29 JAN, 2014. Seven Sisters of St Louis were recently awarded for 40 or more years service in overseas mission at a special ceremony held by the Irish Missionaries Union at Dublin City Hall on November 27, 2013.
The ceremony, the first of its kind, in which 220 returned missionary priests, brothers and sisters were awarded medals in recognition of their 40 or more years service in overseas mission, was organised by the Irish Missionary Union (IMU) on behalf of its 81 member orders.
Many St Louis sisters qualified for this honour, but only seven were able to attend the ceremony: Máire Blair - 54 years in Nigeria; Carmel Dodd - 42 years in Nigeria; Dympna Drury - 46 years in Nigeria; Theodore Lysaght - 40 years in England, Nigeria, and Ghana; Phil McGuinness - 50 years in Ghana and Nigeria; Frances McManus - 45 years in Nigeria; and Dolorosa Minogue - 42 years in California.
A candle-lit ritual was accompanied by prayers for various missionary intentions - deceased missionaries, missionaries still serving abroad, all those suffering from the current typhoon in the Philippines and finally for the intentions of those missionaries present. The guest speaker, Sabina Higgins (wife of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins), said Ireland should be ‘truly proud’ of the vital role Irish Catholic missionaries played around the world, in education, medicine, development work and also the spiritual needs of the people. They had laid the basis for much of the Government’s approach to development cooperation. She recalled the work of her own relatives on the missions, including her sister, a Daughter of St Vincent de Paul, and brother, a Spiritan priest who ministered in Ethiopia and Kenya respectively.
For more information, check out Issue 27 of Musings.