Congregational Register No. 315
First Profession 08.09.1954
Died: 04.12.2002 Aged: 70 years
Born in Cullahill, Co. Laois, Anne Rhatigan, known in the family as ‘Nano’, was the daughter of primary school teachers. She had one sister and five brothers.
Nano Rhatigan entered MMM in 1951, aged 19, taking the name Sr. M. Consolata. She had completed her secondary schooling and was very impressed by MMM life as portrayed in the film Visitation. After her initial religious formation, she went to Dublin and studied for a diploma as a home science teacher. Following this she completed training as a dietician in England and Scotland, qualifying in 1958. After a short period of locum work in two London hospitals, Sr. Consolata returned to Drogheda and founded the dietetics department in the IMTH, teaching nutrition and dietetics to student nurses.
Throughout her life, Consolata was known for her energy and drive. She was conscientious and thorough in her work and yet had a good sense of humour and enjoyed life.
In 1964, Sr. Consolata was assigned to Nigeria, to St. Luke’s Hospital in Anua, where she continued with both dietetics and health education work. This work was interrupted by the Biafran War, and Sr. Consolata returned to Ireland. Here her gifts were put to good use in the guidance of young MMMs and as a Chapter delegate in 1969-1970.
In 1972, Consolata went to London to work in dietetic units in the Hammersmith Hospital for a time and in the same year was assigned to Tanzania. She was responsible for the nutrition rehabilitation unit in Mwanza Hospital. Later she also taught English and home science at a local secondary school in Mwanza. Between 1980 and 1986, Sr. Consolata was Regional superior in Tanzania. After the MMM 1985 Chapter, she provided relief in various places in Tanzania and Ethiopia before taking a sabbatical year in a Biblical formation course in Jerusalem from 1987 to 1988.
In 1988, Sr. Consolata was asked to prepare for a new assignment to Sudan. She and two other Sisters needed to learn Arabic before travelling to Sudan in 1989. The mission ran into many difficulties, basically to do with local government restrictions, and in 1991 the Sisters were withdrawn. Consolata was then assigned to Kenya, first in Aror, then in Lodwar and finally in South B, Mukuru, in Nairobi.
On a regular home leave in 2002, she began to feel ill, and her return to Kenya was delayed. Over the next few weeks, Consolata’s health deteriorated. She was called home to God on 4 December 2002. She is buried in Drogheda.