One hundred and 51 years after the Sisters of Mercy came to Doon from Kinsale their convent is to close this year
AFTER 151 years of serving the people and parish of Doon the Sisters of Mercy Convent in the village is to close later this year.
The seven remaining nuns will move to new convents in Cappamore, Limerick city, Tipperary Town and Templemore before it shuts on July 1. Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Kieran O’Reilly will be the chief celebrant at a Mass of thanksgiving on Sunday, June 12.
Only last year large crowds attended a special Mass and many former pupils of St Joseph’s Secondary School visited the convent to celebrate the Sisters of Mercy 150th anniversary of coming to east Limerick from Kinsale.
Fr Tony Ryan, Doon parish priest, said the news that “the nuns were leaving us in Doon was learned with great sadness and disbelief but also with a great sense of appreciation and gratitude”.
He said the contribution of the Sisters of Mercy in the field of education is immeasurable.
“They have prepared so many people for exams but more importantly for life with their high standards. Not only that but their participation in the parish life of Doon in pastoral and social areas has been immense. They have touched the lives of all our people and they are loved and respected by young and old. The good they have done is known to God alone,” said Fr Ryan.
The nuns have participated actively in the life of the church as eucharistic ministers, readers, parish choir, sacristans, pastoral council, pioneers, Legion of Mary, board of management, and also after retirement been actively involved in learning support and home school liaison.
“Their beautiful chapel is open to all for Mass and sacraments with liturgies prepared. The chapel is maintained so beautifully.
“They have not only provided employment for many down through the years but they have been so generous with their property. They have given a site for the community centre, they have facilitated the exchange of land for the GAA field and a site for the magnificent new secondary school – Scoil na Trionoide Naofa.
“They gave the parish a bequest which has enabled us to purchase a site adjacent to the village to extend our cemetery,” said Fr Ryan.
On behalf of the parish, he says they are eternally grateful to the Sisters of Mercy.