When Sr Veronica came to Graiguecullen three years ago, she probably never expected to be welcomed with such open arms. A member of the Poor Clare order, Sr Veronica was invited to the county from the Philippines by Mother Francis, abbess of the Poor Clares. Explaining how Sr Veronica came to be a member of the local order, Fr John Dunphy said: “Members were dwindling in the Poor Clares so she was invited over by Mother Francis and the rest of the order to see if she would like it in Ireland.”

Fr Dunphy went on to describe Sr Veronica as “a breath of fresh air”.

“She loves music and playing the organ and is always singing,” he added. Sr Veronica also made history last Wednesday night ( 10th August 2011 ) when she spoke to a congregation in St Clare’s Church, Graiguecullen. “She is the first member of the Poor Clares ever to speak to a congregation, certainly in this church,” revealed Fr Dunphy, who said Sr Veronica spoke about her life before joining the nuns and her calling to join the order.

There are now nine Poor Clares based in Graiguecullen and Fr Dunphy explained that this particular order are all called to a life of prayer. “People will write them letters or call in to them to ask them to pray for a particular purpose. They are available to speak to the public for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.” Fr Dunphy added that the Poor Clares also often bless newborn babies or newly-wedded couples.

Fr Dunphy also praised the order for having the foresight to ask Sr Veronica to join their order from abroad, something, he said, priests should take note of.