of talk these days about the retirement age in Ireland, as the age of eligibility for the Government pension creeps upwards. For Irish missionaries, however, the concept of retirement is alien. Being a missionary is a life choice, and it’s a choice for life. It doesn’t stop at 65, or 66, or even 67! Two recent events brought this home to me. In September of last year, to gather information for Misean Cara, we surveyed our Irish missionary members. One of the questions related to the number of retired people in the congregation. The notion of retirement was rejected profoundly, as we received descriptions of the evolving roles people are fulfilling as they get older, using their wisdom and experience to guide their younger colleagues. And, in January, we celebrated the “retirement” (for want of a better word) of St. Joseph of Cluny Sister Louis-Marie O’Connor, who is moving on to the next phase of her life at the age of 87. This remarkable woman went to Sierra Leone at the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, undeterred by the risks involved, because it was where she wanted to be. In the thick of things, bringing relief and hope to people most in need. It was the same in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in January 2010, where she was the driving force behind rebuilding two schools. In Sr. Louis-Marie’s case, it was just unfortunate that the free travel scheme doesn’t extend to long-haul flights! Retirement? What’s that?

You can listen to the other A Living Word episodes on the Audio Page of our website. 

Featured Image: Misean Cara staff celebrate the retirement of Sr. Louis-Marie O’Connor [bottom centre in the photo] from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. Photo: Misean Cara.