Killimor Parish is justly proud of producing its share of nuns down through the years.
Sister Stephen Campbell (Annie) of Lisaniska, Killimor was born on the 23rd May 1917. She entered the Ursuline Convent, Brentwood, Essex, England on the 19th June 1936. She made her final vows as a nun on the 11th February 1939, and worked for many years as Finance Manager (Bursar) in the Ursuline Convent boarding school.
Sister Carmel Colgan (Jane Mary), daughter of Thomas M. Colgan (policeman) and Mary Foley Colgan (teacher) was born 8th July 1921. She attended Killimor National School and then studied Domestic Economy in Coolarne. She entered the order of The Daughters of Charity in 1939. She became a novice on the 9th May 1940 and took her final vows on the 31st May 1945. She was posted to Henrietta Street, Dublin, Fair Street, Drogheda, and Pelletstown, Navan Road, Dublin, before being transferred to Layfield, England, in 1953. She served in various convents. She spent sixty six years looking after children, visiting the sick, the elderly and the lonely in their homes and undertook the pastoral care of young women in hostels. She is credited with being feisty, having a good sense of humour and she loved driving. She bore the cross of ill health for many years. Her funeral Mass was celebrated at the Marillac, Warley, Brentwood, Essex, England, on 8th January 2007.
Patrick and Mary Duffy (née Cosgrave), of Raheen, Killimor, had ten children, Peter, Patrick, Maureen, Rita, Delia, John, Larry, Lena, Frank and Michael. Of the four girls three entered the religious life.
Sister Rosarii (Rita) did her Leaving Certificate Examination in Kinvara Boarding School. She qualified as a national teacher in Carysfort Training College, Blackrock, Dublin. She entered the Mercy Convent in Gort, but had to leave after a short time due to ill health. She taught in Co. Tipperary for a number of years. When she was thirty seven years of age she entered the Presentation Convent, Lismore, Waterford. She spent many happy years there teaching and visiting the elderly in the community. When the convent and school in Lismore were sold, Sister Rosarii moved to the Presentation Convent in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Her retirement was spent visiting the sick and lonely in that area. She then fell ill herself and spent her final weeks in Milford Hospice in Limerick. She died peacefully on February 29th 1996, aged seventy nine years.
Sister Imelda (Delia) was born on March 22nd 1919. She entered the Convent of Mercy, Tipperary Town, in 1938, and made her Final Profession on 21st June 1944. She graduated from Mercy Hospital Nursing School, Cork, on 5th August 1946. She began her nursing ministry in Our Lady’s Hospital, Cashel. She then spent twenty four years in St. Patrick’s Hospital, Cashel, and later nursed for a short time in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Tipperary Town, and was Infirmarian in the community in Templemore. Sister Imelda was artistic, gifted with her hands, generous with her talents and faithful to her commitments. She was most welcoming and hospitable to visitors and callers to the Convent. Her last seven years were spent in McAuley House, Limerick, where she died peacefully on March 27th 2009 after a long illness.
Sister Jerome (Lena) who was born in 1924 was the third youngest of the family. She went to school in Raheen and then to the Mercy Convent, Kinvara, as a boarder where she did her Intermediate Certificate Examination. She did her Leaving Certificate Examination in Mountmellick in June 1944. She then entered the Mercy Convent, Loughrea, in September 1944. Like her sister she trained as a nurse in Mercy Hospital Nursing School in Cork. Sr. Jerome made her final profession in 1949 and spent the next twenty six years caring for the sick and elderly in St. Brendan’s Hospital, Loughrea. In 1975 she took a career break and went to Kenya for two years. After that she was two years in the Mercy Convent, Portumna, and two years in Eyrecourt, and then returned to St. Brendan’s Hospital, Loughrea, until her retirement in 1989. She again opted for mission life and was sent to Zambia but had to return after six months because of health problems. Sr. Jerome now resides in the Mercy Convent in Loughrea.
Sister Josephine Fahy was daughter of Martin and Ellen Fahy, Treananearla, Killimor. She was born in 1933 and received her primary education in Killimor National School. She later was a boarder in Presentation College, Mountmellick, and received her third level education in University College Galway. She entered the Mercy Order of nuns in Ballinrobe in 1952. She taught in their secondary schools in Ballinrobe and Glenamaddy. She passed away in July 1998 and is interred in Ballinrobe.
Sister Anastasia Finnerty (Margaret) was daughter of Michael and Mrs. Finnerty of Heathlawn, Killimor. She entered the novitiate of the Ursuline Convent, Brentwood, Essex, England on the 19th June 1936. She was professed on the 11th February 1939 and worked as head chef in the convent for many years. She passed away on the 22nd November 2001.
Sister Mary Hardiman (Mary Eileen/Evelyn) was daughter of John and Elizabeth Hardiman of Killeen, Killimor. She was born in 1935 and was educated in Killimor National School and in Portumna Vocational School. In 1950 she joined La Sainte Union de Sacre Coeur in London and was professed in 1956. She trained as a teacher and served in various areas including Kent, Mold in Wales, and Grays and Aveley in Essex. She also worked with handicapped children, drug addicts and as a parish sister. She spent many years in Haiti (Caribbean Island) from 1990 onwards.
Sister Celsus Hanrahan (Nora) daughter of Martin Hanrahan and Margaret (née Croffey) was born in Garryard, Killimor, on August 10th 1913. She joined the congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Ghost and taught in various elementary schools of the congregation in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas from 1831 to 1998. Many of her last years were spent in Catholic schools in Dallas, Texas, and after her retirement she looked after children with special needs. She was 75 years professed in 2006 and died in the Mother House in San Antonio, Texas on the 18th March 2007.
Sister Ita Hanney and Sister Theresa Hanney were daughters of Edward and Mary Hanney, Kylemore, Killimor. Both joined the Religious of Christian Education (RCE), on February 11th 1933. This was a French Congregation of nuns based in Tournai, Belgium.
Although we grieved leaving our family and home, when we arrived and were taken to the Chapel, the feelings we experienced were indescribable. We received the wonderful grace of perfect happiness, calm and peace in the Lord’s own house. Everything was new and strange, especially the language, which was French. We began to study the language and prepare for the Religious Life. We wore the Postulant’s cape and veil for the first six months and this was followed by the full religious habit and white veil. By this time fluency in the French language had greatly improved. At the end of our Novitiate Year we submitted, our own free will, a written request to the General of the Congregation to be allowed to take our First Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Permission was granted and we made our First Profession of vows for a period of three years. At the end of three years we made our Final Profession.
In time Theresa was sent to Farnborough, Hampshire, England, and Ita served with the congregation in Vincennes outside Paris. Communications were very difficult during the 1939/45 World War with little or no news from Ireland. Ita managed to send a message through the Swiss Red Cross, but only fifteen words were allowed and it took over three months to go and for a reply to come back.
Sisters Ita and Theresa are now together and live in retirement with the Religious of Christian Education in Templeogue, Dublin.
The Haverty Nuns: L. to. R.: Sr. Edwarad, Sr. Dominic and Sr. Veronica with their sister Peggy, 1962.
Three of the Haverty sisters joined the religious life. They were Cissie, Annie and Nellie, daughters of Edward and Mary Julia, of Lissaniska, Killimor.
Sister Veronica (Cissie) who was born in 1920, entered the Sacred Heart Convent aged sixteen years and became a teacher in Whetstone, London. She died April 6th 1990, in the 52nd year of her Religious Profession.
Sister Mary Dominic (Annie) entered the Mercy Order, St. Michael’s in Uckfield, Sussex. She too became a teacher in a private boarding school in Uckfield. She died 14th January 1991 aged sixty five years.
Sister Edward (Nellie) entered the Augustinian Order of nuns. She was first sent to Belgium and then Rouen, France. She became a nurse and worked mostly in the theatre in a big hospital in Rouen. She died on 6th January 1997, aged seventy eight years having spent over sixty years in the religious life.
Sister Emily Hanney, Heathlawn, born on the 29th June, 1912 was daughter of Matthew and Mary (née Broderick). She was fifth in a family of eleven having had two sisters and eight brothers. Her father died when she was a child and her mother died in 1941. Three of her brothers died in their thirties while she was in the United States. Emily entered the Religious of Christian Education order in 1931, and began her novitiate in the Institute of Christian Education, 28 Quai Des Salines, Tournai, Belgium. Having taken her first vows in April 1933, she went to the USA and taught in schools and colleges there for many years. She returned to the Irish Province in August 1967 and spent her remaining years working in the Orders’ Schools at Bushy Park House, Templeogue Road, Terenure, Dublin. She always loved sewing and continued working with students and parents up to her last days. Sr. Emily died in February 2004 and is interred in Dublin.
Sister Columba Kelly (Ann) was born in Moate, Killimor, on July 23rd, 1917, and received her primary education in Gorthanumera National School. She entered the Sacred Heart Convent in Hitchen, England and later went to France where she studied French, Theology and Scripture. Having returned to London she qualified as a teacher at the Maria Assumpta Training College. Following her retirement from teaching, she moved to Limavady, Co. Derry, and from there to London where she passed away on March 19th 2003.
Sister Mary Kelly (Eileen), born on 9th November 1930, was daughter of Michael and Catherine Kelly of Derrew, Killimor. She received her primary education in Killimor Girls’ National School. She entered the Convent of Mercy, Loughrea, on 18th April, 1952. She made her first profession on 6th May, 1955, and her final profession three years later. Her sisters in religion described her as a lovely gentle person whose delicate health was a problem after a couple of years in the convent. Sadly she passed away on 7th January, 1959, not having reached her 30th birthday.
Sister Mary Brendan Larkin (Mary/May) was daughter of Jack and Annie Larkin of Derrysiskal, Killimor. She was born in June 1935 and attended Killimor National School. She entered the Convent of Mercy, Ballyshannon, in 1951, and was professed five or six years later. She trained as a nurse and worked in Stranorlar for many years. Sister Brendan died in November 1992.
Anna Maria MacDermott, affectionately called Miss Nina, was daughter of James MacDermott and his wife Lucy (née Hutchinson) of Ramore Estate, Killimor. Anna Maria became a nun at the Convent of La Retraite in Bruges, Belgium. She was then known as Sr. Anne. She died on 5th February 1989. She wrote a very interesting document on Ramore House and life lived there.
Sister Mary Lilia McGann (Brigid Agnes) was daughter of Patrick and Nora McGann (née Campbell), of Killeen, Killimor. She was born in January 1927, and entered the Sisters of Mercy, Midhurst, Sussex, in 1942. She made her final profession in 1948. She then trained as a nurse and carried out various duties among children, schools and youth groups. She served as superior of her convent from 1983 to 1989. Sister Lilia died in June 2002.
Sister Mary Anastasia McGann (Kathleen Elizabeth) was also a daughter of Patrick and Nora McGann of Killeen, Killimor. She was born in April 1929, and entered the Sister of Mercy, Midhurst, Sussex, in 1946. After her final profession in 1952 she trained as a nurse in the Southlands Hospital and received her S.R.N. in 1956. She served as matron and sister-in-charge in Uckfield Convent School until it closed in 1976. Among her duties were caring for children aged four to sixteen years in Uckfield until 2002. She returned to Midhurst where she enjoys her retirement.
Sister Mary Francis Mattimoe (Marie) was daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mattimoe, Killimor. Mrs. Mattimoe later became Mrs. Austin O’Toole and was a teacher in Killimor Boys’ National School. Marie began her schooling in Killimor on 23rd April 1919, and her date of birth was given in the register as February 1916. In 1929 she went to St. Louis Convent, Kiltimagh, where she received her secondary education. Afterwards she joined the Mercy Order of Nuns and served in Swanage, Weymouth, London’s East End and Fishguard. In the beginning her visits home were very restricted – first once every seven years, then once every five years and eventually one visit was allowed every three years. These visits home entailed morning pick-up and evening drop-off at whatever convent would accommodate visiting nuns. Then times changed, as did the nuns’ mode of dress, frequency of visits home and removal of obligation to billet in the nearest convent. Sr. Francis spent more than thirty years as a teacher in Swanage Convent School and finally became head-mistress there. She then became mother superior at the Convent of Mercy in Weymouth. Her dedication to her religion, learning, teaching and community did not preclude her involvement with family. In later years she attended many family celebrations – weddings, christenings and jubilees. Her last years were spent in Fishguard and she was interred there on January 4th 2007.
‘Habits gave way to mufti, boats to planes,
And still she came to love and laugh and liven us’.
Sr. Mary Gabriel Moran was born in Derrysiskil, Killimor, on 24th August 1912. She was the youngest of five children of Thomas and Mary Moran, her siblings being John, Gerard, Michael and Mary. She received her primary education in Coolagh National School. She entered the convent of St. Augustine at Park House, Waterloo, Liverpool, England, on 30th June 1931. Sr. Gabriel was professed in 1934. She lived there for the remainder of her years, visiting Killimor many times. Sr. Gabriel passed away on 13th July 1975 at the age of 62.
Sister Mary Pauline O’Connor (Margaret/Madge) was daughter of John and Mary O’Connor (née Duffy). She was born on 2nd September 1916. She attended the primary school in Killimor, spent one year in St. Louis Boarding School, Kiltimagh, and then joined her two sisters in Kinvara Boarding School. She entered the Convent of Mercy, Loughrea, on 22nd April, 1938. Having completed her novitiate she trained as a primary school teacher in Carysfort Training College, Blackrock, Dublin. She taught in Loughrea for some time and then was appointed principal to Eyrecourt primary school from 1951 to 1965. She then went to Ballinasloe as principal, spent 1973/1974 in Portumna and changed back to Eyrecourt in 1974 from which post she retired in 1982. During her retirement she became involved in prayer groups and did the training necessary to give Síol retreats. She loved to walk and cycle and even learnt to drive. She passed away on 2nd December 2003, in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, and was interred in the Convent Cemetery, Loughrea.
Below: Sr. Ailbhe Reilly and Sr. Helen Reilly with their mother Mrs. Annie Reilly, family and friends 1960.
Sister Ailbhe Reilly (Nora) was daughter of James and Annie Reilly, Ballycahill, Killimor. She entered the Irish Sisters of Charity, Dublin and worked as a nurse in St. Vincent’s Hospital. She passed away at a young age in 1969.
Sister Helen Reilly (Philomena) was also a daughter of James and Annie Reilly, Ballycahill, Killimor, and was born on 16th September, 1925. She entered the novitiate of the Ursuline Convent, Brentwood, Essex, England on 1st November, 1944, and was professed on 28th September, 1947. She worked as a nurse in the boarding school of the Convent. She passed away on the 24th November, 1978.
Sister Joseph Ignatius Ryan (Anne or Dot) was daughter of John and Teresa Ryan of Sandymount, Killimor. She was born in 1897, entered the Convent of Mercy in Galway, and taught for many years in Galway and Oughterard. Sister Joseph Ignatius died in the early 1950s.
Sister Teresa Winifred Ryan (Edith) was daughter of John and Teresa Ryan of Sandymount, Killimor. She was born in 1901 and entered the Sisters of Charity, Milltown, Dublin. She spent many years in London. Sister Teresa Winifred died in 1982.
Sister Kathleen Winters (Rev. Mother Catherine) was daughter of Patrick and Catherine (née Broderick) Winters of Ramore, Killimor. In 1931 she entered the order of Christian Education at Tournai in Belgium and was professed in 1938. Sr. Kathleen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of North Carolina in 1943. She did graduate work at Boston College, Arizona State University, Iowa State University, Duke University, Vanderbilt University and at the University of Hawaii. She served her community as a teacher and was principal in Asheville (Pines School), Waltham, Milton, Arlington and at Asheville Catholic High School. She retired in 1986, and passed away on April 13th, 2001, aged eighty nine years, at Santa Maria Nursing Centre, Cambridge, Mass.