Franciscan

Everyday Heroes

Mrs. Yvonne Forrest and Fr. Jim Bok, OFM, at Mary, Gate of Heaven in Negril, Jamaica.

Ms. Yvonne gets a well-earned rest

BY FR. JIM BOK, OFM

Mrs. Yvonne Forrest, called Ms. Yvonne by all, has hung up her apron after approximately 30 years of cooking and house-keeping for the residents of Mary, Gate of Heaven Rectory/Friary in Jamaica. She’s been the cook here for the parish priest since the time the rectory was constructed.

Born and raised in Negril, she has seen an incredible transformation of this little fishing town into a premier resort community. "A time," Ms. Yvonne said of her decision to retire. "Mi want to go a mi bed wen mi want." In other words, it’s time, and she can now take a nap anytime she wants. Her granddaughter Nachualee, who’s been coming in to help her in recent weeks, will take over the helm.

Not only has Ms. Yvonne been a faithful employee, she has been a solid rock in the Mary, Gate of Heaven Church community. For years she has functioned as sacristan, sang in the choir, and served as a Eucharistic minister. Ms. Yvonne was always ready to pitch in for parish functions and is famous for her baking skills, especially her coconut pie. And, Ms. Yvonne always kept us updated on the news of Negril.

She’s been wonderful to me and a great blessing in my nine-and-a-half years here at MGH. Her fondness for the friars is evident and her service to our church community is second to none. We will miss her presence for sure, especially her Tuesday bantering with Bertram the gardener. Perhaps J.B. the dog will miss her the most, as he sat at her feet every morning waiting for the biscuits. Thanks, Ms. Yvonne, for your friendship, support, and the blessing that you have been.

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