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.