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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.”
Regional Leader: Sister Paula Molloy Email: email@example.com
Regional Headquarters: Drumullac, 42, Westpark, Artane, Dublin DO5 KOY3
Holy Rosary Generalate: 23, Cross Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin A94 TV27 Telephone: (01)2881708 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Also Holy Rosary 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
Holy Rosary Sisters, 44, Gaveston Road, Coundon, Coventry, CV6 1GZ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Central Region (Ireland and the United Kingdom) 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 the USA;we continue mission education and fund-raising, through our publicity office in Cavan, and as part of the Irish Missionary Union outreach to parishes, and church-gate collections in the Arch-Diocese of Dublin. 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.
Picture (right) shows Sister Juliana Oguekemma speaking at Mass in St Augustine’s Parish in Coventry on Mission Sunday 2019. Sister Julie is from Nigerian and is a pastoral worker in the parish.
Below, Sister Christine Heverin brought visiting African Holy Rosary Sisters to see the Missionary Cross in Killeshandra, erected after we moved from Killeshandra, in memory of the many missionaries who set out from here on their missionary journeys..
On Sunday October 13th 2019 “The First Ten Professed Sisters of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary” by Catherine KilBride was launched in Dominican Convent, Cabra, recalling the important role the Domincan Sisters played in the foundation of the new missionary order in 1924. It was here that Bishop Shanahan brought the first aspirants, to prepare for the founding, and from here they set out for Drumully House in Killeshandra, Co Cavan, with the “Dominican Mothers” to introduce them to religious life and prepare them for the missions.
Present were Sister Franca Onyibor, Congregational Leader, Her Excellency Dr Uzoma Enenike, Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland, Family members of the first sisters, Holy Rosary and Dominican Sisters, and many friends. The Chief Launcher was Sister Margaret McCurtin, OP, the well-known historian. She spoke of the strange paradox in Irish history after the revolution with its promise of equality for all. The establishment of the new state saw women being pushed back into the home with no place in public life. The 1920’s and 1930’s were a grey and colourless time in Ireland, and yet those years saw the foundation of no fewer than four missionary congregations of women who went to the ends of the earth and transformed the face of mission. This story needs to be told, and needs to be heard, by the men, by the Vatican, she declared!
The author, Catherine KilBride, recalls saying to Sister Theresa Stapleton, “I know you were founded by Bishop Shanahan, but what about your early Sisters?” This led to a determination that they should not be forgotten and several years of searching the archives, contacting the families, and collecting the memories of the sisters who knew them. The result was this book, a story which must be told.
Sister Conchita McDonnell, mshr, thanked especially the Dominican Sisters who haunted the event, recalling how they hosted the first sisters. It was a great joy when they first came to Brazil on mission the Holy Rosary Sisters were able to share accommodation with them. The author, Catherine, had remarked that during her research she was struck by the bonds that exist between the sisters and between the different congregations. St Margaret McCurtain had earlier noted the bonds between Europe and Africa, between Ireland and Nigeria, due to the work of the missionaries over the years. These bonds are precious and to be treasured.
Photographs by Paula Nolan
“The Second Burial of Bishop Shanahan”, by Desmond Forristal is available on this website under RESOURCES.
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)
We are filled with gratitude for the extraordinary generosity of our benefactors in the USA and Ireland, who made it possible for us to guild the extension at Brookville in Dublin to accommodate the retired sisters.