13 June 1931- 11 March 2022
Sr. Úna was born in Dublin in 1931. Her family were Irish-speaking and all her early education in Dublin was in Irish. This love of the Irish language stayed with her all her life. After leaving school, she joined MMM, aged eighteen. After her initial religious formation, Úna went to do Nursing, first in Drogheda and then in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin as was customary at that time. On the completion of her general training, she then studied midwifery in Drogheda.
Fully qualified, Úna spent a short time as a staff nurse in the I.M.T.H. Hospital (now Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital) before setting out on her first missionary assignment overseas. This was to Nigeria, first to Abakaliki and the to Afikpo. She held a variety of roles, including matron.
In 1963, Úna was asked to return to Ireland to study for her Nurse Tutorship Diploma, a two-year course. On completion, she returned to Nigeria and worked as a Nurse Tutor for the next eighteen years, in Afikpo and Anua, with only a short period in Ireland, helping out as a Nurse Tutor in Drogheda. Una was well suited to Nurse Training and had a tremendous gift of bringing out the best in her students and helping them to dedicate their knowledge to the well-being of the patient.
In 1988, Sr. Úna returned to Drogheda, this time to care for our sick and elderly Sisters in the Infirmary. During this period in Ireland, she also worked as a Nurse Tutor in Drogheda and with her experience and knowledge helped with the setting-up and furnishing of our newly built Aras Mhuire Nursing Home.
Úna was best known for her gentle, out-going personality. She had a beautiful singing voice and quietly showed her concern and interest in the needs of the other Sisters, patients and staff.
In 1994, Úna returned to Africa. This time the call is to East Africa, where they badly needed a Nurse Tutor. She spent six years in Malawi at St. John’s Hospital, Mzuzu and another six years in Ethiopia at St. Luke’s in Wolisso before finally retiring to Ireland in 2007.
In Ireland, Úna spent six years in the Artane community in Dublin before finally coming to Beechgrove in 2013. In December 2018, she moved to Aras Mhuire for extra care, but her death came unexpectedly and suddenly in the early hours of March 11th, 2022. The staff were with her as she quietly slipped away.
22nd September 1933 – 22nd February 2022
Sr. M. Trinitas, baptized Margaret McMullan, was born in Belfast, N. Ireland. She came from a large family and started primary school in Belfast. However, the Second World War had started by this time and, to avoid the bombings, Margaret’s parents decided to move her and her siblings to stay with relatives in Lurgan, a more rural area and safer. It was in Lurgan that Margaret finished her education and then returned to Belfast to study nursing and midwifery.
Margaret entered MMM in 1961, aged 28, and taking the name Sr. Mary Trinitas. After her initial religious formation, and because she was already a trained nurse and midwife, she was assigned immediately to Nigeria. Here she found great fulfilment and happiness; she was Matron in many of the hospitals where she worked. Her total time in Nigeria came to thirty-nine years and she only returned to Ireland when she was needed back home for another ministry.
Sr. Trinitas’s first community in Nigeria was in Ikot Ene, followed by Eleta, Ibadan, Ogoja and finally Itam VVF Hospital. Everywhere she went she brought her good humour and her practical common-sense way of getting things done.
When she retired from Nigeria aged 70, it was only to take up another appointment back in Drogheda as Clinic Sister, looking after the sick or elderly Sisters. This appointment lasted for over ten years before she finally retired. In retirement she would help out with guests, reception duties, and, in her spare time, played a good game of bridge!
Sr. Trinitas had a sister, Sr. Anne, who joined the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa and, in later life, is based in Dundalk, not far from Drogheda. They often visited each other and enjoyed both the family experience as well as all the missionary connections.
Sr. Trinitas’s health deteriorated slowly during 2021 and after a spell in hospital she was transferred to Aras Mhuire Nursing home where she died peacefully on February 22nd 2022. Her family and some of the Sisters were with her as she died. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Sister Jeane Lynch MMM, died peacefully at Sancta Maria Nursing Care Facility in Cambridge, MA on December 11, 2022.
Given the name Jeane Cecile Lynch, she was the third of four children born to Mary Madeline (Fitzpatrick) Lynch and John Edward Lynch on April 24, 1936.
Jeane’s early years were lived with her family in Saginaw, Michigan. When she finished high school, she moved to Kansas to attend the Ursuline College earning an Associate Degree in Arts. It was at this school that she came across a leaflet about the Medical Missionaries of Mary and began the discernment that would eventually lead her to enter MMM on September 17, 1955 and made Perpetual Profession of Vows on March 17, 1964.
During her novitiate in Winchester, Jeane was eager to grow in her relationship with God and share her many talents with the community. Her flare for music and ability to play the organ were welcomed gifts.
Immediately following the novitiate, Jeane enrolled at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Boston School of Tropical Medicine and then transferred to Emmanuel College in Boston where she earned her BA in Biology. After these studies, she spent a year at the MMM International Missionary Training Hospital (IMTH) in Drogheda, Ireland where she gained more experience in biochemistry before being assigned to Dareda Hospital in Tanzania.
Jeane lived a full life mostly in Tanzania and the USA with stints in Sudan and Ethiopia. She excelled in Lab Technology, Tropical Medicine, earning a master’s degree in Epidemiology and then a Dr. of Sc. in Hygiene (Epidemiology) from Tulane University. She was a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Jeane administered numerous projects in nutrition education, supervision of village health care workers while also engaging in social services for the poor. Throughout her years in the USA Jeane was engaged in Vocation Ministry; was a Red Cross Volunteer as well as being a care giver for her mother in Florida for several years. In later years, Jeane transitioned to the ministry of pastoral care/counselling. She became an active member of the Boston Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), completed a Facilitator Training Course and spent a number of years as a support group facilitator for DBSA.
Jeane would be the first to help anyone, at any time, in any place! She also had a great sense of humor and a brilliant smile reflecting all the love and kindness within. Wherever she was Jeane made a difference in the lives of those whom she met.
She spent the last years of life living our MMM Healing Charism at Sancta Maria Nursing Care Facility, grateful for the skilled and loving care she received. She lived as she always had, simply and respectfully. She was esteemed and dear to other residents who elected her Vice President of the Residents’ Counsel. We were told that the staff so loved Jeane that everyone wanted to be assigned to her care.
Preceding Jeane in death were her parents, her older sister, Margaret, and younger brother, Joe. She leaves behind her oldest brother, Jack Lynch, a widower and many loving and devoted nieces and nephews as well her MMM Sisters, MMM Associates and many friends. May her dear soul rest in the peace of Christ.
Sr. Ann McLaughlin was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in August 1931. She was the daughter of John McLaughlin and Margaret Sheils. After attending a local primary school, she went to St. Louis Convent, Monaghan, for her secondary education which she completed with a successful Leaving Certificate.
Sr. Ann joined MMM in 1951 when she was 19 years of age. While Sr. Ann was a novice, a fire broke out in the Novitiate building in Drogheda, and she would have been one of the Sisters left homeless and depending on the hospitality of the people of Drogheda at that time. When she finished her initial formation period she was assigned to Naples, Italy, a new foundation.
During her time in Naples Sr. Ann studied Nursing and afterwards worked a year in England to be accepted on the British Register. She then trained in Drogheda in Midwifery.
In 1974, she went to Kenya, to the Turkana Desert, where MMM had originally coped with a famine situation and by then were setting up rural health centres. Seeing the need for community health education, Sr. Ann went to Nairobi and did a specialist course in Public Health in 1976/1977.
Sr. Ann spent almost twenty ears in Kenya, working mostly in Kakuma, Kipsaraman and Subukia. In 1993. She was known for her innovative ideas and the ability to carry them through and for her kindness. She returned to Ireland and began work in the Communications Department in Dublin doing promotion work and fund-raising. Her other responsibility for a time was as Vocation Directress in Ireland.
Ann was an out-going, bubbly personality, a great storyteller, and someone who was close to her family and very proud of them all. She was also very fond of her hometown, Derry.
For many years in her later life, Sr. Ann did not enjoy good health and suffered from arthritic pain. But she still managed to do some volunteer work in prison ministry and kept the books for her local community. She enjoyed games such as bingo and Scrabble.
She finally moved to Drogheda in 2017 and to Aras Mhuire Nursing Home in 2018. She enjoyed life in Aras Mhuire and received good care there. Her health further deteriorated slowly, and she was finally called home to God on January 9th, 2023. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Drogheda.
02th March, 1928—01st October, 2021
Sr. Fergal was born in Portarlington, County Laois, the daughter of Vera (née Whelan) and Michael Kenna. She was baptised Mary Josephine and was known as Mary. Her early education was with the Mercy Sisters in Monasterevan and from there she joined the Civil Service and worked for fifteen years in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. She enjoyed the work but always felt called to do more with her life. A chance encounter with Mother Mary Martin in the Post Office in Balbriggan where Mary worked changed the whole course of her life.
Mother Mary was trying unsuccessfully to use the public phone and Mary went to help her. They got chatting and the subject of the Medical Missionaries of Mary Congregation came up. Mary liked what she heard, but was not sure if her qualifications would be useful. Yet another chance encounter solved that problem when she met Sr. Anita Marshall MMM on a mission appeal who was a qualified secretary and bursar. Mary then realised that the Healing Ministry needs people of all qualifications and that she too could be an MMM.
She entered on 3rd October, 1960, at the age of 32, taking the name of Fergal and has led a wonderful, fulfilled life ever since. After her initial religious formation, her administrative skills were put to good use, both in the Convent and in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Her first overseas missionary assignment was to Kitale in Kenya where she held a variety of roles, Financial Administrator and Sister in Charge for six years.
She then moved to Uganda where the AIDS pandemic was rampant and where the Sisters did their utmost to bring the disease under control and to care for the many victims and the large number of orphans. Fergal was the Bursar there for twelve years, and was also involved in the lives and needs of the staff and local people and was very popular. She retired from Africa in 1993, but being an active woman never really retired.
Based in Dublin, she looked after the finances in both Artane and Raheny communities. But she was also deeply involved in Creative Writing, Adult Literacy, keeping in touch with all kinds of people. She was a lovely woman, outgoing and friendly, helpful and interested in everyone she met and never forgot a name or a face. She was a caring member of any community of which she was a part. She was also very entertaining and at a party or a social gathering always contributed a party piece, be it a poem, a story or a yarn.
Fergal’s health began to deteriorate gradually and on 28th August, 2019, she transferred to Beechgrove for the extra care available. She was a serene and quietly joyful asset to the large community. Sadly, she developed serious health challenges and was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Her condition deteriorated and she died peacefully at 12.15 am on the Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions, and the first day of our General Chapter in Ghana – a most fitting day to die!
Rose Gunn, born in July 1930, was the only child of Thomas O’Neil Gunn and Catherine (née Lannan) Gunn. She was born in Edinburgh but grew up in Tranent, a small town just a few miles away from the city. Her early education was local and her secondary education was in Edinburgh.
Her first contact with MMM was through the film “The Visitation” shown in her parish by Mother Reparatrice (Sr. Anne Moran MMM) which impressed Rose greatly. With the guidance of a Fr. Kenneth Lavin C.P. she finally entered MMM on 02/02/1951 when the Congregation was 14 years old.
Before joining MMM, Rose worked for a time in a local nursery school while she was discerning her vocation to religious life. After her initial religious formation, at this time known as Sr. M. Gemma Galgani, began her nursing studies. As was customary at that time, she did the first part of her nursing course in Drogheda and completed it in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin. Then she went on to study midwifery in Drogheda.
Almost immediately after finishing her studies, Rose was assigned to Nigeria in 1959. Here she worked as a ward sister in Ikom and Anua before finally assuming the responsibility of Matron in Urua Akpan. After only four years, she was asked to return to Ireland. Mother Mary was undertaking a new project in Italy and Rose was to be one of the founding members. While she was awaiting events to unfold, she helped out with Mission Awareness in parishes in Ireland and also worked as a staff nurse in the hospital in Drogheda.
In 1964, the new venture in Rome was started. It was called Clinica Moscati and Rose was one of the ward sisters. Due to administrative concerns, MMM withdrew in 1966 and at this time Rose moved to Naples where the MMM was already staffing Clinica Mediterranea. Rose loved Italy and got on very well with the Italian culture. She spoke Italian fluently, with a Scottish accent, no doubt! Rose continued in Naples for eleven years until MMM withdrew from Italy all together.
By this time, Rose’s parents were elderly, and as an only child, she felt she had a responsibility of care. For a short period, she was able to do some renewal programmes and helped in the Motherhouse, but then spent a more extended period in Scotland, looking after her mother first, and then her father. She did manage a professional upgrading course (Health Visitor) and a short time in Lagos, Nigeria, pioneering a community Health Care Project.
Since 1987, Rose has been based in the Motherhouse in Drogheda. She was active in the Stamp Department for many years and looked after guests when they arrived. At this time she also became involved with the Focolare movement and attended many gatherings with them.
Rose was an unassuming outgoing person who was helpful to everyone. She participated fully in the Liturgy and all other activities of the house.
As her health failed, she moved to Aras Mhuire in 2020 and died peacefully there on December 30th, 2022.
Sr. Teresita, baptised Caroline Mary, was born in Beauparc, Co. Meath, in March 1926. She was educated locally and reached university entrance level before joining MMM in 1947.
After her initial religious formation, she worked in the Our Lady of Lourdes Maternity Hospital for a year before starting her studies in Dublin at the National University for a B.Sc. She trained as a biochemist and laboratory technician in both Holles Street Hospital, Dublin, and in Drogheda.
Soon after completing her studies, Sr. Teresita was assigned to Nigeria. She went to Nigeria in 1959 and only left finally in 1996. During these years in Nigeria, she worked in several hospitals, Anua, Urua Akpan, Afikpo and Ondo. When needed, especially in the stressful years following the Civil War, she combined the role of biochemist in the laboratory and in the pharmacy as well.
Sr. Teresita was a good community member. She was sharp, intelligent and could hold her own in a debate. She had a kindness which expressed itself quietly. One Sister remembers her visiting the hospital wards at night, in case there was anyone who was hungry. She would feed them.
In 1996, Sr. Teresita returned to Ireland and went to live in the MMM community in Crumlin, Dublin. She was involved in visiting the elderly and sick in the parish and was also involved in some pro-life work. In 2013 she moved to the Motherhouse in Drogheda and became an active member of the community. She helped out in the Sacristy and the Stamp Department. She also visited the more elderly in Aras Mhuire. She loved bridge, a game she learnt during her time in Nigeria and was a good player.
As her health began to fail, her care needs increased. In December 2021 she became a resident in Moorehall Lodge Nursing Home on a temporary basis, and returned to Aras Mhuire in early April 2022. Unfortunately, her health began to fail and she was called home to God in the early hours of April 22nd. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Sr. Mairead Carroll, born in 1931, was baptised Margaret Teresa Mary. She came from Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo where she had all of her early education in St. Louis Convent school including her Leaving Certificate in 1949. She was one of six children, but has only one living sibling, her sister, Mary.After a few years at home, she came to Dublin to study pharmacy and them worked for some years in retail pharmacies before joining MMM in 1961.
After her initial religious formation, she went to work in the International Missionary Training Hospital (IMTH) in Drogheda. But her time there was short because she was called to go to Spain for two years, to a hospital run by MMM at that time in Leon. There she did work both in the pharmacy and the medical laboratory. Unfortunately, she had to return to Ireland because of ill health.
While in Ireland, she returned again to the IMTH before heading off to Tanzania. For ten years she gave a wonderful service in our hospitals there, in Makiungu, Dareda and Namanyere. In 1981, she was asked to go to Uganda, again as the pharmacist in our hospital in Masaka.
Sadly, in 1983, due to ill health, Sr. Mairead had to leave Africa. She retrained in pastoral care and worked as a Chaplain for some years in the IMTH and later in Dublin in a social project for the Homeless, run by the Franciscans in Merchant’s Quay.
Sr. Mairead was a soft-spoken, quiet Sister with a wonderful smile. She had a lovely singing voice and took part in MMM recordings during her time in Drogheda. She was a kind person, known for her unobtrusive, gentle counsel to those in need. The work in pastoral care seemed to suit her personality well.
In 2014, Sr. Mairead returned to Drogheda because of ill health. At first, she was in Aras Mhuire following a fall, but then became part of the Motherhouse community. In 2017, she returned to Aras Mhuire for extra nursing care and died in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital on February 9th, 2022. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Sister Patricia was born in Dunboyne, Co. Meath in February 1933. She had her early education locally and then went on to study in Dublin in book-keeping and secretarial skills. She entered MMM in 1958. Even during her initial religious formation, Sister Patricia was already working in the I.M.T.H. (Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital) in Stores and later in administration. Soon after her First Profession, she switched over to the Lourdes Maternity Hospital where she worked as a medical secretary and in charge of records.
Sr. Patricia was a good administrator and remained in this role in the Maternity Hospital for over seven years. During the time of the Extraordinary General Chapter (1969-70) she was relieved of her role in the hospital to work with the Central Preparatory Commission for the upcoming Chapter. She did some early work in compiling Mother Mary’s letters and early drafts of the Constitutions.For two years after this Chapter, she went to Airmount Hospital in Waterford, again as Administrator.
It was in 1971 that Sr. Patricia finally achieved her desire for an overseas mission. She went to Kabanga and over the next almost thirty years spent time in Kabanga, Namanyere and Dareda as Hospital Administrator. She did not have good health at times, and needed some time at home on sick leave. She also spent some time in Ireland caring for her elderly mother.
Sr. Patricia was known for her kindness and gentleness. She had very high principles and was most reliable. She was thorough and noted for her attention to detail. In some ways she was strict, but the Staff appreciated her as they knew she was just and fair in all her dealings with them. She was always attentive when approached for help and was compassionate to those in need. She had a good sense of humour and was full of fun and loved to relax with Sisters. She bore her periods of ill health with fortitude. She also enjoyed being a part of the local parish wherever she lived.
In December 2000, Sr. Patricia was involved in a traffic accident which was serious enough to cause her farewell to Tanzania and her return to Ireland. After a year of recovery, she undertook secretarial duties in the Motherhouse and, over time, became Sacristan as well. As her health deteriorated, she finally retired in 2019 and went to live in Aras Mhuire Nursing Home for the nursing care she needed. She died peacefully there on February 27th, 2022. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery.