Sister Teresa Towey
1935 – 2015
Born: 6th February 1935
Entered Religious Life: 6th October 1958
Died: 20th September 2015
Winifred Teresa, daughter of John Towey and Brigid Donoghue, was born in Towneymuckla, Co. Roscommon, on 6th February 1935. She entered the Novitiate in Milltown on the 6th October 1958. On 30th April 1959 she received the habit and the name Mary Soubirous. Some years later she returned to her baptismal name, Teresa. She made her first profession on 2nd May 1961.
Sr. Teresa spent a short time in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, immediately after profession. Apart from this her entire life was spent ministering in the Irish Province. After her time in Sowerby Bridge she returned to Milltown and attended Carysfort Training College. Having graduated from Carysfort in 1964 she spent four years in Basin Lane, Dublin, followed by two years in Waterford and five years in Blarney, Co. Cork, during which she attended a night course in UCC and obtained a Diploma in Catechetics. Between 1975 and 1990 she taught at Stanhope Street, Bray and Walkinstown.
During the following year she was based in Gardiner Street while attending lectures in Mater Dei Institute. From 1991 to 2009 she was School Chaplain in Baldoyle, after which she retired to Gardiner Street. Throughout her ministry in education she was a gentle presence in whatever school she happened to be in and she always had a great love for the children.
Teresa was a woman of great faith. She liked to visit places dedicated to Our Lady and often arranged her holidays around such a visit. After her retirement to Gardiner Street she frequently visited the sisters in places like Lakelands and St. Monica’s and she also provided companionship and support to members of the community in Gardiner Street. Her request to move to Lakelands came as a surprise to the sisters in Gardiner Street and she was greatly missed by all. Some weeks after her departure they heard that the sister-in-charge in Lakelands had said ‘she would love to have ten of Sr. Teresa’ and they knew then she was happy and that she had made the right decision.
During her time in Lakelands she endeared herself to everyone – sisters and staff alike – by her gentle presence and her delightful smile. At that stage her health was failing and her power of speech was impaired. It must have been extremely frustrating for her to be unable to articulate what she wanted to say, but she accepted that trial with patience and resignation.
Teresa had a very dedicated family. She loved small children and her grandnieces and grandnephews loved to visit her. Her love for children, so much in evidence during her teaching days continued to the end with her young relatives. She is greatly missed by them.
On the 20th September, after some days in which her health was visibly declining, Teresa died peacefully at home in Lakelands. Her remains were received back in the Convent Chapel on Monday 21st and she was removed to Star of the Church in Sandymount on Tuesday 22nd for her Requiem Mass. She was laid to rest in the community in Donnybrook. May her dear soul rest in peace.