The Sisters of Mercy came to Charleville on 29th October 1836, at the request of a wealthy lady, Mary Clanchy, and Fr. Thomas Croke P.P.
Concern for so many very poor people living in the laneways of the town prompted Mary Clanchy to travel to Dublin and plead with Catherine McAuley – foundress of the Sisters of Mercy – to make a foundation in Charleville. She gave a house in Clanchy Terrace and £500.
The foundation stone of the present convent was laid on 24th September 1838. Venerable Catherine McAuley came for the occasion.
The walking nuns visited the sick and poor in their homes. They nursed in the Kilmallock Workhouse from 1881 until it closed. Two sisters worked in the Crimea 1854 to 1856. They ministered in district nursing, in a nursing home, for some years and in Sheltered Housing.
The Sisters taught in Primary Education in the then national school – now the Schoolyard Theatre. They opened a secondary school initially in a room in the convent. Primary and Secondary Education continues today in the capable hands of the staff of St. Mary’s, St. Anne’s and St. Joseph’s schools.
The Sisters at present are involved in various ministries within the Parish and continue with a spirit of joy and enthusiasm in their service of the Lord and neighbor.
For Charleville community contact: Sr. Brid Biggane & Sr. Norma Landy at 063/81276.