Sister Carmel Rita Maguire
1920 – 2011
Born: 14th February 1920
Entered Religious Life: 3rd February 1942
Died: 22nd July 2011
Sr Carmel Rita Maguire was born in Rialto, Dublin to Mary and Paddy Maguire on 14th February 1920; she was the eldest of a family of five: Patsy, Angela, Thomas and Mary. She was christened Elizabeth but called ‘Lily’ by the family. She went to school to the Sisters of Charity in Basin Lane.
On leaving school, Lily went to work in a laundry in Rialto and was there until she entered on 2nd February 1942. Lily spent her novitiate in Milltown and was very diligent and learned a lot. After her profession Sr Carmel Rita spent a short time in Merrion and then went to St Vincent’s Hospital, Stephens Green where she worked in the laundry. She was a very responsible woman and took on the task in hand and gave it 110% – no stone would be left unturned to have everything correct.When the hospital moved out to Elm Park she took charge of the new laundry.
Sr Carmel Rita’s brother, Patsy, emigrated to Australia much to her disappointment where sadly his wife died when they still had young children. He later married Shirley who corresponded well with Sr Carmel Rita.When Sr Marie Peter was Provincial Leader she called Sr Carmel Rita and asked her would she like to go on a trip to Australia to visit Patsy. Sr Carmel Rita, although nervous at the thought of the travel, was overwhelmed at the thought of seeing Patsy again.Sr Carmel Rita enjoyed her visit, but sadly Patsy was battling with cancer and died a month after Sr Carmel Rita returned home – even though she was sad she was so pleased to have had quality time with him.
In community, Sr Carmel Rita was very generous with her time – she joined in everything and was very witty. Sr Carmel Rita would listen to all the conversations and debates and then she would hit the nail on the head with her comments.Above all, she was an exemplary religious – she was very committed to her vows, prayers and she had a great love for Mother Mary Aikenhead. She was called home on 22nd July – Mary Aikenhead’s anniversary – and is the only other Sister of Charity to die on the same day as our Foundress – 153 years later.