Congregational Register No. 420
First Profession 28.10.1958
Died: 04.01.2001 Aged: 80 years
Mary Stack was born in Fermoy, Co. Cork. Her family moved to Maryboro, Co. Laois, while Mary was a child. She trained as a general nurse after leaving school in 1937 and also became a registered tuberculosis nurse. She nursed for many years before joining MMM in 1955.
While still in initial formation, Sr. Mary, known at this time as Sr. Marie Helena, worked in the MMM nursing home in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and in Drogheda. She studied midwifery in 1963-64 before being assigned to the Clinica Mediterranea in Naples, Italy. This was only a two-year assignment. She was recalled to Ireland and sent in 1967 to Malawi as nurse tutor in St. John’s Hospital, Mzuzu. Back in Ireland in 1972, she was assigned as night sister in the hospital in Drogheda and also spent some time in administration in Mayday Hospitals, Croydon, London.
In 1974 she was re-assigned to Malawi and worked for six years in administration with the Private Hospitals Association of Malawi. During this time she lived alone, far from a MMM community and missed community life greatly. Returning to Ireland in 1981, she spent a short time in the MMM Social Communications Department in Dublin, before moving to Drogheda and working in the MMM Archives until shortly before her death. She also helped with mission awareness work in the USA in 1982. During this time she served on the Committee of Irish Church Archivists, an ecumenical venture.
When in charge of the school of nursing in Malawi, Sr. Mary was noted for her discipline and order. Nevertheless, she had a merry laugh and a good sense of humour. She was a kind, generous and prayerful person, qualities that deepened as she grew older. Mary also had excellent dress sense and always looked well groomed. She was an active member of the Drogheda Gardening Club, the Old Drogheda Historical Society and the Louth Archaeological Society. She always enjoyed attending their various lectures and outings. She served as leader in St. Patrick’s Community in Drogheda for two terms.
One of Sr. Mary’s legacies to MMM was the creation of the Mother Mary Memorial Room in Beechgrove, a much-loved small museum of artefacts from Mother Mary’s life and the early days of the congregation. This was set up between 1984-86.
Sr. Mary died in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, after a short final illness. She is buried in Drogheda.