Bennett, Sr. Anne Teresa

Nationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 96    
D.O.B. 10.04.1919
First Profession: 18.03.1946
Died: 22.05.2006 Aged: 87 years

Anne Teresa Bennett was born in Milltownpass in County Westmeath; she had three sisters and one brother.   Anne was educated at the  at the local Mercy Convent and after leaving school helped out both at home and in the family-owned shop, before she entered MMM in 1943, aged 24.  After entering MMM, Anne took the name in Religion of Sr. Mary Annunciata.

Following initial formation, Sr. Annunciata trained as a nurse and midwife in both the I.MT.H. in Drogheda and Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin.   She was assigned her first overseas mission in 1954 going to Tanzania, which was still called Tanganyika at that time.  Sr. Annunciata was to spend a total of twenty years in Tanzania, almost equally divided between the hospitals of Dareda and Makiungu.  She had posts of responsibility in both places, as Matron and as Sister in Charge.  She loved Tanzania, although she went through many difficult periods during the years when the hospitals were new and being built up.

In 1974, Sr. Anne returned to Ireland to work as Infirmarian in Drogheda for two years before being assigned to the U.S.A. to work in Weston Seminary in the Accounts Office and as the Infirmarian.  Sr. Anne really enjoyed being around young people and this ministry energised her.  Sr. Anne was a joyful, outgoing person, kind and patient, self-controlled with a deep love of God and an active prayer-life.  She made many friends in the U.S.A., some of whom were still writing to her many years later when she was living in Áras Mhuire.

When MMM withdrew from the Seminary in 1980, Sr. Anne helped out with fund-raising activities in Chicago for several months before returning to Ireland that same year to undergo surgery, which was followed by a period of convalescence.  In 1981 she was sufficiently recovered to return to the U.S.A. and was assigned to the Novitiate Community in Brighton as Bursar, later moving to Somerville where she was also the Bursar.

Sr. Anne returned to Ireland in 1992, where she lived first as a member of Ashleigh Heights Community and later as a member of Mell Community in Drogheda.

Sr. Anne was admitted to Aras Mhuire in 2004 because of failing health, and her condition gradually deteriorated over the next two years.  The latter months of her life must have been very difficult for her.  She had always been a very sociable person and her inability to communicate sometimes led to tears of helplessness.  She slipped away peacefully on the morning of 22nd May 2006; her tears wiped away as she entered into her new life with her 'Beloved'.