Quinn, Sr. Miriam Therese

Quinn, Sr. Miriam Therese

Nationality: British
Congregational Register No: 522
D.O.B. 22.07.1916
First Profession: 04.04.1956
Died: 12.09.2008 Aged: 92 years

Theresa Quinn was born in Liverpool, England, which she laughingly referred to as the capital of Ireland.  She was educated at St. John the Evangelist Parochial School and Notre Dame Collegiate School in Liverpool, where she passed her school certificate and obtained qualifications in shorthand, typing and bookkeeping.  She worked as a shorthand typist from 1936 to 1946, first in England in a produce broker’s office and then in Wales for the Ministry of Food.  At the end of WWII, her excellent secretarial skills enabled her to work in Germany for the United Nations Relocation and Rehabilitation Organisation, helping the tens of thousands of displaced and stateless persons in Europe to find new lives.  In 1948, Theresa went to Canada and worked for the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Toronto before moving to Schenectady, New York, in 1952, where she worked as a stenographer for the American Locomotive Company.

In spite of her successful career and active and varied life, Theresa felt a nagging desire for religious life. Following the advice of a good friend, a Benedictine monk, and after a period of discernment, she entered MMM in Winchester, Massachusetts, in 1953 and took the name Sr. Miriam Therese.

Sr. Miriam Therese was called upon to serve in many different MMM houses: in Ireland and the USA, as well as in her beloved Tanzania.  Her secretarial and bookkeeping skills were highly regarded and much sought after.  She had a talent for languages, too, and her Kiswahili was fluent enough for her to be able to type in the language.  This was invaluable in helping her relate to and communicate with the local people and the diocese. She was the bishop’s secretary and bursar in Mbulu Diocese for several years. In Dareda she was also involved with the nursing school. She did secretarial work and gave English lessons to the student nurses.

Sr. Miriam Therese was very musical. She had a beautiful singing voice that soared to the heavens during Mass and the Divine Office. She could also play the organ. She was a perfectionist in her work. Miariam made a bit of medical history in Ireland by being the first person to have both knees replaced!  She told one Sister that she had had a very interesting life!

Sr. Miriam Therese retired to Drogheda when her health declined. She found retirement frustrating at times, but following a slight stroke, she emerged with great serenity.  In 2005 she transferred to Aras Mhuire, where she was greatly loved by the staff and residents.  She was a very gracious lady who loved her family and had a special bond with her ‘baby sister’, Rose.

Sr. Miriam Therese died peacefully on12 September 2008 after a few days of illness, a ‘good and faithful servant’.