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


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