Sr Joseph Austin Gahan
1931 – 2022
Born: 7th August 1931
Entered Religious Life: 9th November 1953
Died: 7th October 2022
Kathleen Mary Gahan, daughter of Joseph Gahan and Elizabeth Gahan (nee Jones), was born in Clonegal, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford on 7th August 1931. She entered the Religious Sisters of Charity on 9th November 1953 and was received into the Novitiate on the 18th May 1954, receiving the name Sr. Joseph Austin. She was professed on 22nd May 1956.
Sr. Joseph Austin began her ministry as housekeeper in St. Monica’s Nursing Home in 1956 while living in Gardiner Street. In 1959, she was missioned to Hackney to continue this ministry. This was followed by some months in Parish Ministry in Langley. In 1967, she returned to Ireland and was missioned to Stanhope Street Community and Hostel as housekeeper. In 1978, she was missioned to Donnybrook, initially as Ministress, followed by a six-year term as Local Leader.
Thereafter, Sr Austin continued her ministry in Bray, St Patrick’s Kilkenny, in Harold’s Cross as Ministress and Local Leader, in Lakelands as assistant local leader and housekeeper. She then retired to Marmion House when her health began to fail she was transferred to Loyola, Merrion. When Loyola closed in 2020, Sr Austin moved to Beechlawn Nursing Home where she was beautifully cared for by the staff.
Sr Austin was an excellent cook. She was very hospitable to everyone and is specially remembered by the staff with whom she worked. As Ministress and Local Leader, she was very kind to the sick and elderly in the different communities in which she lived. During her time in Beechlawn Nursing Home, her phone, tablet and newspapers enabled her to keep in touch with all that was happening in our world, for which she constantly prayed. She was very attentive to the other sisters, kept them up to date and shared her tablet to attend Mass on line.
Sr Austin’s final illness was brief. She was admitted to the Mater Hospital on 3rd October 2022 and died very peacefully in the Special Care Unit on 7th October 2022, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary to whom she had great devotion. Her funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Ciaran O’Carroll in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook on Tuesday 11th October 2022, followed by burial in the community cemetery, Donnybrook. May she rest in peace.