Posts Tagged ‘ballybunion’

Dear Peggy O’Neill (Former Nun, Born 1921) Was Called Home on 10th March 2018

March 19, 2018


Just recently I learned that the lovely lady, Peggy O’Neill that I had met in May 2017 had passed away, aged 97. My visit with her is described in my blog on May 13th, 2017, which can be read here:

How glad I am to have met her in person and to have read and prayed with her!

I Praise the Lord for Peggy’s testimony of how she came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at age 70, after 50 years of practising as a nun. Of her early life she says: “I used to light a candle before the statue of St. Therese of Lisieux, and then I knelt down and prayed to her. Later I went to the local convent school where many teachers were nuns. I grew up with the idea that nuns were very special people before God, and their kind of life was the highest calling for any woman.”

Eventually Peggy left home to begin her training with an order which was dedicated to education and Peggy then worked as a schoolteacher in England for many years. “Before and after school, there were long periods given to prayer and religious exercises, and mass every morning in the convent chapel,” she says in her tract.

To anyone looking on, it would appear an impossible situation, that someone so entrenched in Roman Catholicism would ever dream of questioning her beliefs – but Peggy did so when she saw her nephew with what she termed “an interest in the Bible!” Praise God, as time went on, in her own words she “realised that the Catholic Church had a false gospel – one that is the exact opposite of the gospel revealed in the Bible.”

Peggy says in her tract… “After 50 years of serving as a nun in the Catholic Church I came to this profound realisation, and put my whole faith and trust in the saving work of Christ. For me there is only One Saviour and One Mediator, The Lord Jesus Christ.”

I recall some of Peggy’s final words on her testimony tract… “I thank my Father who loved me so much that He sent His only beloved Son Jesus to save me. I thank my dear Redeemer who even now is interceding for me as my High Priest, and who will soon return to take me Home to Heaven where I will shine like the sun and praise Him for all eternity.”

I love the glorious sunsets in the west of Ireland, where Peggy’s life began. As the sun has now set on Peggy’s earthly life, I praise and thank the Lord for saving her. Today as you may look in despair at a seemingly unresponsive loved one, remind yourself that with God all things are possible. Keep sharing with them, loving them and praying for them, for He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance! (2Peter3v9)


A Wonderful Meeting with Peggy O’Neill Who Found The Truth, After Fifty Years As A Nun!

May 13, 2017


On the May Bank Holiday weekend last my husband and I embarked on a four hour journey to the south west of Ireland. What a journey that was – but how rewarding the outcome! Years ago I had read this lady’s testimony in tract form and also her story is one of twenty in a book called: “The Truth Set us Free: Twenty Former Nuns Tell Their Stories,” by Richard Bennett & Mary Hertel.” Somehow I had always wanted to meet Peggy… This desire intensified when an acquaintance asked me did I know anything about her or her whereabouts now. This person told me that Peggy was in the process of writing to the Pope and cardinals at the time (she had met her in 2013) and that behind her home were all the verses of the fruits of the Spirit… painted on planks.

Having approached all the people I thought might have known and ‘drawn a blank’, I eventually contacted members of a local Christian Fellowship in the area who were able to tell me. This was before Christmas last year and at the time I was dismayed to hear that Peggy was critically ill. I prayed very much for her then, still with this great desire in my heart to meet her. I later learned that Peggy had recovered from that illness. My prayers (and I am certain, the prayers of others) had been answered!

Well, on the afternoon of Saturday 29th April after a long drive, more prayers were answered when I had the great joy of meeting Peggy for the first time ever! She is now 96, bedridden for the most part and in a nursing home but there is an amazing brightness about her which clearly comes from knowing the Lord – this dear elderly lady is truly unique. Her face lit up when I showed her my big Bible and she hugged her testimony tract, which I know is so precious to her. Although missing her right eye from a fall some years ago and although frail with all the pains and aches that accompany someone who is not far from 100, she is so content with a beautiful, peaceful spirit – something which only those who know the Lord’s Presence in their lives can truly experience.

Here is a very short summary of her testimony – which can be viewed online in several locations by googling “The Testimony of Peggy O’Neill.”  Peggy was born in 1921, in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, one of a large family who were raised Catholic. At school she notes that she was “well grounded in Catholic doctrine” and that in her local convent school many of her teachers were nuns. Having viewed life as a nun as “being the highest calling for any woman,” she later took her vows and maintains that “during my fifty years as a nun, regardless of the inevitable ups and downs of life, I was very happy. Happy to believe that I was following what I then thought was my God-given vocation. The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience I had made were meant to be perpetual and final.”

Then in 1989, her nephew (Tom) came home from England with what she terms “an interest in the Bible.” “He also said that he had left the Catholic Church.” Greatly concerned about this, Peggy decided to investigate for herself and discovered, to her shock, that “not only were there additions, but also some Catholic doctrines even contradicted the Bible.”

She states in her testimony: “Today there are thousands of false religions in the world and every religion, including Catholicism, has devised a different gospel. A church stands or falls by the Gospel it preaches, and at the age of 70 I had no option but to leave the church, which for so long I had greatly trusted.” She goes on to say: “for me there is only One Saviour and One Mediator, The Lord Jesus Christ.” Peggy states that after 50 years of serving as a nun (from ages 20-70) in the Catholic Church “I came to this profound realisation, and put my whole faith and trust in the saving work of Christ.”

That weekend my husband and I stayed in the town of Ballybunion, the place where Peggy’s life had begun in 1921. From our room we had a lovely view of the sparkling waves of the Atlantic Ocean as they washed in on the Blue Flag beach and on the last evening, as we walked along the shore, watching the last rays of the setting sun on the sea, I thought on the goodness of our Heavenly Father and Creator – and on my loving, lovely friend Peggy, who says in her tract: “I thank my Father who loved me so much that He sent His only beloved Son Jesus to save me. I thank Him my dear Redeemer who even now is interceding for me as my High Priest, and who will soon return to take me home to Heaven where I will shine like the sun and praise Him for all eternity.”

Over those three days we had the joy of visiting Peggy each day: on our way to Ballybunion, on Sunday afternoon – and by the Monday morning she had grown accustomed to our visits and was so overjoyed to see us. I felt a great closeness between us and the Lord’s Presence with us as we read and prayed with her. She has a pleasant view of some trees blowing in the wind by her little room in the nursing home. I remarked on this and on the beauty of the sunny countryside outside, to which she smilingly nodded in agreement. “But,” I said quietly, Heaven will be even better than this – and, of course we won’t have all our present human ailments…”

Heaven will be even more amazingly beautiful than the most stunning scenes of nature in this world. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1Corinthians 2v9) And this is the Lord’s will for each person in the universe, if they would only but trust Him! (“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1John 2v2)

I praise the Lord that this lovely lady has, as she says “abandoned all other means and mediators and put her faith in Christ alone;” I pray that the Lord will assist me to share her story with loved ones, friends, neighbours and, yes, even with those I meet quite by chance. As I gave Peggy, my dear sister in the Lord, a hug before we left, I knew that this is what she would want, to the glory of our Lord and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.