Sister Mary Arsenius Crowley
1917 – 2013
Born: 18th February 1917
Entered Religious Life: 1st June 1936
Died: 8th February 2013
Sr. Mary Arsenius Crowley was born on the 18th February 1917 in Bantry, Co. Cork. Nora Crowley was the daughter of Patrick Crowley and Bridget Sullivan and was the youngest of a family of eight children.
Sr. Arsenius entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity in Milltown on the 1st June 1936 and made her Religious Profession on the 19th January 1939.
On the 24th January 1939 she went to St. Vincent’s Hospital to train as a nurse.
On the 28th September 1943 she moved to Temple Street Hospital to nurse and on the 30th June 1949 she went to Temple Hill community and was there until 30th August 1951. She was missioned back to Temple Street community on the 31st August 1951 and worked in Temple Street Hospital as a nurse.
Sr. Mary Arsenius was a very dedicated and committed Sister of Charity. As a nurse she was very efficient, kind and compassionate. Holistic care of the sick children was a priority for her. She also cared for their parents and extended family, always sensitive to their needs and very aware of their struggles. One nurse said “Sr. Arsenius’s generosity knew no bounds when it came to helping others in their time of need”. She gave a great training to her nurses and many of them kept in touch with her long years after they left Temple Street. Recently a small group of them met, they had trained in Temple Street 35 years ago. Many of them started their “hands on” training in “Top Flat” with Sr. Arsenius. An extract from their letter read “We all experienced her “sixth sense”. Sometimes on night-duty Sr. Arsenius would appear down at 12:00 midnight or 2:00 a.m. from upstairs and tell us to keep an eye on a specific child; invariably she was right – something would happen or change in that child’s condition, but we were prepared as we had been forewarned. Nowadays people would say that the “sixth sense” was a combination of experience and intuition, but to us it was almost a magical thing”. Another nurse recalls “Sr. Arsenius and Miss King getting Paddy (the Porter) to put an occasional bet on a horse. She was very interested in horse racing”.
Sr. Arsenius was a shy, private and retiring person. She related very well on a one-to-one basis. She was always cheerful, welcoming and hospitable. When she finished in Temple Street Hospital she took up Sacristy duties in the convent and was always available to help generally in the community whenever there was a need.
When she needed full-time care in November 2005, she moved to St. Monica’s Nursing Home, Belvedere Place. She eventually settled and over the years when people visited her she always expressed her appreciation of the care she was receiving from the sisters and staff in St. Monica’s. Sr. Arsenius died peacefully on the 8th February 2013 R.I.P. On 10th February 2013 her remains were taken to Temple Street Convent Chapel, reposing overnight. Her funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Donal Neary S.J. in St. Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street, on Monday 11th February and she was buried in the community cemetery in Donnybrook. May she rest in peace.