Anselm Conway, a Christian Brother, was a gentle, quaint man who inspired love in all who knew him. In July 1946 he met Kathleen Kilbane in the TB sanatorium in Ballinrobe, which he visited weekly. Aged 11, Kathleen was an orphan. Because of people’s dread of TB, and the long distance from her home in Achill, Kathleen was to have few visitors. But soon Bro. Conway took her under his wing. No More Tears in My Eyes is his deeply moving account of Kathleen’s last year of life.
As I was reading this little story I became aware that Bro. Anselm believed he was writing about a saint. But I soon realised that I was reading about two saints. There is a raw honesty in his story that dispenses with all fancy descriptions. That honesty takes you into the cold sanatorium and into the feelings of an abandoned little girl. But into the starkness of that institution this brother brought his own kindness, and became the conduit for the kindness of the boys he was teaching. He brought love into that cold antiseptic place. The Bro. Anselms of this world are the people who enrich the soil of everyday living. They work on the ground with no fanfare of public acknowledgement, but they make life bearable for many. This story will enrich the thinking and bring a sense of kindness and goodness into the lives of all who read No More Tears in My Eyes. – Alice Taylor, author of To School Through the Fields.