Congregational Register No: 51
First Profession: 06.01.1945
Died: 21.01.2007 Aged: 84 years
Mary Rose Pierse was born into a farming family in Ballinonig, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland. She had four brothers, two of whom became priests, and one sister. Mary Rose was educated by the Presentation Sisters in Tralee and did her leaving certificate, which she passed with honours, at the Loreto School in Killarney. In May 1941, when she was nineteen years old, she left her family to travel to Dublin and join the relatively new Congregation of the Medical Missionaries of Mary.
Sr. M. Rosaria started in pre-medicine at University College Dublin but following formation it was felt that Sr. Rosaria would be better suited to study radiography. She qualified as a radiographer in 1947 and spent the next fifteen years working in the radiology department of IMTH, with short spells at Clonmel and Rosemount between 1957 and 1959.
Late in 1962 she travelled to Nigeria for her first overseas mission at Anua, where she worked in the x-ray department of St. Luke’s Hospital. She was there until 1966. She went to Leon in Spain for a year and returned to Nigeria in 1967. She worked in Ibadan, Anua and Ikot Ekpene before returning to Ireland for a short period during the Biafran War. She was back in Nigeria in 1970 and worked in the x-ray Department at Afikpo. She was also relief Sister-in-charge at various times in Ibadan, Abakaliki and Anua. Sr. Rosaria left Nigeria in 1976 and spent the remainder of her life in Ireland.
Sr. Rosaria was a multi-talented woman. She became an ultrasound technician and embraced complementary care, including reflexology and natural healing therapies. She even made an appearance on the Late, Late Show, a very popular Irish television show, and ‘reflexed’ Gay Byrne, the host of the show!
Sr. Rosaria was very creative. She made lovely toys for the sale of work each year and created beautiful floral arrangements in the Motherhouse for big occasions. In her later years, Rosaria produced beautiful paintings, which she gave as gifts to her nieces. The creativity of painting brought joy to Rosaria and is treasured by her family members.
Rosaria was an intelligent and discerning woman who had a quiet, capable way of doing things – never any fuss, never looking for praise or attention. She was deeply spiritual, with a love for MMM’s Benedictine heritage. She embraced the charismatic movement and loved to attend the large prayer weekends at the Royal Dublin Society.
Rosaria lived a full and busy life until shortly before her death. “For those who knew her, Rosaria will remain in our hearts and minds as long as memory lasts.”