Sr. Raphael was born Margaret Mildred in April 1925. She was born in Athlone, Co. Westmeath and this is where Mildred had her early education at the local convent school. The desire to be a missionary Sister came early and Mildred joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary when she was eighteen. This was just six years after the Congregation was founded. She took the religious name of Sister Mary Raphael. She was a bright girl and had done well in her Leaving Certificate so she was encouraged to study medicine. She began these studies while still in the initial religious formation period. As a student, she lived in Rosemount, Dublin, and helped the fund-raising effort by becoming an expert bee-keeper!
Sr. Deirdre Twomey, baptised Eileen Deirdre, was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1933. Her father, Jeremiah Twomey was Irish and although Deirdre’s early education was in Wales and England, the Irish ties were strong and the family eventually moved back to Dublin. Deirdre entered MMM immediately after she finished her secondary education, aged eighteen. As was customary in those early days of MMM, her professional studies were integrated, as far as possible, with her early religious formation and she went almost immediately to study medicine in University College, Dublin, graduating in 1957. She did her intern year in Drogheda and was sent almost immediately to Nigeria.
Sr. Teresita, baptised Caroline Mary, was born in Beauparc, Co. Meath, in March 1926. She was educated locally and reached university entrance level before joining MMM in 1947.
After her initial religious formation, she worked in the Our Lady of Lourdes Maternity Hospital for a year before starting her studies in Dublin at the National University for a B.Sc. She trained as a biochemist and laboratory technician in both Holles Street Hospital, Dublin, and in Drogheda.
Sr. Maureen Ita was born in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, in May 1927, one of five children. All her siblings have pre-deceased her. She was educated locally at the convent schools and joined MMM just a year after finishing school. After her initial religious formation, she was not sent for further studies, but remained in Drogheda for nine years, one of the essential workers in the early days of the International Missionary Training Hospital (now, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital). In those days she was known as Sr. M. Joseph Enda, but she returned to her baptismal name later. As a grandniece of the then Archbishop, Cardinal MacCrory, she would have been widely known by all the visiting clergy. She worked at the “front end” of the hospital, in reception, in the shop, welcoming visitors and guests.
In 1957, Mother Mary asked her to go the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin. There she was involved in the running of the household and her skills at welcoming people and making them feel at ease was well utilized. This was a three-year assignment after which she returned to Drogheda for a further three years. In 1960, another Nunciature assignment arose. This time to Ethiopia for a period of nine years.
On her return to Ireland and working in the hospital, Maureen Ita realised that a lot of the work she was doing was actually Pastoral Ministry and she began working with Sr. Eileen Carmel in Chaplaincy work. Her gentle personality was well suited to this ministry, reaching out to the patients on a more spiritual level. In the early 1980s she went to USA and did some units of Clinical Pastoral Education in Boston for qualification. On her return to Ireland, she worked in Cluan Mhuire, an Alcoholic Rehabilitation Centre in Newry with Sr. Consilio Fitzgerald.
Maureen Ita was always known to have a kind heart and a listening ear. She enjoyed the interaction with people and they seemed attracted by her kindness.
In 1995, she realised that her visually impaired sister, Eithne, in Dungannon, needed her help. This started a long process of care -giving and mutual support between the two sisters. Eithne eventually needed to be hospitalized in 2015 and Maureen Ita returned to Drogheda and was soon admitted to Aras Mhuire Nursing home for her own care needs. Her health remained stable for many years and she enjoyed the company of the Sisters and staff in Aras Mhuire. In 2022 her health began to decline and she died in the early morning of April 19th. She is buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Sr. Úna was born in Dublin in 1931. Her family were Irish-speaking and all her early education in Dublin was in Irish. This love of the Irish language stayed with her all her life. After leaving school, she joined MMM, aged eighteen. After her initial religious formation, Úna went to do Nursing, first in Drogheda and then in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin as was customary at that time. On the completion of her general training, she then studied midwifery in Drogheda.
Fully qualified, Úna spent a short time as a staff nurse in the I.M.T.H. Hospital (now Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital) before setting out on her first missionary assignment overseas. This was to Nigeria, first to Abakaliki and the to Afikpo. She held a variety of roles, including matron.
Sister Patricia was born in Dunboyne, Co. Meath in February 1933. She had her early education locally and then went on to study in Dublin in book-keeping and secretarial skills. She entered MMM in 1958. Even during her initial religious formation, Sister Patricia was already working in the I.M.T.H. (Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital) in Stores and later in administration. Soon after her First Profession, she switched over to the Lourdes Maternity Hospital where she worked as a medical secretary and in charge of records.
22nd September 1933 – 22nd February 2022
Sr. M. Trinitas, baptized Margaret McMullan, was born In Belfast, N. Ireland. She came from a large family and started primary school in Belfast. However, the Second World War had started by this time and, to avoid the bombings, Margaret’s parents decided to move her and her siblings to stay with relatives in Lurgan, a more rural area and safer. It was in Lurgan that Margaret finished her education and then returned to Belfast to study nursing and midwifery.
Margaret entered MMM in 1961, aged 28, and taking the name Sr. Mary Trinitas. After her initial religious formation, and because she was already a trained nurse and midwife, she was assigned immediately to Nigeria. Here she found great fulfilment and happiness; she was Matron in many of the hospitals where she worked. Her total time in Nigeria came to thirty-nine years and she only returned to Ireland when she was needed back home for another ministry.
Sr. Mairead Carroll, born in 1931, was baptised Margaret Teresa Mary. She came from Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo where she had all of her early education in St. Louis Convent school including her Leaving Certificate in 1949. She was one of six children, but has only one living sibling, her sister, Mary.After a few years at home, she came to Dublin to study pharmacy and them worked for some years in retail pharmacies before joining MMM in 1961.
Sr. Breege Breslin, baptised Brigid, was born in Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland on May 3rd, 1931. She was the seventh child in a family of twelve children, six boys and six girls. All her brothers and sisters pre-deceased her with the exception if one brother, Joe.
Brigid was educated locally in Ballina, first in the local National School and then in the Mercy Convent School for secondary level education. When she was eighteen, she moved to Dublin and found employment in the General Post Office. She had two brothers also working in Dublin at that time, so she had family nearby. She enjoyed life in the city and was a sociable, out-going person, but the idea of a religious vocation was at the back of her mind.
Brigid joined MMM in March 1955. By this stage her older sister, Mary (Sr. Gemma), was already in MMM but Breege always insisted, “Gemma being in MMM had nothing to do with my joining the Congregation”.
Sr. Mary Teresa Reilly was born in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath in July 1937. Her early education was in local schools and she was trained as a secretary and book-keeper. For three years she worked as a clerk in a Galway firm before joining MMM in 1958.
Even during her initial religious formation, Sr. Mary Teresa’s administrative abilities were noted. Immediately after First Profession of Vows she was sent to the International Missionary Training Hospital (IMTH) and worked there for several years in clerical positions before finally being appointed as Hospital Administrator. During this period (1960-1974) Sr. Mary Teresa was constantly upgrading her professional Diplomas, achieving a Higher Diploma in Hospital and Health Services Administration.