Sisters of Mercy Convent in Ballyshannon
There will be a Mass of Thanksgiving in Ballyshannon next week to mark 150 years of the work of the Sisters of Mercy in Donegal.
The Sisters of Mercy first came to Ballyshannon from Kinsale, County Cork in 1867, at the invitation Most Reverend Daniel McGettigan, Bishop of Raphoe.
Bishop Philip Boyce, current Bishop of Raphoe, will be the principal celebrant at the Mass of Thanksgiving, at 6.30pm on Friday, April 28th, in St. Patrick’s Church in Ballyshannon.
The St. Patrick’s choir will be joined by choirs from Cashelard and the Rock parish in the Diocese of Clogher, by the Franciscan choir in Rossnowlagh, and by members of other choirs in the diocese in areas where the Sisters served.
After Mass, refreshments will be served in Dorrian’s Hotel in Ballyshannon, followed by a short presentation by local historian Anthony Begley on the history of the Sisters of Mercy in the county and their work.
The public is invited and welcome to the Mass and to the reception that will follow.
There are about 27 Sisters of Mercy still based in Donegal.
A handful of sisters made the two-day journey from Kinsale to Ballyshannon in 1867, stopping overnight in Dublin on the way. The Sisters were known as the first “walking nuns”, because opposed to closed orders, the Sisters spent time on the streets with the people, visiting them in their homes.
The Sisters established and worked in schools and hospitals throughout the diocese, namely in Glenties, Stranorlar, Donegal town, Dungloe and Letterkenny, and in Montana in the United States.