Auckland diocese loses a gem

Delia Ruane

Auckland diocese is mourning the loss of one of its own staff, Delia Mary Ruane, who had been a member of the Religious Education Team for the last 26 years.

Ms Ruane passed away on May 11, aged 67. She had been battling cancer.

She ran Seasons for Growth, a grief and loss education programme for adults and children. She was also
parish advisor with the Pastoral Services Group.
“More lately, Delia’s passion was the training of,
and support of, companions in the Seasons for Growth
grief and loss programme,” said pastoral group leader
Sr Sian Owen, RSJ.

“Over the years, a large number of companions throughout the diocese from a variety of social agencies and community groups have been formed to walk with people through programmes that help children, young people and adults to understand their experience and attend well to their grief following major loss experiences,” she said.

Sr Sian said Ms Ruane first worked with resources for children not at Catholic schools.

“She prepared materials, ran correspondence ‘classes’ and formed parish catechists. This ministry evolved in many ways through the years,” Sr Sian said.

Ms Ruane was also in charge of the “vast quantity of video and latterly DVDs that were loaned to parishes”.

“She also provided outlines and guidance to people as to how these resources could be utilised in sacramental programmes and parish RE classes,” Sr Sian said.

Ms Ruane also provided a lectionary-based programme for use in the education in faith of primary school children.

“For every Sunday of the year, Delia faithfully prepared Exploring the Gospel resources, including lesson plans, worksheets for working with children and material for adult formation in a personal or group setting,” said Sr Sian.

At the Requiem Mass held at St Thomas More church in Glenfield on May 17, Ms Ruane’s daughter, Bridie Ruane Pintal, said she (Ms Ruane) was determined to get back to Bali one last time despite the risks to her (Ms Ruane’s) health.

“My sister and I haven’t seen Mum in togs since we were kids, but she was determined to make the most of the trip and so bought some just so she could sit in the pool with us,” Mrs Pintal said.

“Some of our fondest more recent memories are . . . sitting in the pool in Bali . . . [and being] in the Philippines, where, in the space of one day, Mum got into a small boat despite not being able to swim [and] rode a pony at a live volcano. We got photos of her holding a snake, although she was terrified of snakes.”

Mrs Pintal expressed her family’s gratitude to everyone who “had been there for us, showing us support”.

“When she (Ms Ruane) spoke of family and friends, she said how blessed she was. We were also blessed for having her, too”, Mrs Pintal said.

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NZ Catholic Staff

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