The Foundation

The Foundation

"Photo of the Dominican Mothers"
The Four Dominican Sisters and the Founder Bishop Shanahan, CSSp

The congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (MSHR), founded in 1924 by Bishop Shanahan began with seven women, three of whom had been lay missionaries at St. Joseph Girls’ School in Calabar, Nigeria. Bishop Shanahan wanted to empower women in Southern Nigeria so MSHR was established in Drumully House, near Killeshandra Co. Cavan, Ireland on March 7, 1924.

Foundation Day, 7 March 1924

Seated: Agnes Ryan, Bishop Shanahan CSSp, Ellen Burns.        Standing: Georgina O’ Dwyer, Christina Shannon, Fr. P. J. Whitney, Nora Leddy, Veronica Hasson, Elizabeth Ryan.

 The Seven women were mentored by the Dominican Sisters in Killeshandra, Dublin. Four Dominican Sisters – Mother Xavier O’Connor, Aquinas McSwiggan, Ursula Cullen, and Anastasia Hickey were assigned to guide the New Order in Cavan in February 1924.


The Dominican Sisters remained with the Holy Rosary Sisters for ten years until 1934. In the following decades, MSHR expanded rapidly both in membership and mission locations serving fifteen countries in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. 

"Photo of Dominican Prioress"
M Colmcille Flynn OP, Prioress of Cabra Dominican Convent
"Photo of First Mshr Formation Directress"
Mother Aquinas McSwiggan OP
"Photo of First Superior of MSHR at Foundation"
Mother M Xavier O'Connor OP, First Superior 1924-1933 and Bishop Shanahan CSSp
"Photo of Dominican Sister Associated with MSHR"
M Ursula Cullen OP (Left)
"Photo of Dominican Sister Associated with MSHR"
Sr Anastasia Hickey OP

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