Sister Mary Christopher O’Regan
1920 – 2014
Born: 27th January 1920
Entered Religious Life: 6th October 1941
Died: 10th July 2014
Sr Mary Christopher O’Regan was born in Dublin to Patrick O’Regan and Julia Barrett on 27th January 1920. She arrived as one of twins and was given the name Shelia which she loved and her only sister was named Kitty. Their arrival caused very deep sadness for her father as her mother Julia died in childbirth RIP. Sr Christopher story with the Religious Sisters of Charity began in 1920. As a result of their mothers death the twins spent the early days of their lives in Temple St Hospital, where Sr Mary Finbarr took them to her heart. When Sr Mary Finbarr was missioned to Cappagh Hospital the twins went with her and stayed there, the centre of attention for a couple of months. Sr Mary Christopher was christened Julia after her mother and was known as Shelia O’Regan until she entered the Religious Sisters of Charity in 1941.
Following her time in Cappagh she spent the next seven years of her life in Carrignavar, Co Cork being raised by two grand-aunts. When she was ten years of age she returned to Dublin to live with her father and once again came in contact with the Religious Sisters of Charity during her school days in Mountjoy Street.
Sr Mary Christopher spent all of her religious life ministering in Ireland in various roles. In St Vincent’s Cork and Gardiner on two occasions, Donnybrook, Mountjoy St, Basin Lane, Seville Place, Stanhope St, Richmond Road, St Monica’s and St Patrick’s Kilkenny. Her ministry began in St Vincent’s Cork and Donnybrook. Her time in Mountjoy St was spent as a student and in 1947 her teaching career began as a primary teacher in St Vincent’s, Cork where she spent fourteen years. In 1961 she returned to Dublin and spent two years teaching in Seville Place followed by twenty two years in Gardiner St. When she retired from teaching she was missioned to Stanhope St as Outreach worker for the school for a period of ten years. On the opening of Richmond Road Convent the need for a Parish Sister was identified and Sr Christopher was chosen for it where she spent eleven happy years. She then entered into semi-retirement in Gardiner St and from there moved to St Monica’s. The contentment of golden years wasn’t to last as her keen mind was slowly taken from her. Finally needing specialist care, Sr Mary Christopher spent the last two years in Kilkenny under the dedicated care of the sisters and staff of the Mary Aikenhead Wing.
You cannot give your life more days, but you can give your days more life and this is what happened when Sr Christopher celebrated the 50th year of religious profession with a trip around Italy in 1993 at the age of 73! This was just the beginning of her holiday adventures. Each year that followed she discovered somewhere new to explore and learn from. In her seventy seventh year she spent a holiday in Greece travelling with her family from place to place in a caravan.
She spent just over two years in the Mary Aikenhead Wing and as her memory slipped away so also her physical condition. She died very peacefully on 10th July 2014 surrounded by the Community and staff. May she rest in peace.
Her removal took place to St Joseph’s Church, Foulkstown for Mass and burial. The celebrant was Fr Liam Taylor, one of the team of St Patrick’s Parish Chaplains to the Convent. In his homily he expressed his experience of her as a joyful person and her appreciation of the Blessed Sacrament. The funeral Mass was attended by many members of the Congregation and colleagues from her various ministries. May she rest in peace.