Many in our local community will remember Eileen McManus who arrived in Beaufort in 1979. Eileen came to live in ‘Wombelano’ at what became known as ‘The House of Prayer’.
Eileen passed away on September 13, 2023 at Nazareth House. She was originally from Horsham and after leaving Beaufort in 2006, returned to Horsham. As a young woman she trained as a nurse and was by all accounts a top nurse. In more recent years as her health deteriorated, she was happy to take up residence in Nazareth House in Ballarat, where she was able to live fairly independently.
Whilst in Beaufort she was an active member of our Catholic Church community. To this end she was a great back-stop for our priests who ministered to us. She was very well versed in how to run liturgies and was instrumental in getting us up to speed with how to manage our Lay Led Assemblies, which are a current regular format for our weekly gatherings. Eileen was very up-to-date with shifting trends in liturgy, and in particular, producing a refreshing array of music/hymns. She was also a respected contact for people wanting to seek help for family members who needed support at various stages of their life. Eileen will have ministered to many people in our local Hospital and Nursing Home and Hostel.
‘The House’ (as it became known) was made available by Eileen for people from all walks of life to come there and spend time in reflection and prayer. Eileen provided respite for many and she cast no aspersions on anyone no matter what their story. She was not judgmental and her door was always open. Eileen was an inspiration and an amazing example of living one’s faith through kindness and care.
She loved ‘The House’ and loved nurturing the garden and surrounds. She was aware that her much loved House has been recently restored and is serving a very important role in the community.