Sister Alice Maguire
1925 – 2022
Born: 7th November 1925
Entered Religious Life: 11th February 1952
Died: 6th March 2022
Sr Alice Maguire was born in Ireland in a lovely town in the midlands, called Portarlington Co Laois on the 7th November 1925. Her parents were James and Catherine Maguire and she was christened in the local parish Church. She had one brother and two sisters who have predeceased her. May their souls rest in Peace.
Sr Alice entered the Sisters of Charity, in Milltown, Dublin on the 11th February 1952 and after the initial period of postulancy was received as a Novice on the 13th August 1952 receiving the name Sr Mary Colman. She was professed on the 17th August 1954 and made her final profession in 1957.
She spent her entire life with the exception of two years in Bristol University, in Pastoral Ministry and Social Work. Her devotion to duty was unique and unparalleled in history, her energy was limitless. She never used a watch. She preferred to live by the sun and was always on time. She made the rest of us ashamed who were constantly consulting our watches and yet failed to be on time.
Her ministry to the poor and vulnerable in our society was spread over a wide area from Bath in England in 1954 to the end of her active years in Ndola, Zambia in 2018. During that long period she served in Chikuni where she arrived in 1957, Namwala where she was founder member in 1963 and later in Maamba, Meheba, Solwezi and finally in Ndola.
In 1975 she was missioned to Maamba where she ministered until 1986. She reverted to her Baptismal name Alice which she retained for the rest of her life. She worked closely with the priests of the parish and was very supportive of them. She visited many villages in remote areas, conducted prayer services with people who had never heard of God ending the services with a generous sprinkling of Holy Water! These services were greatly appreciated by the local people who as time went on were able to organise their own Liturgical services.
Sr Alice touched many lives during her long life. She was very good ‘listener” and the problems of the poor, though so overwhelming, she always sent her people away with fresh hope and courage to face reality. In Maamba she had a special day which we laughingly called “Sr Alice’s Outpatients’ Dept”. That meeting was always well attended, and people went away tired but happy. Her name is a ‘password’ in the Monze Diocese.
Sr Alice had a great understanding of the plight of Refugees and worked hard in Meheba Refugee Camp between 1998 and 1995 to try and bring back some semblance of normality to the many refugees there. She worked with Catholic Relief Services who were involved in similar work of relief for Refugees.