Sister Teresa Emmanuel Rooney
1922 – 2013
Born: 22nd October 1922
Entered Religious Life: 26th October 1942
Died: 27th March 2013
Sr Teresa Emmanuel Rooney whose baptismal name was Eileen Gabriel was born to Patrick Rooney and Moya Reilly in Drumullagh House, Omeath, Co Louth on 22nd October 1922. She was the youngest of seven children, three sisters and three brothers who have all pre-deceased her. She entered the Sisters of Charity in Milltown on 26th October 1942 and made her religious profession 15th May 1945.
Sr Teresa Emmanuel spent most of her religious life serving the mission in Ireland and three years were spent in Hammersmith, England. She ministered in various roles in Donnybrook, Milltown, Gardiner Street, Harold’s Cross and Kilkenny. Twenty four years of her ministry was in Leadership serving on the General Leadership Team and she was appointed as Irish Provincial in 1981. After that she had two terms as Local Leader in Donnybrook and Kilkenny. Between her appointments to Donnybrook and Kilkenny she had a well-deserved sabbatical. She also served as Missioner, Sacristan and Pastoral Social Worker which she loved. She had a wonderful love and compassion for the poor and brought great love and joy into the lives of those she served. She initiated many projects to enhance the lives of people especially those of travellers with Monsg.Tom Feehily and Eithne Russell Social Worker. While in Gardiner St she helped with Fr John Murphy SJ to set up the Social Services in Sherrard St, which continues to serve the local community to this day. Her work in Milltown is etched into the lives of many novices who were fortunate enough to accompany her on the mission. She had an extraordinary capacity for people which was evident from the many stories she would tell of her experiences which were always life-giving. Following her sabbatical she semi-retired to the Provincial House where she spent five years. She retired fully to St Michaels, Harold’s Cross and when it closed she was transferred to Lakelands. After some time it was noted that her memory was failing and she returned to Kilkenny to the Mary Aikenhead Wing. It was a joy to have her back and she had many visits from St Patrick’s old staff whom she had employed. She was deeply loved and remained as gracious as ever during her final illness. Her only desire was to do God’s will and those who cared for her had to be careful in asking her to do something as she always interpreted it as God’s will. She died very peacefully on Spy Wednesday, 27th March 2013. May she rest in peace.
Due to the day of her death, her removal and burial were held on Good Friday and her Requiem Mass was offered on 9th April 2013 in St Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown. The Chief Celebrant was her great friend from the social services Fr Fergus O’Donoghue SJ and he was joined by Frs Dan Carroll PP and Donal Harney MHM. Her Removal, Burial and Requiem Mass were very well attended by her family, Congregation and many friends and colleagues.