Congregation Register No: 154
First Profession: 09.08.1948
Died: 18.09.1966 Aged: 39 years
Rita Brigid Quigley, from Buncrana, Co. Donegal, entered MMM on 1 March 1946 in Drogheda. She was one of the many who cycled to and from Rosemount to various Dublin hospitals for general nurse training.
In 1953, Cabrini went to Rome to study Italian at the Blue Sisters’ Hospital. She then took up duty in the Clinica Meditterranea in Naples. In 1959, she was recalled to Drogheda to be assistant novice mistress. She then did a course in Regina Mundi in Rome, followed by a novice mistress’s course. However instead of going into formation, the Apostolic nunciature in Dublin claimed her ministry from 1963 to 1964, after which she returned to staff in the Clinica Meditterranea.
While nursing in Naples, she was on duty when a patient was returned to her bed from theatre with her abdomen held together with only three stitches. Because the patient was so close to death, the medical staff had thought it best to return her to her room as quickly as possible. Sr. Cabrini had a relic of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, which she placed under the woman’s pillow, encouraging the patient and her husband to pray to him. The next morning, the woman was completely cured. This miracle was accepted for Blessed Oliver’s eventual canonisation, and the patient concerned was present at the ceremony.
Known for her deep faith, honesty and fervour, lived out in dedicated service, her life was cut short by accidental drowning in Naples. She had completed her annual retreat on that morning and had been persuaded reluctantly to accompany a small group that was going swimming that day.
She was buried in the cemetery in Naples but when MMM withdrew from ministry there her family, led by her brother, Fr. Paddy Quigley, SPS, had her remains exhumed and interred in the MMM plot in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Drogheda.