Obituary for Sister Norbert Sorohan, FMSJ

Posted on: 02 January 2022

Author:Sister Joan Kerley


Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of
who died at Franciscan Convent, Burnley on 1st January 2022

Anna Mary Philomena Sorohan was born on 8th April 1931 in Ballinagh, County Cavan, Ireland, the eldest of twelve children to her parents John and Mary Sorohan. The first of her generation to die she is survived by her eight sisters and three brothers. She was educated at Carrigans National School and worked as an assistant nurse prior to becoming a postulant in Ireland. She entered the novitiate in Altrincham on 6th January 1955 receiving the name of Sister Mary Norbert and made her First Profession on 29th June 1956.

Sister Norbert’s first appointment was to child care in Lytham but in 1957 she was sent to train as a State Enrolled Nurse in Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester. She qualified in 1959 and was appointed nurse in Broughton from 1960 to 1969 apart from some time in 1963 when she served in Blackburn. She made her Perpetual Profession in 1961.

After a year in Freshford, Ireland doing social work in 1969, Sister Norbert returned to work as a nurse at Southport Hospital. In 1974 she was appointed nurse and assistant superior in Blackburn where she remained until 1981 when she returned to Ireland as local superior in Blackrock,Cork. After three years she returned to Broughton Hall and then to Eccleshall where she nursed the elderly Sisters and was again local superior. After a renewal course in 1992 in Hawkstone Hall she went to Ingham House, Manchester from 1993-1996 when the house closed and she moved to the Generalate. In 2001 she was appointed local superior and at the same time she cared for the needs of a community of FMSJ Sisters who had retired to the care of the Alexian Brothers Care Centre. She was exceedingly kind to the Sisters there and they much appreciated all she did for them. Sister Norbert retired to Burnley in 2006 and became Assistant to the Community Leader in 2010. She was known for her quiet wit, sense of humour and deep chuckling laughter.

Sr Norbert loved to drive and she happily escorted Sisters from Burnley to hospital appointments until her own health deteriorated and she was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. This affected her balance and mobility but she was fiercely independent and kept going as long as she could, spending much time in chapel and when in her room she quietly listened to the Irish radio and kept her mind active with word puzzles. She maintained a great interest in both the Sisters and her family especially her many nephews and nieces. In December 2021 she developed a chest infection which necessitated her admission to hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She returned to the convent once this cleared but was visibly more frail and needed a lot of care from the staff which she greatly appreciated. She slept more and died peacefully but suddenly at about 2am on New Year’s Day with Sarah, one of our night staff attending to her.

Funeral arrangements will be made and announced in due course.