A wonderful ministry in Kilmacow
Over a number of years in Kilmacow, Co. Kilkenny, needs had been seen for vulnerable and elderly people in the area to have a secure place to live. When the Presentation Sisters left the town after many years of teaching, their convent became available as a 'home from home' for those at risk. In response to a request for Sisters to come to care for their health needs, MMMs first went to Rosedale in 1987.
The main concern was that the residents would still be involved with the local community. They would be able to go to the church, shop, visit their neighbours, etc. Rosedale was to be the people's home.
Over the years a total of twenty-six MMMs went to Rosedale. They looked after all aspects of the running of the home, including buying provisions, getting medicines, and bringing residents to doctors and to hospital. Caring for the residents was their primary focus. As more people came to stay, more staff were hired and building was always in progress. Five bedrooms were added to the residence. Later, sixteen bungalows were built for elderly people wishing to retire in Kilmacow.
However, by 2011 our personnel situation suggested that we could no longer provide the services needed and we began to work towards withdrawal. The decision was reinforced by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) in March 2012, which required Rosedale to be registered as a Centre for the elderly. The Sisters there could not meet this obligation.
The celebration of MMM's twenty-five years in Kilmacow and a farewell Eucharist took place on 21 October 2012 in Kilmacow Parish Church. MMMs travelled from Drogheda and Dublin for this event and most of the Sisters who had worked in Rosedale were present.
Sister Joanne Bierl and Sister Dervilla O'Donnell spoke on behalf of our Central Leadership Team and European Area, respectively, about MMM's many happy years in Rosedale and the Parish of Kilmacow. Parishioners and members of the Rosedale Management Committee also spoke. The Sisters who had served in Kilmacow were held in high esteem and remembered with great affection and gratitude. They had been an integral part of the life of the community.
While we are sad to leave, we are grateful for having been part of a mission in Ireland that serves the elderly and vulerable. We are also grateful that the HIQA inspectors have recommended that Rosedale be registered as a Centre for the Elderly. Mr. Liam Dalton, the management committee, and the staff of Rosedale worked very hard to achieve this goal.
A committed and caring staff is in place and management committee members are actively involved in the home and its future. Rosedale continues in good hands and MMM moves on to new pastures. That is the way of missionaries.