Sister Vincent was born Mary Ryan in Dublin in 1924. After completing her secondary education and matriculation, she joined MMM in 1943. After profession she trained as a registered general nurse in the IMTH in Drogheda and in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, graduating in 1952. She then completed her training as a midwife in Drogheda.
After a few months in 1953 as labour ward sister in Drogheda, she was assigned to Nigeria. She was matron and nursing tutor in Afikpo for four years before training as a midwifery tutor in Forest Gate Hospital in London. Vincent returned to Afikpo, where for the next twelve years she was midwifery tutor, matron, and in charge of the maternity section. An excellent midwife, she was always available for emergencies. She was also acting hospital secretary for nine months during the Biafran War.
Sister Deirdre Twomey, who lived in community in Nigeria with her for about fifteen years said, ‘It was a joy to be with her. She was gentle, approachable, patient, wise and understanding. She was an excellent matron and midwifery tutor, highly regarded by her students, two of whom are successfully running the school in her place. She also took us young doctors under her wing. At the height of the civil war in Nigeria she was brave and full of common sense. Her peaceful presence gave strength everywhere.’
In 1970 she returned to Ireland and served in MMM leadership for five years, in charge of personnel, formation and lay missionaries. In 1975 she was appointed midwifery tutor in the IMTH. From 1977 to 1981 she was in charge of the house of studies in Rosemount, Dublin and guided young women in their early years in MMM. She was matron in Waterford Maternity Hospital for two years and then served six more years in MMM leadership for Ireland and England. Sister Vincent was also on the IMTH Board of Management from 1983 to 1997. She was involved in organisational development in the IMTH and was on the building committee for the nursing facility, Áras Mhuire.
Vincent lived in the MMM community in Mell, Drogheda, from 1990 to 2011 and served in leadership there. She moved to the Motherhouse in 2011, and to Áras Mhuire in 2012 for nursing care. When she was able she went on outings and joined in entertainment and activities for the residents. She contributed with her lovely singing voice. She was very artistic and loved to paint and had a great sense of humour.
Sister Vincent’s condition gradually deteriorated and she died peacefully on 4 February 2016.