In the early evening of Saturday 4th March God very gently called Tarci to the fullness of life, after a short illness. Tarci was 85 years old, and would have celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of her vows this May.
Born in 1932 in Gozo, a small island a few miles from Malta, Tarci was part of a very close-knit family and local community. Her mother died unexpectedly when she was nine - a loss she was to feel, keenly, all her life, although she grew to love her father's second wife, and remained close to her brother and half-brothers and their children for the rest of her life. Aged eighteen she left Gozo to train as a teacher at the Society's college, St Julian's, in Malta. Here she began to think seriously about a possible call to religious life. Tarci returned to Gozo to teach, before leaving again, in the autumn of 1954 - this time to come to England to enter the noviciate.
Tarci made her first vows on the feast of St Madeleine Sophie, 25th May 1954 and her final profession on 19th March 1963. Despite having trained as a primary school teacher she mainly worked from 1954 until 1968 in the infirmaries at Fenham, then Woldingham, Hove, Roehampton and Tunbridge Wells. She learnt very much "on the job", but was clearly a natural nurse and carer: after the post-Vatican II changes began she went to Drogheda from 1968-71, where she completed her RGN training at a hospital run by the Medical Mission Sisters. She then spent five years as the community and college infirmarian at Tal Virtu, Malta, before returning to England in 1977.
From 1977 until her retirement in 1992 Tarci was head nurse for our elderly, infirm sisters in Roehampton - a facility which moved to Duchesne House in 1983. During this time she moved to Santos Road in Wandsworth, where she became a much-loved member of the noviciate community. After her retirement and a spiritual renewal course Tarci worked at our hospitality centre, and then began volunteering with Age Concern, visiting isolated elderly people in their homes. This was a ministry she enjoyed and continued after moving to Hayes in 2000, where she became co-ordinator of a community of elderly sisters, until her health began to diminish.
In 2014 Tarci moved to Duchesne House, where she lived happily and quietly. As her memory of events and dates began to fade her heart's memory grew stronger: she always remembered her family, friends and beloved sisters and the "good times" with them, and all were invariably greeted with great warmth and affection. In her last few days she received several visits from RSCJ and others, and on the morning of 4th March her nephew and niece arrived from Malta. They remained with her until the moment Tarci gently slipped from this life and her family here on earth into eternal life with God, and a joyful reunion with all her loved ones in heaven.
You can read a short tribute by Silvana here...