Congregational Register No: 200
First Profession: 08.09.1950
Died: 13.09.2008 Aged: 83 years
Mary (Minnie to her family) Twomey came from an Irish-speaking farming family in Macroon, Co. Cork. She had two brothers and one sister. She worked in a hotel in Cork before entering MMM in 1948, when she took the name Sr. Mary Zita.
Sr. Zita was a small, slight woman with a very big heart, who was always willing to do whatever the congregation wanted her to do, or go where it wanted her to go. Her greatest desire was to be trained as a nurse but she had to wait many years before her wish was granted. In the years prior to her state registered nurse (SRN) training she worked in Ireland, the USA and Nigeria. She gave of herself tirelessly and was much loved and appreciated wherever she was.
In 1977, Sr. Zita finally got the opportunity to become an SRN. After she qualified in 1980 she put it to good use in various parts of Nigeria for the next nineteen years.
Sr. Zita was a generous and loving person with a great gift for hospitality. Many priests and Sisters went out of their way to visit her and avail of her hospitality. She gave her all, believing that ‘good will always come back to you.’
Sr. Zita loved the people of Nigeria and they loved her. The parish priest of St. Charles, Obudu, Rev Fr. Norbert Modi, said, ‘Rev. Sr. Zita has worked in Obudu for decades. Her name and image will remain stamped and ever green in the memories of those tuberculous and leprosy patients whose suffering she worked so tirelessly to alleviate … May God bless her and grant her, her heart’s desire.’
Increasingly frail health finally forced Zita to leave her beloved Nigeria and return to Ireland in 1999.
In February 2008, Sr. Zita was admitted to Áras Mhuire. She had been there several times but had always returned to her community in Beechgrove. This time her condition worsened and the move became permanent. As always, her gentle disposition endeared her to everyone. Although her days were not pain free, she was always patient, undemanding and conscious of the needs of others. Her family brought her great joy. Her sister Sheila and her five children were very good to Zita. They frequently drove up from Cork to visit her, often bringing the great-nieces and nephews too. Sr. Zita’s nephews drove up to Drogheda on 12 September 2008, arriving late in the evening. Zita died peacefully at 1.50 a.m. on the 13th, with her nephews, MMM Sisters and staff by her side.