Presentation Convent, Kilcock, Co Kildare formerly of Carrowmore, Newport
Sr Thérèse was the eldest of seven children born to Patrick and Mary O’Malley, Carrowmore. She was educated by the Mercy Sisters in Newport, and the Ursulines in Sligo. Her desire to become a nun was fulfilled when she joined the Presentation Order in Drogheda in August 1934. She made her final profession in August 1937 and for the next eighty plus years she dedicated her life to God, following in the footsteps of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Sisters.
Sr. Thérèse’s early life was spent teaching in Greenhills College Drogheda and in Metare, Louisiana, and in later years she worked in community projects, mainly in Portadown, where she earned the respect of the Protestant as well as the Catholic communities. She loved to come back to her roots, visiting her brother John Joe, his wife Mary and family regularly, and catching up with neighbours and cousins. When the opportunity allowed, she loved to visit her sister Julia and her four brothers; James, Michael, Padraig, and Eamon who had all emigrated and had made their homes in Chicago. She enjoyed getting to know her many nieces and nephews, attending their weddings and singing lullabies as the babies arrived. She loved to sing and trained many choirs in harmonies with her friend Sr. Carmel playing the organ.
It was with a heavy heart that she agreed to retire to St. Joseph’s, Tuam, in her ninetieth year, saying farewell to her beloved Portadown. However she was happy to be back home in the west, near to her family, and to Knock Shrine where she loved to pray. Her final years were spent in Shalom, presentation Convent, Kilcock.
In June 2017 she celebrated her 100th birthday, surrounded by her loving sisters in religion and her affectionate family; she was honoured to receive the letter and cheque from President Higgins. She continued in good health right up to the end, and at the great age of 101 and a half, she answered the call for a second time, and died peacefully in the care of the kind nursing staff in Shalom.
Sister Thérèse lay in repose in Shalom where Presentation Sisters and past pupils from all over the country came to pay their respects. Requiem Mass for the repose of her soul was celebrated in St. Patricks Church, Newport by Fr. Tod Nolan PP assisted by Fr. Billy Sheridan.
The large congregation included Presentation Sisters from all over the country and all were welcomed by Sr. Martha. Her dear friend Sr. Colette gave the eulogy recalling the dedicated service that Sr. Thérèse had given down the years. The choir sang her favourite psalm: “The Lord Is My Shepherd” as Sr. Thérèse’s remains were escorted to her final resting place by her family and friends.
On Wednesday December 5th 2018, Sr. Marie Thérèse was laid to rest in Kilbride Cemetery, alongside her parents Pat and Mary O’Malley, a stone’s throw from her childhood home in Carrowmore.
Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.