Sr Aelred honoured at Edinburgh University
A Religious Sister of Mercy has received an honorary degree for her dedication in helping the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.
Sister Aelred Timmins RSM was granted the title Doctor of the University, Honoris Causa, at a ceremony at Edinburgh University's McEwan Hall.
It was conferred for her work over 50 years helping those in need and leading the Homeless Project at St Catharine's Mercy Centre in Lauriston Gardens, which she established in 1993.
"There are a few individuals who don’t look the other way, and have devoted their lives to working with the people on the margins of society.
"Today we honour one of them—Sister Aelred Timmins. Her selfless championing of the poor, the marginalised, the homeless, asylum seekers, migrants, those recovering from addictions and indeed many others, is a shining example of how compassion and kindness can make the world a better place for everybody.
"Having come to know Sister Aelred, I can say how much she is a beacon of hope and the embodiment of faith in practice."
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland, Sr Aelred has spent most of her life in missionary work. After completing her noviciate in England, she came to Edinburgh in the early 1970s to work in primary education in West Pilton, including establishing support for families suffering from HIV and AIDS in the 1980s.
Many dignitaries have visited the project such as Prince Charles in 2001 and the then President of Ireland Mary McAleese in 2007. The project has never had to appeal for volunteers nor seek donations -it is supported solely by the generosity of its helpers and benefactors.
The Degree of Doctor honoris causa (Dr h c) is awarded to those who have done outstanding work/public service to Edinburgh or Scotland.