Sister Florrie (formerly Dolorosa) Goold was born Florence Goold in Glasnevin, Dublin in 1928. Her father worked in the Land Commission, which involved a lot of travelling. When he was away, Florrie’s grandmother helped to care for the family of three boys and four girls. This created a great lifelong bond among them all. Florrie attended a local primary school and then went to the Saint Louis School in Monaghan for her secondary education. She joined MMM in 1947.
Her memories of the novitiate were of hard and tiring work but she said they were happy years with lots of fun and support among the novices. After profession Florrie trained as a general nurse at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. Her first assignment was to the Clinica Mediterranea in Naples, Italy. It was a busy hospital and she enjoyed her time there. In 1973 she returned to Drogheda to complete training in midwifery in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
Assigned to Uganda in 1975, Sister Florrie worked at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Kitovu, for two years. She then returned to Drogheda. After about a year working in the promotion office, she moved to the guest department, where she welcomed many visitors to the Motherhouse. In 1987, she was appointed local business administrator in Drogheda, a role in which she served for over twenty years. She said it was a very busy job but she appreciated the great support she received from the various maintenance people who helped with the upkeep of such a large house. She was also leader in her local MMM community.
During these years Florrie became very involved with the homeless people of Drogheda. She was part of a network that set up Homeless Aid, an organisation that cares for homeless men and provides them with accommodation, psychological support and other necessities of life. She did a lot of fund-raising and was always alert to needy people whom she came across on her travels.
In 2016 Sister Florrie moved to the nursing facility, Áras Mhuire. The staff of Homeless Aid visited her regularly in the last years of her illness and they held her in the highest esteem. She died there peacefully on 29 September 2018.
Florrie had a great sense of humour and a warm, gentle and reflective personality. She enjoyed listened to classical music as she relaxed in her room.She loved nature and enjoyed caring for her rose garden, which produced many blooms. She planted a rose bush in our new plot in Saint Peter’s Cemetery some years ago. On the month’s mind of her death, one magnificent rose was blooming there.
Father John McAlinden, hospital chaplain, was the main celebrant at her funeral Mass, along with her cousin Father Ned Goold from Cork and Father Pat Kelly, SPS, chaplain in Áras Mhuire.
She once told another Sister, ‘I love the Memorare as I have great devotion to Our Lady. When I needed her help she was there for me. Now I just sit and am present to God who has always been so good to me. I have no doubt but that I will go to Heaven when I die.’