My name is Sister Conleth. I was born on 25th February 1924 in the village of Ballynacargy, Mullingar Co Westmeath and was baptised in the local parish church three days later and was christened Mary Teresa and called Maura by the family and was known by that name.
I received my first Holy Communion when I was 7 years old and was confirmed when I was ten years old in our Parish church in Ballynacargy.
From the age of 4years old until I was 14 years I attended the Ballynacargy Primary school and won a Scholarship to Moate Vocational Convent School to study home economics. I also studied in Cork and having learnt much I fully realised this was not what I wanted.
How did you become a Sister?
I always felt the call to be “nun”. Shortly after returning home from Cork I met Sister Siena who was home from South Africa, attending a General Chapter. She was a cousin of my father and had a sister also in our congregation Sister Sacred Heart.
Sister Siena visited our house and I met her and loved her cream habit! Although I was very happy with the Mercy Sisters in Moate I wasn’t ever thinking of being one.
I didn’t speak to Sister Siena then but some time later I wrote to her and told her that I was thinking about being a sister like her but didn’t know anything about the Dominicans. Sister advised me to write to Sister Anselm which I did and eventually she came to Dublin to meet a girl there who wished to go to Bushey also. So we both travelled with her on January 18th 1943.
I received the habit on 3rd August 1943 and made First profession on 4th August 1944. I was assigned to Burnt Oak and was there until I made my final Profession. I have enjoyed many years teaching in our schools.
What gives me joy and hope?
I get great joy in seeing the enthusiasm and joy shown by our Sisters working in their various ministries .It gives me great hope to see our Sisters planning for the future, when our number will increase and we will flourish as a congregation.