Killeshandra Centenary Celebrations

On March 10th 2024, the historic town of Killeshandra in Cavan, Ireland came alive with joyous festivities to mark the Centenary Celebrations of the Missionary Sisters of  Rosary fondly called the “Killeshandra Nuns.” The town was alight with prayers, laughter, music, light refreshments, and story-telling to ignite the spirit of community that has existed between the Sisters and the people of Killeshandra.

Eucharistic Celebration

The events began with the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist at St. Brigid’s Parish Church in Killeshandra. Many gathered to thank God for the gift and impact of the Sisters down the years. The Mass was presided over by Bishop Martin Hayes of Kilmore Diocese. It was a beautiful ceremony with lots of symbols presented at the Altar of Sacrifice.

The Symbols

They include the portraits of Bishops Shanahan and Finnegan and the seven pioneer Sisters, a globe, flags of various countries where MSHR work, a Bible, rosary beads, MSHR Constitutions, young plants including an oak, and some soil from the former convent property in Killeshandra.

Tree Planting Ceremony

After the Mass, a commemorative tree planting ceremony was held in the church grounds, symbolizing the deep roots and enduring legacy of the Killeshandra Nuns in Cavan. The people, Sisters, deacon and Bishop Hayes came together to plant an oak tree, representing strength, hope for the future and a commitment to preserving the historical connection of the Holy Rosary Sisters and Killeshandra for generations to come.

Historical Exhibitions

There was opportunity for the people, guests and Sisters to delve into the rich connection and heritage of the people of Killeshandra and the Holy Rosary Sisters.

The early works of the sisters and spiritual landmarks like the erection of the Memorial Cross at the site of the convent in Killeshandra after the house was sold and demolished many years ago, captured in photographs and motion pictures offered a glimpse into the bond, and impact of generations past.

Cultural Performances

St. Brigid’s Primary School Hall came alive with the sounds of traditional Irish music and dance, as the young performers took to the stage to showcase Killeshandra’s vibrant cultural heritage. In addition, the pupils were recognized with lovely gifts to celebrate their creativity.


The guests and sisters shared stories, laughter, snacks and drinks. The people had made a lovely Centenary Cake and this was cut with great delight by a selected few with photo taking. It was a time to relax, savour the flavours of Killeshandra and honour the memories of those gone before us, and dream for the future.


All good things they say must come to an end, but the spirit of Killeshandra Centenary Celebration lingers on, a testimonial to the resilience, dedicated love and service of a community that has stood the test of time. It was wonderful that Killeshandra was a part of this epic commemoration of a milestone event in the life of the Holy Rosary Sisters

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The Holy Rosary Sisters Visit to Cabra

The Visit to Cabra

"Dominican and holy rosary sisters photo"
The Dominican and Holy Rosary Sisters at Cabra

By Sr. Catherine Hally, Holy Rosary Sisters.

On 24 February 2024, the Congregational Leadership Team and some Sisters from the Central Region went to the Dominican Convent in Cabra, Dublin to remember and honour that time 100 years ago when four Dominican Sisters left their convent in Cabra to travel to Drumully House, Killeshandra Co Cavan to establish MSHR.

It was a joyful gathering with the Dominican Prioress and Council and other sisters. Having been welcomed by the Prioress General, Sr Franca Onyibor gave a short account of the history behind the date and its significance for both communities. Franca then presented the Dominican Sisters with a beautiful clock in gratitude for all they had done to support MSHR over the past 100 years.

A visit to the convent cemetery then followed. The graves of each of the eight Dominican Sisters associated with Killeshandra in the Foundation Decade (1924-1934) were marked by a vase of Spring flowers. All paused and remembered those pioneer Sisters in prayer and gratitude.

 We bid farewell to the Sisters and thanked them for their warm welcome, hospitality, generosity and time, knowing that the Prioress General and Council were flying to Argentina the next day to visit the Dominican communities in that country.


MSHR Centenary Press Release

Press Release


"congregational leader's photo"
Sr. Franca Onyibor, MSHR Congregational Leader

The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary (MSHR) launches its Centenary of Foundation celebrations on 7 March 2024 – the eve of International Women’s Day.

Founded by an Irishman Bishop Joseph Shanahan C.S.Sp, Vicar Apostolic of Southern Nigeria. The congregation first began its journey with the support of the Dominican Sisters of Cabra Dublin, before establishing its Motherhouse at Killeshandra Co. Cavan in the Diocese of Kilmore on 7 March 1924.

The Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary [MSHR] originated within the Irish missionary movement to Asia & Africa in the early 20th Century when many young Irish men and women responded to the call to minister to all corners of the globe, especially to those on the margins of society.

The mission of the congregation is to advance the Gospel message of hope, reconciliation, and compassion, especially through the promotion of the dignity and rights of women wherever the Congregation serves. 

The Congregation founded its first mission in Nigeria in 1928 and over the past one hundred years it has grown to include eight more countries in Africa as well as the United Kingdom, USA, Mexico, and Brazil. Presently, over fifty young women are at different stages of discerning their vocation with MSHR. More information can be found HERE

In the early years, the focus of the mission was mainly on the provision of education and healthcare in all its dimensions as well as pastoral care. Today that service continues but the sisters also engage with people of many faiths in the promotion of human rights, justice, peace, inter-faith dialogue, environmental sustainability, and support for refugees, migrants, and trafficked women.

Sr Franca Onyibor, the first African Congregational Leader, reflects on this remarkable occasion as a time of gratitude to God for the countless lives touched and transformed through our presence and ministries; as well as the numerous ways we have been enriched by those we serve. It is also a time to give thanks for our co-missionaries and friends in mission, as we acknowledge the enormous support, financial and otherwise of so many benefactors, over these past one hundred years.

The Centenary Celebrations began on 24 February 2024 in Ireland with an event in the Dominican Convent, Cabra Dublin to honour the part played by the Cabra Dominican Sisters in the early years of the Holy Rosary Congregation.

A Thanksgiving gathering will take place in Killeshandra on 10 March 2024 along with many other celebratory events in the congregation worldwide over the coming year: A list of events can be found on the MSHR Centenary Webpage.   The Centenary events will conclude with a celebration in Cavan Cathedral, Ireland on 3 August 2024.


Notes for Editors

Interviews available on request: please contact:

  1. Sr Franca Onyibor Congregational Leader MSHR on 0035312881708
  2. Sr Mary O’Shea MSHR on 0035318513529

With kind regards 

Sr Franca Onyibor

Congregational Leader 

‘Women Empowering People’

MSHR Celebrates its Centenary on the eve of International Women’s Day


Watch: Pace Setters Arrive in Dublin to a Warm Welcome from the Holy Rosary Sisters

On April 26th, 2023, 21 past students from Our Lady of Lourdes College in Bamenda, Cameroon arrived in Dublin for a special visit. These women, the PaceSetters graduating class of 1986, traveled from countries around the world including the USA, UK, Switzerland, and Cameroon.

They were welcomed at the airport by many of the Holy Rosary sisters who educated them decades ago. The Pace Setters came to show gratitude for the values and lessons they learned from the sisters during their time in Dublin.

The next day, the group attended a thanksgiving mass and enjoyed reconnecting after so many years apart. It was a joyous reunion and celebration of the lifelong impact the Holy Rosary sisters had on these women as students. Though the years have passed, the care and teachings of the sisters remain dear to their hearts.