Congregational Register No. 719
First Profession 03.10.1967
Died: 30/01/2005 Aged: 80 years
Ellen Kenna was born in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. She had one brother and three sisters and was educated at the Mercy Convent, Balleyragget and the Brigidine Convent in Abbeyleix. Some time after leaving school Ellen moved with her family to Dublin. Like many young ladies of the time, Ellen stayed at home for many years, taking care of her parents and the house.
She also worked from 1961 to 1965 as an assistant in a chemist shop.
When Ellen was 40 years of age she met Mother Mary and was attracted to the MMM way of life. She took a year to discern and entered MMM in October 1965, taking the name Sr. M. Nicola. After her initial formation period in Clonmel and Drogheda, she went to work in the IMTH. She helped out in the pharmacy and the laundry and also worked in the Motherhouse in both guests and local promotion work.
Sr. Ellen was assigned to Angola in 1974, first going to Lisbon to study Portuguese. Then in 1975 she was assigned to the USA. She worked in Pope John Seminary in Weston, MA, returning to Ireland in 1980 where she acquired practical experience working with the sight-impaired in Merrion, Dublin (St. Mary’s Home for the Blind). In 1982, she was assigned to Obudu Centre for the Blind in Nigeria, where she worked until 1990. She was happy in her work there, very kind and warm with the patients. She had the scope to make full use of her creative flair, which included an interest in pottery and weaving as well as gardening and flower arranging.
Sr. Ellen returned to Ireland and was assigned to Crumlin community in Dublin where she was engaged in parish visiting. She enjoyed this ministry very much and had a lovely way with people. She was in Kenya from 1994-95, but this was assignment was not successful due to her failing health. After she returned to Ireland, Sr. Ellen worked in the Apostolic nunciature in Dublin until the Sisters withdrew in 1998. She lived in Ashleigh Heights before finally moving to Áras Mhuire in May 2002 because of increasing ill health.
Sr. Ellen struggled with her growing frailty and memory loss as best she could, and was always delighted to receive visitors, especially her sisters and other family members. When her health deteriorated further she was moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for treatment. She died there, very peacefully, on 30 January 2005.