This lunchtime the funeral for Sister Aloysius, who founded Francis House in 1990, has been held.
Three weeks ago, I attended a blessing at Francis House in Didsbury for the new extension, which will provide 7 extra bedrooms.
In 1990, Sister Aloysius set up Francis House with Fr Tom Mulheran because they were concerned about the lack of care for terminally ill children. In 1990, there were just 4 other facilities, none of them local.
By her actions in 1990, and for the rest of her life, Sister Aloysius has helped make life a little easier for many families in Greater Manchester, and for that she should be thanked. May she Rest In Peace.
The best known fundraiser for Francis House is Kirsty Howard.
Kirsty, speaking about Sister Aloysius, said,
“She was a wonderful lady with a fantastic sense of humour. I know that she has been really poorly for quite a while now and she hasn’t been able to leave her bed so although it is so sad that she has died, I feel that now she will be at peace.”
On a brighter note, I was delighted to hear that Kirsty has done so well in her recent exams, securing 12 GCSEs in total.
For those that don’t know her story, Kirsty was born with a back-to-front heart and was given just weeks to live as a toddler.
It has been fantastic to watch the plucky youngster defy the odds time and time again, raising a staggering £5million in the process. I was in the stadium when she handed the torch over to David Beckham during the 2002 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, and, although Kirsty still faces many challenges to become a special needs teacher, who would bet against her achieving her ambitions?
Both Kirsty and Sister Aloysius are an inspiration to the people of Manchester.