Sister Margaret was born in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim in 1925 and attended her early education in Ballinamore and in Sligo. She qualified as a nurse in the Mater Hospital in Dublin before joining the Medical Missionaries of Mary in 1948. She completed her midwifery training in the IMTH and after profession was assigned to Nigeria.
She spent two and a half years in charge of the maternity hospital in Anua, taught midwifery and was acting matron before training as a nurse tutor in London. She was then ward sister and tutor in the IMTH in Drogheda for two years.
Margaret returned to Nigeria in 1958. She was nursing tutor in Anua for a year and in Afikpo for four years before returning to Ireland to care for her elderly parents. She was acting matron in Drogheda for a year and spent several months as tutor in Dareda, Tanzania before assignment to Malawi in 1971. Here she was nursing tutor for four years at Saint John’s Hospital.
In 1976 Sister Margaret was once again in Anua, Nigeria. She taught there for a further two years before moving to Afikpo, where she was principal nurse tutor and also served in local MMM leadership.
Margaret returned to Ireland in 1985 for some updating. In 1986 she was assigned to the MMM novitiate in Ibadan, Nigeria, where she helped to guide women in their early years in MMM. This versatile woman was again assigned to Malawi, where she helped to open a new mission in Chipini. She was involved in administration, bookkeeping and again in MMM leadership.
Sister Margaret returned to Ireland in 1996. She lived in Ashleigh Heights, Drogheda, and helped with hospitality in the Motherhouse. She moved to the Motherhouse in 2003 and in 2009 transferred to the nursing facility, Áras Mhuire, for nursing care. She died there peacefully on Easter Sunday, 27 March 2016.
Margaret was an excellent tutor, kind but firm. She expected the highest standards from her students and they in turn appreciated her wisdom and knowledge. She was much loved in community and made a great contribution by her quiet presence, deep spirituality and wisdom.
Margaret had two brothers, Thomas and Hugh. Her sister, Mary, also joined MMM and predeceased her in 2008. Margaret’s cousin’s wife, also called Margaret Reynolds, attended the funeral. She was very good to Sister Margaret over the years and visited her often in Áras Mhuire. Other cousins in England were unable to attend but asked for the time of the funeral Mass so that they could be present in spirit.
In his homily Father Pat Kelly referred to Margaret as a very gentle and gracious lady. ‘She always had her hand out in an expression of gratitude and welcome.’