O’Connor, Sr. Maureen

O’Connor, Sr. Maureen

Sr Maureen OConnorNationality: Irish
Congregational Register No. 297
D.O.B. 26.01.1932
First Profession 08.09.1954
Died: 29.01.2001 Aged: 69 years

Maureen was born in Dublin, the eldest of ten children. Her family has lovely memories of the times when Maureen was left in charge during their parents’ absence. She was very creative and had a great sense of fun, and while the younger ones might have had some near misses on the garden swing, a great time was had by all!

When Maureen finished secondary school at the Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin, she wanted to enter MMM, but her father insisted that she have other experiences first. She worked as a clerical officer before entering MMM in 1951. Maureen, who was very athletic and loved games, chose a camogie match, a kind of Irish hockey, instead of a farewell party on the evening beforehand.

On completion of her nurse training, Maureen, then known as Sr. M. Colman, was assigned in 1960 to Tanzania and worked at Dareda Hospital. She returned to Ireland and worked for some time in the IMTH, Drogheda, and then qualified as a nurse tutor. She was delighted to go back to Tanzania in 1967. She spent some more years at Dareda and then went to Makiungu in 1974. She was a skilled midwife and an excellent teacher. She loved her students and was always available to give extra time outside of class. Only the Lord knows the impact Maureen’s teaching had on so many of the young women. They still remember her.

In 1984, Maureen left Tanzania for a sabbatical course in Ohio, USA. After only a short time, she suffered a stroke. From this time on, Maureen’s life was a constant letting go, as she embraced the mystery of suffering. The Sisters, nurses and carers who looked after her had much to say about Maureen and how hard she tried to cope with gradual diminishment. During her last two years, she suffered greatly from her inability to communicate her thoughts and needs. Fr. Eamon Monson, SCA, the chief celebrant at her funeral Mass, said in his homily, “These past seventeen years may have been the most significant in her life because it is in the experience of suffering that we come to our most profound experience of God.”

Maureen died in Áras Mhuire, and is buried in Drogheda.

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