On Saturday 9th March the OLA sisters held Jubilee celebrations at Ardfoyle Convent for four of our wonderful sisters.
Sr Eithna Synnotte and Sr Kathleen Keohane celebrated their Golden Jubilees while Sr Mary Catherine and Sr Majella McCarron celebrated their Diamond Jubilees.
Each of these women responded with an unconditional ‘Yes!’ to God’s call so many years ago and we are very grateful for their lives lived in service to God’s Kingdom.
Sr Kathleen Keohane is from Cork, and after making her first profession in 1969 she went on to qualify as a nurse and midwife in England. She worked in the Infirmary in Ardfoyle for a year before setting off for Nigeria where she remained for thirty-five years. Her commitment and love for the people was evident to all and the people of Kwimu were very sad to see her leave Nigeria in 2012.
Sr Kathleen continues her ministry to the vulnerable and marginalised through Penny Dinners and the St Nicolas Trust here in Cork.
Sr Eithna Synnott was born in Mayo, but raised in Belfast. She made her first profession in 1969 at the age of twenty. After qualifying as a medical doctor she worked in Craigavon, County Armagh, for two years. She was then sent to Nigeria where she spent the next 13 years, first in Bacita in the north for five years and then in Ibadan for a further seven years.
Sr Eithna’s healing ministry led her to train in a variety of alternative and holistic practices and she passes this learning on by training other health practitioners throughout the North.
She is also musically and artistically gifted, sharing these gifts with the parish in Belfast as well as with her fellow sisters.
She shares the following on her Golden Jubilee, “The world will turn without me, life will go on, someone will do what I do and much better than me, and yet I am irreplaceable, unique, and madly loved and on this my Golden Jubilee, I am blessed to know that and love makes the world go round.”
Sr Mary Catherine (Margaret O’Sullivan) is from Rylane, Co Cork and entered Ardfoyle on the 6thSeptember 1956. She made her first profession on the 8th March 1959, 60 years ago!
A she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee she can look back with graciousness and thanks on all her quiet and great achievements.
During her noviciate and early training Sr Mary Catherine looked forward to spending her life serving God on mission in Africa. However God did not choose to send her to Africa, instead, she was called to spread the Kingdom through a life of unselfish service and prayer here in Ireland.
Her service has included 19 years in Rostrevor catering for retreats and guests in the OLA House. She has served in the SMA House in Blackrock Road, the Cistercian Monasary in Mount Mellary, the Crown Fund Office in Ardfoyle, the SMA community in Dromantine and the OLA community in London. Her selfless dedication together with her kindness has been, and continues to be, experienced by all who come into contact with her.
Due to ill health, Sr Mary Catherine returned to Ardfoyle in December 1990 where she continues her hidden life of prayer and service.
Sr Majella McCarron was born and raised in Fermanagh. During the six years between her first and final professions, she served in Cistercian Monasary in Mount Mellary, attended college and qualified as a science teacher.
Six months before her final profession, she was sent to Ibadan, Nigeria. Sr Majella, studied for her HDip in Nigeria, and later went on to study pastoral work and catechetics in Kampala, Uganda.
Sr Majella is well known in the world of Social Justice, in particular for her work with the Ogoni six.
When asked for her thoughts on her Diamond Jubilee, her response was, “Jubilee for me is a moment of thanksgiving, no more and no less. If I had to select a liturgy it would be a liturgy of thanksgiving. That’s all I would want, a public moment to thank God for the life I was asked to lead.”
You can read the full Welcome Address given by Provincial Leader, Kathleen McGarvey here: