" A man must be ready, for death comes when and where God wills it. "
Saint John Neumann C.Ss.R
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Brother Gilbert (Matthew McDonnell) 

Brother Gilbert, at the time the oldest member of the St Mary’s Clapham community died on Feb 10th 1964 he was in his 74th year.

He was born, Matthew McDonnell, in the village of Kelloe, Co. Durham in 1890. On leaving school he went into the pit and worked as a miner for the best part of twenty years.

He was 36 years of age when he entered our Congregation as a Brother; but from the very beginning, he inspired all by his enthusiasm, his readiness for hard work, and his constant striving for holiness. He had an old fashioned sense of humour, which stimulated but never wounded. He was not a plaster saint, lacking in vitality or charm – there was nothing he enjoyed more than a good boxing match – but this was his own relaxation. Though crippled with arthritis in his latter years, he could always be seen in the Community Oratory, making the Way of the Cross, or his visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or saying rosary after rosary; not just one day, but every day.

(Obituary based on that published in CSsR News)