There was a gentle air of warmth, gracefulness and appreciation at the civic reception presented to the Sisters of Mercy, Tipperary town for 150 years of service to Tipperary town and the surrounding areas by the Tipperary/Cashel Municipal District.
Chairman John Crosse welcomed everybody to the proceedings, including fellow councilors, Minister Tom Hayes and TD Mattie McGrath and many nuns who had travelled to join in this celebration.
“It is my pleasure to bestow the Tipperary town Sisters of Mercy the highest honour the authority can bestow on you in recognition of your great work in education, nursing and social services. Over time many people called at your door for help whether it was for a mug of tea or a listening ear and many times you have visited the poor, the sick and the dying in their homes.
The older generations in the town speak of the many occasions when children who were sent to school with no breakfast directed to the kitchen door with a message from a nun and all would come back smiling having got bread jam and cocoa,” said Cllr. Crosse.
“There are many other examples of great work the Sisters of Mercy carried out over the years in Tipperary, Cashel and the many far away missions.” he added.
Sr. Cait Gannon and Sr. Assumpta Dunne accepted the civic reception certificate on behalf of the nuns.
“I wish on behalf of the Sisters to thank you all for according as the civic reception to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the sisters of Mercy in Tipperary Town. How proud the Sisters of 150 years ago would be today to see the spark they kindled erupting like a bright flame of mercy marking the immense influence the Sisters exerted on the people of Tipperary areas. It is an immense honour to have you all present in the Convent of Mercy and we are delighted to except from you the civic reception; the highest accolade at the disposal of the Tipperary Council.
I would also like to include in the vote of thanks Martina Ferncombe and the council staff and indeed Mary Rose and the staff here for their efforts to make this afternoon such a memorable occasion.”
On October 4, there was a celebratory 150th anniversary Mass in St. Michaels Church, Tipperary town. Dr Des Murnane gave an informed talk on the history of the Sisters of Mercy arrival in Tipperary and students from St. Anne’s Secondary school and St. Joseph’s Primary school joined in the celebrations.
Archbishop Dermot Clifford spoke kindly of the Sisters saying - “You are like roses with the beautiful fragrance of presence wherever you go.”
Archdeacon McGrath delivered an inspirational ceremony describing the acts of the Sisters of Mercy with the three ‘P’s: Pilgrimage, Poetry and Presence.
Each TD and councilor addressed the crowd at the civic reception regaling stories of acts if kindness including acts of compassion at St. Patrick’s hospital and Our Lady’s Surgical hospital in Cashel.
“With the hope and joy you bring to many in your mercy work it is a privilege and a joy as Chairman of the Municipal Council of Tipperary and Cashel to be awarding you the highest honour in the recognition of your presence over the past 150 years,” concluded Cllr. John Crosse.