Bennett, Sr. Anne Teresa
Congregational Register No: 96
First Profession: 18.03.1946
Died: 22.05.2006 Aged: 87 years
Anne Teresa Bennett was born in Milltownpass in County Westmeath, Ireland. 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. In religion Anne took the name Sr. Mary Annunciata.
Following initial formation, Sr. Annunciata trained as a nurse and midwife in the IMTH in Drogheda and Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin. She was assigned her first overseas mission in 1954 and went to Tanzania, which was 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 there were 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 USA to work in Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, MA. This seminary was for older vocations to the priesthood, who came from all over the USA. Anne worked in the accounts office and as the infirmarian. She really enjoyed this ministry and it 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 USA, 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 year for surgery. In 1981 she returned to the USA and was assigned to the novitiate community in Brighton, MA, as bursar. She later move to Somerville, MA 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 in Mell community in Drogheda.
Sr. Anne was admitted to Áras 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 was sometimes very frustrating. She slipped away peacefully on the morning of 22 May 2006, her tears wiped away as she entered into her new life with her Beloved.