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“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and minds of all who encounter Jesus. A joy ever new. A joy that is shared.” Pope Francis
Killeshandra artist Martin Fullen painted this fine picture of Holy Rosary Convent, Killeshandra, Co Cavan, Ireland,mother-house of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary. Here Founder Bishop Joseph Shanahan brought the first sisters in 1924 to prepare for a life of mission to the women of Africa. The Dominican Sisters from Cabra, Dublin, came too, to guide and mentor the members of the young congregation. From here missionary sisters set out to foreign fields, Nigeria first, then Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Liberia, fulfilling the words of the Gospel: “He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,” Luke 4:8
Bishop Shanahan’s words to the sisters as they set forth: “Teach them the secret of God’s living love in the very centre of their souls.”
Ireland/UK is the Home Region for sisters born in these countries. From here we set off on mission, and to here we come home when it is time to retire.
We never cease to be missionaries, however. We are in constant contact with our sisters in Africa, Brazil and Mexico;we continue mission education and fund-raising, through our publicity office in Cavan, and as part of the Irish Missionary Union outreach to parishes(2016, Archdiocese of Armagh). This supports the ongoing mission of the congregation – from the beginning the extraordinary generosity of the Irish people has been our support.
We are also involved in parish and prayer ministries, and work with immigrants.In 2014 a new extension had to be built in Brookville, Artane, Dublin, to accommodate sisters coming home to stay, and we struggle to pay off that debt. (See KNUNS.ORG)
We share our joy in mission with friends and benefactors, and hold all, living and dead, in our daily prayers.
Photo shows Sisters Margaret Gaffney and Elizabeth McKenna, recently returned from Brazil after more than 45 years. Margaret worked with prisoners and marginalised people in Sao Paulo, while Liz, in the State of Para, was in pastoral ministry, especially with Bible groups in rural and urban areas.
Sister Hilary Lyons, pictured above with sisters, friends and colleaguesfrom Sierra Leone, has been awarded an honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
Doctor Lyons qualified in medicine in 1952, and was assigned to the mission of Sierra Leone and the small rural hospital of Serabu. There she developed maternal and child health care together with medical and surgical services. The challenges of maternal and child health led her to look at wider determinants of health in the community, and she embarked on a path to public health. Her particular interest was anthropology and the influence of culture, beliefs and customs on health, and with fellow-sisters and staff she built up relations in the surrounding communities, with women, villagers and chiefs, and was a member of the powerful Women’s Society, the Bundu. Prevention health programmes were established including education and vaccination, with training of traditional birth attendants.
Sr Hilary’s influence was not just in the development of health services in Sierra Leone but also had a wider ripple effect in many other countries. She was a contributor to the seminal book by David Morley, Practising Health for All,
which describes how communities can develop their own health services. In 1984 she went to work with the Ministry of Health in the Bo Region. The Government of Sierra Leone recognized her contribution by making her a Commander of the Order of Rokel. Sister Hilary is now retired and living in Ireland.
(From the Citation to the RCPI by Dr Margaret Fitzgerald, Board Member of the Faculty of Public Health)
See also: http://www.catholicireland.net/irish-missionary-nun-awarded-honorary-fellowship/ )
The above picture shows the Missionary Cross erected by Lakeland Dairies in 2013 in honour of the missionary sisters, who moved out of Killeshandra in 1985.
The sisters in the picture are from Ireland, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Cameroon.
Holy Rosary Generalate: 23, Cross Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin A94 TV27 Telephone: (01)2881708 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Headquarters: Drumullac, 42, Westpark, Artane, Dublin DO5 KOY3
Regional Leader: Sister Maura Garry. Telephone: 087 616 8272 Email: email@example.com
Holy Rosary Sisters, Cavan Town, Co Cavan H12 YX53. House 1. Phone: 049 433 2735
House 2: 049433 2733
Publicity Office: 049 433 2736 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also HolyRosary Sisters, Brookville, Westpark, Artane, Dublin DO5 X3V6. Telephone: (01) 851 0002
Holy Rosary Sisters, 48, Temple Road, Dartry, Dublin DO6 TH92.Telephone: (01) 497 1918
Prayer for the beatification of Bishop Joseph Shanahan, Servant of God.
Lord That I May See!
Almighty God, you blessed your servant Joseph Shanahan with a deep sense of your Presence in all of life. You inspired him with great missionary zeal to spend his life in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Grant that we also may experience your presence in our lives, and give us the same generosity and enthusiasm for the spreading of the Good News.
We ask that if it be in accordance with your Will, the holiness of his life may be acknowledged by the Church for the glory of your Name. Hear our prayers that through his intercession we may obtain the favours we now request.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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“God is our good Father and He alone knows what is best for us and He always does what is best for us.”
“Love and trust Him with love and trust unbounded.” Joseph Shanahan.
Please inform the VicePostulator, Holy Rosary Convent, 23 Cross Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, or Holy Ghost Fathers, Temple Park, Dublin 6, of favours attributed to the intercession of Bishop Shanahan.
Helping the sisters to come home.
Conchita and Monica discuss with Paul: a new extension had to be built in Brookville to accommodate the sisters retiring from missionary work in Africa and South America; how to pay off the debt? (See: www.knuns.org)