Sister Marie Therese was born Nora Roberts in Anglesey, Wales, in 1922. Her family moved to London when she was young and she received her early education there. She was an only child but was very close to and grew up with three first cousins. She trained as a secretary and worked in the civil service in England for many years.
She converted to Catholicism, and after earning a diploma as a home teacher for the blind, she joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary in 1954. She was close to the Carmelite Sisters and had a great love for St. Therese of Lisieux, so it was not surprising that she took the name Marie Therese.
Following first profession, she worked in the office in the hospital in Drogheda. She was later assigned to Abakaliki in Nigeria but because of eye problems she had to return home. The school of nursing in Drogheda benefited and the staff were delighted to have such an efficient secretary for the next twelve years. She was also president of the Legion of Mary.
In 1975 Marie Therese was assigned to our house in Ealing, London, where she took up parish work with the elderly, visiting them in their homes. During that time she attended a pastoral care course at Richmond Fellowship College. She was leader in the MMM community and local bursar. She also spent some time on mission awareness in England and Wales.
Marie Therese transferred to Birmingham in 1988, and continued her mission there until 2007. Her main role was pastoral care of the elderly and she was a minister of the Eucharist. She served as honourable secretary and treasurer of the Catholic Biblical Association and arranged coach trips for the elderly to Walsingham and other places of interest.
Due to ill health she returned to Ireland in 2007. Marie Therese suffered greatly as she became totally blind and had very little hearing left. Her handicap didn’t deter her from keeping up correspondence with her many friends, and Arlene, one of the carers in Áras Mhuire, was very helpful with this. She was always up-to-date with the latest happenings in the Motherhouse and elsewhere. Even with her hearing problem she picked up a lot of news and had a great memory. Although only a short time on overseas mission, she was interested in the ministries of the other Sisters and kept them in her thoughts and prayers.
She died in Áras Mhuire on 26 May 2012.