Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal arrive in Drogheda

‘They will not be teaching in schools or working in hospitals’

Four nuns from the United States last night formally replaced the Sisters of Mercy at St Mary’s parish in Drogheda. The event was marked by a Mass in St Mary’s, concelebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan (above) and the Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith. Photograph:   John Moore/Getty Images)

Four nuns from the United States last night formally replaced the Sisters of Mercy at St Mary’s parish in Drogheda. The event was marked by a Mass in St Mary’s, concelebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan (above) and the Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images)

Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 01:36

Four nuns from the United States last night formally replaced the Sisters of Mercy at St Mary’s parish in Drogheda. The event was marked by a Mass in St Mary’s, concelebrated by the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan and the Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith.

Some time ago Bishop Smith had spoken to Cardinal Dolan about the Sisters of Mercy leaving St Mary’s in Drogheda, where they had been since 1854.

Cardinal Dolan, who had been educated by Irish Sisters of Mercy at Ballwin, Missouri, then requested the new New York-based religious community, the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, to make their home at St Mary’s in Drogheda.

Based on the ideals of St Francis, this new female religious congregation was established in New York in 1988. Earlier this month four of its members left their convent in the Bronx, New York, to set up their latest missionary outreach at Drogheda in the diocese of Meath.

The newly arrived nuns are Sr Jacinta Pollard, Sr Monica Ward, Sr Veronica Cowan and Sr Kelly Francis.

In his homily at last night’s Mass, Bishop Smith said: “when the Sisters of Mercy came to Drogheda in 1854, they were asked to care for the sick and educate the poor in a town where many had been denied education and great social deprivation existed.

“The Sisters did that, not just in Drogheda but worldwide, over the generations. They have completed the work they were asked to do.”