Congregational Register No: 30
First Profession: 08.09.1942
Died: 08.05.2000 Aged: 91 years
Chrissie Gogan from Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath, came in contact with MMM when Mother Mary’s car got a puncture driving through Dunshaughlin. While the wheel was being changed, the Gogan family kindly invited Mother into their home for a cup of tea – and the rest is history!
Sr. M. de Lourdes entered MMM on 11 February 1940, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Already a qualified general nurse, trained in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, she did her midwifery training in Drogheda following first profession.
In 1945, she was assigned to Nigeria where, apart from two separate two-year breaks in Ireland, she toiled unceasingly in Hansen’s disease (leprosy) settlements in Ogoja and Abakaliki and in the hospitals in Nkalagu, Ndubia and Afikpo. She kept everything spotless, as far as possible. One memory is of her of constantly hand-washing the hospital blankets in cold water, no easy task! She was also regional superior in Nigeria for many years. She had a retiring personality and leadership was not a natural quality of hers, but she was known for her great kindness and understanding.
During 1948 – 49, de Lourdes helped with the distribution in England of MMM’s first missionary film, Visitation. She is seen in the film dressing the foot of a person with leprosy. This always brought her into the spotlight, which she smiled away in quiet embarrassment! Footlights would never have been one of Sr. de Lourdes’ choices!
Following her final return to Ireland in 1969, she worked in the nurses’ hostel and the central sterilising departments and was later assigned to Waterford as superior for five years. Prior to becoming a member of the Áras Mhuire community, de Lourdes was on convent duties in Beechgrove. Her special responsibility was hospitality and the care of the bedrooms. She always had a warm welcome for MMMs who came looking for a bed for the night!
Her deafness increased during her latter years, which made it a lonely time for her, but those coming to visit her were always greeted with her lovely smile.
Sr. de Lourdes died in Áras Mhuire on 8 May 2000, and is buried in Drogheda.