Sr. Marion Therese was born Mary Reynolds in Dublin in 1930, the daughter of Frances (née Landy) and Francis Reynolds. Her two brothers live in the United States.
Mary trained as a nurse in Salford, England, before joining MMM in February 1957. She took on responsibility early, working in the hospital in Drogheda as a night sister before beginning her novitiate in October that year. Before her first profession she was the night sister in charge. After profession she trained as a midwife in Drogheda.
Her first assignment was to Tanzania in 1960, where she served first for three years in Kabanga in child welfare. This was in a large, busy general hospital in a remote area. Her excellence in nursing and organisational skills were much appreciated and her upbeat personality helped in coping with the many challenges.
In 1963 she went to Mzuzu, Malawi and spent five years teaching students, working in the operating theatre, and as matron. She returned to Drogheda in 1968 and was again night superintendent before training in public health. At that time she worked in Dublin and Clonmel.
Sr. Marion Therese returned to Tanzania in 1971 and served in Namanyere, as well as in Kitale in Kenya. In 1975 she was back in Ireland, sharing her experiences as part of the school team of the then Irish Missionary Union. In 1976 she returned to Kenya, this time to the Turkana Desert, where she worked for five years before taking a position as matron of a private hospital. In 1983 she began mobile clinic work in Kisii under the local bishop and then in Kitale.
In 1986 she returned finally to Ireland, helping first in the infirmary in Drogheda and then in the residence for the elderly in Rosedale, Kilmacow, Co. Kilkenny.
In 1991 Sr. Marion Therese moved to the Motherhouse in Drogheda. She helped in the convent and infirmary and in 1995 began a ministry as a chiropodist. This was a wonderful and necessary service for the large community of Sisters. At the same time she visited people in and around Drogheda and made many friends.
She moved to the nursing facility, Áras Mhuire in August 2015 and died there peacefully on 29 December 2018.
Sr. Marion Therese was an excellent nurse and a warm and caring person. Her big ministry in life was helping people and she loved preparing and giving gifts at Christmas and Easter. She was especially attentive to her two elderly aunts who lived in Skerries, Co. Dublin, and cared for one of them for two years before she died. While she was a very entertaining community member, she was also deeply reflective and collected inspirational quotations she came across in her reading. One is particularly apt: ‘Do not fear Death. It comes at the moment chosen by God, at the moment we are most loved.’ Unfortunately we do not have the source.
In Áras Mhuire the staff loved her ready wit and good humour and initially her great energy.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated by Frs. John McAlinden, hospital chaplain, and Pat Kelly, SPS, Áras Mhuire’s chaplain. Members of her family joined the MMM community and a number of people from the town to make it truly a celebration of her life.