Quinn, Sr. Mary

Quinn, Sr. Mary

Sr. Mary QuinnCongregational Register No. 69
D.O.B. 03.11.1923
First Profession 08.09.1944
Died: 10.08.2005
Aged: 81 years

Mary Quinn came from Waterford. She was one of six sisters and one brother. She made up her mind before her eighteenth birthday that she wanted to be an MMM and never wavered from that point on. She entered MMM in January 1942, not long after her eighteen birthday, and took the name Sr. Mary Redemptoris.

Sr. Redemptoris suffered from some ill health during her early years in MMM and undertook mainly light house duties when she was able. By the early 1950’s with her health improved, she was made superior in the Clinica Mediterranea in Naples, Italy, a post she held for several years. She returned to Ireland in 1959 after being appointed bursar general. She served in this role for four years and became a member of the Institute of Hospital Administrators. A further episode of illness again necessitated light duties. She helped with Peg’s Corner in the magazine during 1964.

Mary obtained a B.Sc. in social work at University College Dublin, and later a master’s degree. She spent a further year as Sister-in-charge in Naples before returning to Ireland, where she worked in administration in the Motherhouse. In 1975 she started in the hospital in Drogheda as a senior social worker, eventually becoming head social worker in 1987. She served in this position until she retired from the hospital in 1992.

Mary was a caring and gentle individual, who had a deep concern and love for people, especially the poor and those in need. In her work she cared for single mothers, alcoholics and drug addicts, many of whom she visited in prison. Her loving care and compassion extended beyond the ‘9 to 5’ job. She was frequently seen loading up her car with food and other necessaries and driving off to help someone. She never spoke of this ministry. Mary took care of needs quietly, with true Benedictine discretion.

She was a wonderful person to have in community, too. She had a simple manner and was interested in all that was going on. Mary had a special love for gardens and flowers and kept her own large oval flowerbed stocked with lovely blooms.

Mary had been unwell for a few weeks before she was transferred to Áras Mhuire in 2005. During the short time she was there she often asked staff members, ‘Can I help you?

Her peaceful death followed a few days after she suffered a stroke on 7 August. The staff and a number of MMMs were at Mary’s bedside when she went to God.