Trinity Sunday – Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

May 31, 2023 | Gospel Reflections

June 4, 2023

John 3: 16-18

I begin with the words of Jesus which he speaks to His Disciples as He prepares to leave them:

“All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always to the end of the age.”

Although we are familiar with these words on a daily basis since all our prayers begin with the words: “in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” during these weeks of Eastertide we have heard in the Gospel Readings that Jesus tells his followers many times that His Father has been teaching him all this time. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you… now remain in my love”. Jesus explains that this gift of the Father’s love will be given to them and to us.  In this way we begin to see that Jesus wants to bring the joy of this love shared by the Father and Himself will be given to us. Listen again to the words, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last”.

As Jesus prepares to leave this world, He shows the disciples and us that this constant union with the His Father is the only way which will help His followers to bear the message of Jesus to the world.  His final and most significant message is in these words: “I and the Father are ONE.  The one who sees me sees the Father.”. The message now develops as Jesus gives his reason for his departure”, and then his assurance that he will send the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity!  Jesus says “the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.  I shall not abandon you as orphans …  the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name. that one will teach you everything and remind you of everything that I have said to you.”  These references to the Mystery of the Trinity show us the very essence of God.  We are given through this Mystery the strength to continue their message: to believe in each other as images of God, to try to spread the message of Love and Joy.

We have the strength coming to us all the time from our Triune God. We cannot fail if we fix our gaze on these Three.



John 3: 16-18

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”




Meet Sister Mary Cluderay, SNDdeN

Sister Mary was born in Leeds in 1930, the seventh child in a family of eight. The other children were all boys. She was a pupil in Notre Dame High School, Leeds from 1944-1948 and she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 24th 1948. She became a two-year Student in Our Lady’s College Mount Pleasant Liverpool and continued her studies for an additional three years in Liverpool University where she gained a B.A honours in General Studies. Subsequently she taught as an assistant teacher in Notre Dame Schools in Northampton, Worth and Battersea. She became Head Teacher of Notre Dame High School, Norwich in 1968 and retired in 1995. For a period of six years she worked with the National Health Department for Mental Health in Norwich. She was then asked to serve as the Moderator in the Parbold Community in 2000. It was a wonderful experience for her during 9 years as a member of the Community of over 20 Sisters, some of whom were frail and elderly. During this time, she joined an art class in the Parbold village and also a choir of men and women. They visited care homes and other groups. She also attended parish groups as the Synod preparation began. Her main interest now is to continue to read and study Theology and Scripture and she took classes in the use of laptop computers. She is now almost 93, but she has good mobility and her mind is still active. In 2020, shortly before lockdown began, she was asked to move to Birkdale, a community of 30 Sisters. Sister says that all her years as a Sister of Notre Dame are continuing to bring her joy.