Remember in November


Since November 1st last year, six OLA Sisters have gone home to God.



Today, we take a few moments to remember each of the six Sisters and share a little about their lives.


mok.pngSr. Marciana O’Keeffe

Born in Midleton, Co. Cork in 1926, Sr. Marciana celebrated the 70th anniversary of her First Profession in Spring 2016. She first served as a science teacher in Kakuri, Nigeria for 15 years before returning to Ardfoyle to serve on the leadership team of the province.  In 1978, Sr. Marciana became the first Irish OLA Superior General. She received the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” Papal Award in 1991 in recognition of her work supporting the development of 38 indigenous Nigerian congregations. Sr. Marciana served in the Novitiate House (Maryhill) in Ibadan before returning to Ardfoyle in 1997 where she worked in the archives. Sr. Marciana was called home to God on 14th November, 2016.

From her memoirs, Sr. Marciana tells us how as a young girl of 18 years, she accepted the invitation ‘Come Follow Me’ and decided to commit her life to Christ as a missionary Sister. Sr. Marciana lived a great life. She was dedicated to duty. She had a very positive influence on thousands of young girls whom she encouraged, helped and taught.


FC.pngSr. Fidelma Caffrey

Sr. Fidelma, born in Bauma, Co. Mayo in 1928, made her First Profession in 1950. Soon after qualifying as a medical doctor, Sr. Fidelma was bound for Nigeria. She worked in Abeokuta, Kaduna, Akwanga, Oke Offa, Ijebu Igbo and Benin. She later specialized in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Sr. Fidelma then worked at the OLA hospital in Bacita before moving to Kaduna State where she worked as a consultant and University lecturer. Later, she worked in Lancaster, UK before returning to Ardfoyle in 1997. Sr. Fidelma went to her eternal reward on 21st December, 2016.

 A gentle and humble person, Sr. Fidelma extended the healing hands of Christ to the sick and infirm wherever she went. A highly qualified medical doctor, she went about her daily work without creating any fuss. Her brilliant and deep mind, her gentle spirit, her sweet singing voice, her witty remarks, her cheerful laugh, all will be very much missed here among us.


Sr. Catherine BuckleyCB.png

Born in Derrynagasha, Kinsale, Co. Cork in 1925, Sr. Catherine celebrated the 70th anniversary of her First Profession in September 2016. She gave over 40 years of service in Ghana, as a teacher, in Sekondi, Askikuma, Keta, Elmina, St. Mary’s Primary school and OLA Teaching Training College (both Cape Coast). She also had a keen interest in catechism and directed the programme in Catechetics at St. Peter’s Seminiary, Pedu. Sr. Catherine also spent some time on mission at the OLA Convent in London before moving to Ardfoyle. Sr. Catherine went home to God on 2nd March, 2017.

Sr. Catherine did not confine her interests to the classroom and boarding house.  The old and the sick and the lonely were quietly sought out and visited.  Children and many adults were prepared for baptism and the other sacrament. She endeared herself to hundreds of young children in the Elmina Boarding School to whom she was a real mother, in what was truly a home from home.


COF.pngSr. Catherine O’Farrell

Sr. Catherine was born in Donaskeigh, Co. Tipperary in 1931. She made her First Profession in 1952. After a short period in Rostrevor, Sr. Catherine served as a teacher and principal in Ijebu Ode secondary school. She also served in Oke Offa, Maryhill and Maryland. Sr. Catherine was Provincial Leader of the Irish Province for 9 years. Later on, she served in various apostolates in Ardfoyle. Sr. Catherine went to her heavenly reward on 6th March, 2017.

Sr. Catherine was a prayerful, simple and hard-working Sister. You were as likely to meet her rushing for class clutching her Maths books as heading for some part of the compound with a hammer or spanner or whatever tool she needed to mend some fault or other. She cared deeply for her students and left no stone unturned to provide every opportunity for them in their personal growth and academic development. 


Sr. Nuala HartyNH.png

Sr. Nuala was born in Ladysbridge, Co. Cork in 1935. She made her First Profession in 1958. She worked in Nigeria, USA, Ireland, England and Rome, as a teacher, a counselor and psychotherapist. Sr. Nuala served on the leadership team of the Irish Province for nine years. She was called home to God on 10th May, 2017.

Sr. Nuala had many gifts and talents. She was an efficient, hands-on, hard-working person who was a stickler for detail. Sr. Nuala had a passion for ecology and the environment and was the author of many excellent reflection sheets which circulated throughout the congregation. Sr. Nuala was a ‘giant’ in our Province; her fingerprints were everywhere, in the music, the choir, the garden, the brochures, her blackberries and her jam making. Her artistic touch was highly appreciated.


EH.pngSr. Eileen Healy

Sr. Eileen was born in Milleens, Coolea, Co. Cork in 1937. She qualified as a psychiatric nurse before entering Ardfoyle. After her First Profession in 1959, she qualified as a medical doctor. Sr. Eileen went to Nigeria in 1969 serving at OLA hospitals in Ibadan, Benin, Ogwashi-Uku and Bacita. Later, Sr. Eileen she qualified as a psychiatrist and became a Psychiatric Consultant. Her work brought her to Kaduna, Lancaster and Roscommon. In recent years she gave input and talks to many groups across Ireland. Sr. Eileen went to her eternal reward on 28th June, 2017.

At all times, with all people, Eileen was ready to listen deeply and attentively. Her compassion, concern and empathy brought healing and wholeness to the many people with whom she worked. Sr. Eileen experienced God in the present moment, wherever she was and in whatever she was doing. In fact, she saw God in whoever she was with.


May each Sister rest in gentle peace.