USA

In this section of our website, you will find a short entry about the life of each of our Sisters who has been called by God to embark on her eternal life. No doubt you will find inspiration in reading how each one responded to her calling while on earth. We pray to them to help us on our journey.

If you knew one or more of these Sisters personally, or are connected through family ties, or simply like what you read, please contact us and tell us what you would like to add to that entry.

"The death of those can never leave us free from grief whose friendship during life was a solace and delight." Saint Augustine, City of God.

When Loved Ones Leave Us...

Nationality:   Irish
Congregational Register No.  129
D.O.B.:  03.03.1925
First Profession 02.07.1947
Died: 19.09.2010      Aged:  85 years

Julia Teresa Doyle, known in her family as Sheila, was born in Busherstown, Co. Carlow into a farming family.

Sr. M. de Sales DuignanNationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 88
D.O.B. 12.05.1921
First Profession: 08.09.1945
Died: 19.09.1949 Aged: 26 years

Mary Ellen (May) Duignan came from Arva, Co. Cavan and entered MMM on 7 December 1942.

Following profession, she trained as a midwife. During her time at the maternity hospital, she became Matron Phelan's "right hand", and Matron succeeded in delaying her assignment overseas. Eventually, however, she was assigned to Nigeria, where she worked at the Mater Hospital, Afikpo. Unfortunately, her time there was all too short. One day, on the way to a bush clinic with the hospital team, the car in which the team were travelling overturned on the pontoon and Sr. M. de Sales was among those who were thrown in the water. She drowned. After her body was recovered, she was laid to rest at Afikpo.

Nationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 17
D.O.B. 25.09.1918
First Profession: 08.09.1941
Died: 19.04.2008 Aged: 89 years

Josephine Doyle was born in Piercestown, Co. Wexford.  She was one of ten children, with four brothers and five sisters.  From her early letters it seems that she became acquainted with Mother Mary in early 1938, soon after Mother Mary had returned from Nigeria and MMM had been founded.

Mary was born in Birr, Co. Offaly in 1941. She was the youngest child and only girl of six children. She grew up in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal and trained as a nurse in Joyce Green Hospital in Kent. She then did midwifery in Lennox Castle Maternity Hospital in Scotland.   After working as a staff nurse in Ireland for three years, she volunteered for a nursing post in Zambia. One of her friends in Zambia was a niece of Sr. Anne Bennett, MMM. With her friend, Mary travelled by train through Tanzania and stopped off to visit Sr. Anne at Makiungu Hospital, meeting the Medical Missionaries of Mary for the first time.

sr margaret_doyle

Sister Margaret was born in Clonegal, Co. Carlow in 1921. She received her education in the national school in Clonegal and joined the Medical Missionaries of Mary in 1950.

She made her first profession of vows in 1953 and was assigned to the nursing home run by the MMM in Clonmel. She was responsible for the catering for both the residents and MMM postulants. For the next twenty-nine years, Margaret continued to provide catering services in Drogheda; in Airmount, the maternity hospital run by the MMMs in Waterford; and in Rosemount, the house of studies for Sisters in Dublin. She provided a welcome and a hot meal no matter what time the students and staff arrived.

Nationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 120
D.O.B.  12.05.1924
First Profession: 06.01.1947
Died: 30.04.2008 Aged: 83 years

Catherine Angela Durnin came from a large farming family in Lawlesstown, Dunleer, Co. Meath. She had five brothers and three sisters.  The young Catherine Angela contributed to the household income with her dressmaking skills after she left St. Brigid's National School, Dunleer. 

Sr. M. Damien DriscollNationality: Irish
Congregational Register No: 520
D.O.B. 25.01.1931
First Profession: 03.04.1954
Died: 19.08.1977 Aged: 46 years

Sr. Damien, baptized Margaret Mary, was a native of Durrus, Co.Cork, and emigrated to the USA. She entered MMM in Boston, MA, on 8 September 1951, and was in the first group of novices in the USA, the first postulant having gone to Ireland for her novitiate.

Sister Jean was born Elaine Eason in Buffalo, New York, USA in 1941. She attended school in Gardenville and Buffalo, New York, graduating from Mount Mercy Academy High School.  Throughout her time in MMM she remained in contact with several Sisters of Mercy who taught her.

 She met the Medical Missionaries of Mary while at school and joined in 1959. She chose the name Jean Clare at her Reception, a sign of her love for her parents.


Sister Gabriel was born and grew up in Drumgriston, Co. Monaghan.  She went to school in Billeady and later at the Mercy Convent, Castleblaney.  She entered MMM in March l942, when the Congregation was only five years old.  Those were also the war years and life was not easy.  Following her initial formation and first Profession of Vows, Gabriel trained in midwifery in Drogheda.  She was then assigned to St. Luke's Hospital, Anua, Nigeria.  Having served for eight years there she was brought back to Drogheda to do her general nursing training.

sr agnes_essien_02

Sr. Agnes Maria, born in Anua, Uyo, Nigeria, could be described as a pioneer. She qualified as a teacher, but having been inspired by Mother Mary Martin, whom she had met in Nigeria, she came to Ireland in 1953 with Veronica Akpan, who became the first MMM from Africa.

Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.