Ursuline Convent, Temple St., Sligo.
The Ursuline order was founded by St. Angela Merici in Italy in 1535. Originally known as The Little Company, it was introduced to Ireland by Nano Nagle in 1750. Their principle apostolate was the education of the young. Bishop Browne invited the sisters to establish a boarding school for girls in Athlone in 1844. The school and novitiate at Summerhill flourished but the sisters transferred to Sligo in 1850 where they continued their work of education. In 1893 the secondary school adopted the Intermediate system of education and the well-known boarding school remained open until 1982.
In 1950, at the request of the Department of Education the sisters started St. Angela’s College of Education for Home Economics at Lough Gill. It became a Constituent College of University College Galway in 1978.
Although not founded specifically to provide education, the Ursuline’s became involved in this apostolate from the mid sixteenth century. However, Angela Merici’s counsel, to change with the changing times, was more clearly understood after the Second Vatican Council. Since then the Sligo Ursuline’s have responded to the needs for public health nursing, parish work, assisting the homeless and to the need for spiritual direction.
Missionaries of Charity
Missionaries of Charity, Temple St., Sligo.
The Missionaries of Charity was founded by Mother Theresa of Calcutta (1910-1997). They opened a house in Sligo in December 2000, in fulfilment of a promise she made on her visit to Sligo in 1996. This is a contemplative order and is the first such order of nuns in the history of the diocese.
Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
Presentation of Mary Sisters, John St., Sligo.
The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary was founded by Anne Marie Rivier, who was beatified in 1982. In the same year the sisters came to Sligo to establish Perpetual Adoration at the Cathedral. Since then many of the laity have joined the sisters in perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Sligo Cathedral. Currently residing and working in our Cathedral Parish are Sr Emma Dublan and Sr Elvira Rosel.
Poor Sisters of Nazareth
Nazareth House, Church Hill, Sligo.
The Sisters of Nazareth were founded in 1851 by Victoire Larmenier. They came to Sligo in 1910 in order to care for children who were forced to live in the workhouse. The sisters provided a home and education for between 100 and 150 children at any one time and it is estimated that from the time of their arrival in Sligo until 1990 they had cared for some 1,800 children. The Nazareth House was registered as a nursing home in 1980 and began to develop its services for the elderly.
Sisters of Mercy
Mercy Convent, 3 St. Patrick’s Tce., Cranmore Rd., Sligo.
The Sisters of Mercy was founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831. They have been assisting the poor, providing education and caring for the sick in Sligo and in the main towns throughout the Diocese of Elphin since 1846.
St. Patrick’s Convent in Sligo became the mother-house for the Sisters of Mercy in the diocese.
In order to be closer to the people they served three sisters moved to live in Cranmore housing estate in Sligo in 1982. The same year McAuley House was purchased for women in need of short-term care and later sisters began to care for homeless men at Maryville. When St. Patrick’s Convent was vacated in the late 1980’s the sisters moved to a smaller purpose-built residence and to a number of smaller houses in town. The sisters from Sligo were responsible for starting the Mercy foundations in Ballina in 1851 and in Enniskillen in 1856.
Daughters of Wisdom (La Sagesse)
Daughters Of Wisdom, Sr. Margaret
The Daughters of Wisdom were founded by St, Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort in Poitiers, France in 1703. The first Sister who is the Co-Founder was Sister Marie Louise Trichet. The Daughters of Wisdom (La Sagesse) came to Sligo from England in 1955 in order to provide a residential home and a school for the mentally handicapped throughout Ireland. Cregg House was opened in January 1956. St. Cecilia’s Special National School was opened in 1974 and the campus became known as “The Sisters of La Sagesse Services, Cregg House”. The sisters and staff at Cregg House recognise the individuality of each person ad help them to develop their full potential. They now provide day and residential services, schooling and housing for 215 children and adults with moderate, severe and profound learning disabilities.
Reference: The Diocese of Elphin People, Places and Pilgrimage Edited by Francis Beirne