Sister Margaret Imelda Waldron
1927 – 2011
Born: 2nd June 1927
Entered Religious Life: 7th February 1949
Died: 4th May 2011
Born in Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo on the 2nd June 1927, Imelda Waldron was one of eight children born to James and Margaret. She had four brothers, Jarlath, Noel, Kieran and Peter – and four sisters, Jo Vona, Pat and Eithne who was her twin and with whom she had a very special bond.
Imelda left Ballyhaunis in February 1949 and travelled to Milltown to begin her novitiate training. She was given the religious name of Sister Margaret Imelda but to her family she was simply Imelda.
Her profession of vows took place on 21st August 1951 and she was then missioned to Ballaghadreen which was the beginning of her ministry in child care, which was to continue until 1967.
From 1967 until 1971, her ministry was very different as she was engaged in keeping accounts in Milltown; another change of ministry was then given and she was appointed Assistant to the Mistress of Novices in 1971, a post she held until 1984. During this time she dealt fairly and compassionately to all, taking an interest in everyone’s family and instilling in the novices the importance of a spirit of generosity in the congregation.
When her time in Milltown came to an end, she moved to Waterford where she was Local Leader and involved in the administration of the Sacred Heart Unit for children with special needs. When a decision was taken to close the convent in Lady Lane, she joined the community in Tramore and continued with her ministry in the Sacred Heart Unit until 2001, when she then enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical. Sr Imelda loved her time in Waterford and in recognition of the contribution she made to services for children with physical and intellectual disabilities she was given the 1999-2000 Waterford Community Award from The Waterford News and Star and AIB Bank. She was very touched by this and delighted that members of her family were able to be with her in celebrating the day.
Following her time of sabbatical she was then missioned to Cappagh, where she remained for almost five years before retiring to Temple Street.
Sister Margaret Imelda was a woman of great simplicity, with a very deep faith, appreciative of all and with the ability to recognise God at work even in the most difficult circumstances. She never took anyone for granted and was always most gracious and grateful for any acts of kindness shown to her.
Her family were important to her and she always spoke lovingly of her parents and all that they had given her in life. She was especially fond of her brothers and sisters and maintained contact on a regular basis. As they passed away she experienced a great loneliness and always spoke of how lonely it was to no longer have a sister, at the same time appreciating her remaining brothers, Fr Kieran and Fr Peter.
Her time in Temple Street was relatively short and with declining health she went to Loyola House in Merrion in 2009. In Loyola she was very happy to be with the other sisters and to have the time to spend with the Lord in prayer.
She died peacefully on 4th May 2011 in St Vincent’s Hospital. Her funeral took place in St Mary’s, Merrion with Eucharist celebrated by her brothers Fr Kieran and Fr Peter. She was laid to rest in the Congregation’s cemetery in Donnybrook.
May she rest in peace.