The death occurred peacefully on November 23, 2016, of Sr. Josephine (Annunciata) Sherry.

On April 30, 1934, a baby daughter was born to Elizabeth and Alphonsus Sherry, joining her five siblings Richard, Jack, Celine, Rita and Maureen. Life was quiet growing up in the natural beauty of Arney, and school was so like home, as Josephine’s mother became her teacher in Mullymesker.

These early years passed quickly, and Josephine made her way for further education to Mt. Lourdes, Enniskillen. Here she met the Sisters of Mercy and, after five years, decided to join them in the nearby Convent. She was received into the Mercy Congregation in September 1952, and given the name Sr. Annunciata.

As Annunciata, she made her Final Profession in 1958, choosing for her motto, “Be it done unto me according to your word” – an echo of the Annunciation passage inspiring her new name.

True to that ideal, she embarked on the road of education, first in Sedgley Park College where she obtained the B.Ed. Her first full-time teaching post was in Abbey St., Enniskillen, and, together with Sr. John Bosco, she knew and loved the children and parents there.

But the Florida mission beckoned, and, in 1964, she set sail for Hialeah, Florida where she would spend 25 years as Teacher and Principal in Immaculate Conception School. A brilliant educationalist, Annunciata or Josephine, as she was now once more known, adapted quickly to the American school scene – she obtained her M.Sc. in Education from Barry University, and qualified in Educational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame.

Her reputation spread far and wide as she brought much enthusiasm to her own teaching assignments in Hialeah and Marathon (on the Florida Keys), and as an adviser to many colleagues in other schools.

In 1985, Josephine moved to a new parish, Annunciation, where she became Principal and Parish Sister to a growing community. Again, she gave of her many talents to build up the Church in Annunciation. In 2000 she was recognised as “Principal of the Year”, and also received the well-deserved Pontifical Medal from Pope John Paul 11 for her services to education in Miami Archdiocese for over 40 years.

At this period she wrote, “I receive great joy in life from the love and support of my family, my local and congregational community, and my total trust in the Lord”. This sense of joy shone through in her delight in nature, in beauty, in music, and in her bubbling sense of humour. Her smile and laughter lit up many a conversation and meeting.

On her retirement from Annunciation, Sr. Josephine’s health declined and she returned to her original Convent home in Enniskillen in 2011. As her health continued to deteriorate, she found support and kind care in the Graan Abbey Nursing Home and in Gnangara, Enniskillen, and in St. Macartan’s Residential Home, Clogher. These final years of sickness marked the concluding phase of her life dedicated to God and God’s people.

Josephine slipped away quietly to God on November 23, 2016, and her removal was to Enniskillen Convent on November 24. Her funeral Eucharist, in the Convent Chapel on November 25 was concelebrated by the Rev. Raymond Donnelly (main celebrant), assisted by Monsignor S. Cahill, the Rev. D. Corrigan S.M.A. and the Rev. Niall Martin (Kiltegan).

Accompanied by her sister, Rita, her Sisters in the Mercy community, her friends and relatives, Josephine was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery. She had begun her pre-Advent journey back to the God she had followed with great faithfulness.

Sr. Josephine is survived by her sister, Rita Leonard, and her brother, Monsignor Richard Sherry (Dublin Diocese). She was predeceased by her brother, Jack, and her sister, Maureen. Within a week of her death, her sister, Celine Palmer, went to God.