McDonagh, Sr. Brigid

McDonagh, Sr. Brigid

Sister Brigid was born in Dublin in 1935. An only child, she lost both of her parents when she was young. Her aunts and uncles were very good to her and she was very close to her cousins. She completed her early education in Dublin and joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary in 1953.
After profession she trained as a pharmacist. She then studied theology in Rome and spent the next six years in Drogheda guiding women in their early stages in MMM.

In 1969, with Sister Sheila Lenehan, Sister Brigid pioneered MMM’s first mission in Latin America, in São Paulo, Brazil. She was to spend forty-three years of her life there.

For the first twenty years she was involved in community-based health care and pastoral work. In 1987 she trained in spiritual direction. This served her well in guiding junior professed MMMs and in pastoral ministry with women’s groups. She helped the women in income-generating activities, which enabled them to be self-supporting and built their self esteem. For twenty years she was regional coordinator of these women’s groups. She trained catechists for small Christian communities.

When Brigid left Brazil in 2012 because of poor health, the bishop gave her his cross with his name engraved on it.  He said, “This cross expresses the pain and suffering of so many people that you…have welcomed into your arms as a mother.  The cross means life and resurrection.  You, Brigid, are a sign of that experience with your missionary commitment.”

Sister Brigid returned to Ireland in 2012 and stayed in Áras Mhuire in Drogheda. She died in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital on 6 August 2014.

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