Editor’s Note: This week, leading up to the anniversary of Mother Mary’s death on January 27th, we hear the stories of some of our early MMM Sisters, of how they met Mother Mary, and of how their lives changed.
Sr. Patrick Leydon MMM (1907-2001) Ireland 22.01.2024
“I went to work in Kiltegan in 1930 and was secretary to Mgr. Whitney who was establishing St. Patrick’s Missionary Society. It was there that I met Mother Mary for the first time. As she passed through the office, Mgr. Whitney introduced me to her and later I went to visit her at her family home in Monkstown. My first impression of Mother Mary was that she had a serious countenance; that she was thinking of something big, a woman of vision, of faith in God.
I was very happy in Kiltegan because I was involved in missionary work, but then I heard more about what Mother Mary was thinking of, so I was anxious to meet her. This I did in 1934. On March 19th of the same year, I found myself in Glenstal, Co. Limerick, as Mother Mary saw the need of monks there as an opportunity to help advance her own idea of a missionary Congregation. In exchange for help in running the newly founded monastery, the secondary school and the arts and crafts school, the monks had agreed to give religious formation to Mother Mary and the members of the new Congregation.
For many months I found myself on my own. Mother Mary had arrangements and plans to take care of, plus the fact that she was hospitalized for some time due to an accident when a radiator fell on her toes. It was in February the following year that I got my best letter from her. The news was a Miss O’Rourke, later Sr. Magdalen, was coming to join me. Full of joy, I set out in a pony and trap to meet her at Boher station. We came back and had lunch together and then we went to the chapel and sang the Magnificat in thanksgiving for Miss O’Rourke’s arrival and prayed that Mother Mary would come back to us soon. It was August of 1935 that Mother Mary rejoined us and along with her came our third member, Miss Moynagh, later known as Sr. M. Joseph.”