McAweeney, Sr. M. Therese Bernadette

McAweeney, Sr. M. Therese Bernadette

Nationality: Irish
Congregational Register No. 270
D.O.B. 02.10.1921
First Profession 06.04.1953
Died: 12.07.2001 Aged: 79 years

Sr. Therese Bernadette was born in Co. Cavan, but her home place was Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Mary Angela, as she was called then, came from a family of four brothers and three sisters. After her basic schooling, Sr. Therese Bernadette went to England and trained as a general nurse and then as a midwife.

When she was twenty-eight years old, she finally contacted MMM and made arrangement to follow her vocation to religious life. Her dream was missionary life in Africa and this was soon to come to fruition. After her initial formation, Sr. Therese Bernadette was assigned to Nigeria in 1953. Her first assignment was to Abakaliki and Hansen’s disease (leprosy) work. Five years later she moved to Ogoja. Her dedication to the patients with Hansen’s disease and tuberculosis was well recognised over the decades. She had one bout of serious illness herself in 1972, after which she stayed in Ireland for recuperation. However, as soon as medical clearance was obtained, Sr. Therese Bernadette went back as quickly as possible to her beloved Ogoja.

By nature a shy and timid person, she was nevertheless good-humoured and a good companion. She was noted for her gentleness and kindness. She accepted her final return to Ireland in 1995, due to failing health, with the same graciousness that had characterised her whole life.

Her retirement in the Motherhouse was of short duration, and she moved to Áras Mhuire for more intensive nursing care in 1997. Over the years her health failed gradually and her death in July 2001 was not unexpected.

She is buried in Drogheda.

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