Sister Anne Dolores O’Connor
1921 – 2012
Born: 1st September 1921
Entered Religious Life: 6th October 1941
Died: 5th July 2012
An appreciation of Sr Anne Dolores O’Connor
On Thursday morning, the 5th July, Sr. Anne Dolores O’Connor was called to her eternal reward. Mary, daughter of John O’Connor and Nora Moriarty, was born in Brackluin, Annascaul, Co. Kerry on the 1st September, 1921. She was one of a family of four, three brothers Michael, Jack, Tommy and herself. She was educated in the Mercy Convent, Dingle and after completing Secondary School she worked in the Civil Service for two years. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity in Milltown, Dublin on 6th October, 1941 and made her religious profession on the 20th April, 1944.
Throughout her life Sr. Anne Dolores was engaged in the ministry of education in various schools in Ireland. After her Profession she spent one year in Mountjoy Street Convent in Dublin as a student. She then spent four months teaching in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary after which she returned to Mountjoy Street to teach in Kings Inn Street. On completion of her training in Carysfort as a primary teacher, she spent ten years teaching in Crumlin, Dublin 12. She then moved to Donnybrook to study for the B.A Degree in UCD and Higher Diploma in Education. For two years after her studies she taught in Lady Lane, Waterford before going to Benada, Co. Sligo, where she was appointed School Principal, a post which she held for twenty-three years. Sr. Anne Dolores was a great educator and had a special love for Mathematics and Irish
It was during her time there that the Government of the day introduced free secondary education and this led to an increase in the enrolment at the school. During her years in Benada she devoted herself to building up the school. She is fondly remembered by former staff and students and many of them were in contact with her up to the end. Even when she no longer recognized them they were faithful to writing to her and visiting with her.
She was very involved with her students and always tried to bring out the best in them. Sometimes when she perceived that some of the boys in Benada had a lot of work to do on the farm when they were at home, she would arrange extra study time for them on Saturdays and during school holidays. She loved hearing about them after they left school and they in return were faithful to remembering her.
In 1987 when the sisters were about to withdraw from Benada, she took a well deserved sabbatical at the Gonzaga University Programme in Spokane. During her time in the U.S. she had the pleasure of meeting many of her former students who had made lives for themselves on the other side of the Atlantic.
On her return to Ireland she lived in Tramore, Co. Waterford for eight years before moving to Baldoyle, Co. Dublin where she was engaged in some remedial teaching and was responsible for the convent accounts and the writing of the annals.
Finally she retired to Lakelands in Dublin where she endeared herself to all by her quick wit and droll repartee. Anne had the great gift of being able to live in the present moment and to accept her retirement gracefully and gratefully.
Annascaul, where she was born, had a very special place in Sr. Anne’s heart. She loved to speak of West Kerry, and even in her more senior moments the mention of this, her home place, would inevitably bring an energetic response.
She died peacefully in Lakelands on the 5th July, 2012. Many of her family and friends attended her funeral Mass in Star of the Sea Parish Sandymount on Saturday morning and she was buried in the Convent cemetery in Donnybrook. All will miss her cheerful greeting and her kindness.
May she rest in peace.