Sr Noel Barron

Born in Donegal, Ireland Sr. Noel Barron, FMSJ moved to Penilee, Scotland with her family when she was 11. In 1962 she entered our Congregation in Cork, Ireland. After finishing her novitiate and making first profession in 1964, she worked in the Children’s Rescue Society for many years.

In 1976, Sr. Noel, a social worker, moved to Rangala, Kenya, where she worked in an orphanage for children whose mothers had died at birth. Later she moved to a semi-desert area where she ran mobile clinics in Marigat and Salawa . She and the nurses drove many miles per day, sometimes through rivers and usually on treacherous dirt roads, to bring medicine and vaccines to families who live miles from the nearest medical facilities. Once, in Salawa, a mother suddenly went into labour. Her twins were born safely under the nearest thorn tree. The staff of the clinic then transported the mother and her newborn twins to the nearest hospital in Kabarnet, a distance of only 5 miles but a journey of nearly an hour because of the dirt roads.

During her last 7 years in Kenya, Sister lived in Luanda where she was the director of our prenovitiate candidates and worked in a programme for street children who were given a home and basic education. A major part of the programme, still continuing, is to try to reunite the children with some of their relatives and to assist the families in supporting them. Sister also worked with a widows’ group, over 100 members strong, in developing income generating projects, e.g. raising goats, charcoal making, and small kiosks. By giving them small amounts of money to begin their projects, they could begin to be self-sufficient.

Now Sr. Noel, the current vocation director for England, lives in Rochdale. She is involved in many projects including working in St. John’s parish taking Communion to the housebound and visiting the sick and assisting 3 mornings a week in a programme for the homeless. On Saturday mornings she can be found with a culturally and religiously diverse group of neighbours who have formed an environmental group to keep the neighbourhood clean by picking up the litter.

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