Cronin, Sr. M. Frances
Congregational Register No: 14
First Profession: 17.03.1941
Died: 17.01.2000 Aged: 93 years
Sr. M. Frances was the first widow to enter MMM. Her maiden name was Ellen Costelloe and her husband was John P. Cronin. She was married only a few years before becoming a widow in 1937. She entered MMM on 15 August 1938. She had met Mother Mary at a missionary exhibition in Cork during her midwifery training, and that was it!
With so many wonderful years to her credit, her ministry was varied. After novitiate in Collon and first profession she set sail for Nigeria, travelling on a troop ship in convoy. Europe was then at war and the journey took thirteen weeks.
She filled many roles in Nigeria and is remembered as a great person for getting things done. She was then assigned to the new mission in Angola in 1955. She learned Portuguese for her work in Angola and would still use it in greeting other Portuguese speakers right up to the time of her death. Failing health brought her back to Ireland in 1966, but not to inactivity.
She worked hard all her life but could still enjoy many things, especially a singsong with her accordion. When in Beechgrove, Drogheda, she assumed an annual task of painting the wooden garden seats, not only beautifying them but also helping to preserve them. The paintbrush was often in her hands in the other houses where she lived!
She is remembered in her last years as being very grateful for any little service done, and almost always had her Rosary beads in her hands. She kept in constant contact with relatives and friends. Each Christmas during her last years, when unable to write herself, she would dictate up to thirty letters to one of the Sisters who had offered to assist her.
Sr. M. Frances died in Áras Mhuire, Drogheda and is buried in Drogheda.