Golden jubilee celebrations for much loved nuns in Kilfinane

Sister Kathleen Neenan, Sister Eileen Kelly, Sister Patricia Coughlan Photo John Mortell
Golden jubilee of nuns in Kilfinane

The parish of Kilfinane and Scoil Pól came together on Saturday evening last to celebrate the occasion of Sister Kathleen Neenan, Sister Eileen Kelly and Sister Patricia Coughlan’s golden Jubilee in the religious order of the Sisters of Saint Paul the Apostle.
Each of the sisters are past pupils of Scoil Pól and were also teachers in the school.
Sister Kathleen was also principal of Scoil Pól and oversaw the construction of the current school, which opened in 1986.
Invaluable contributions
Mass on Saturday evening was con celebrated by Fr Michael O’Shea and Monsignor Dan Neenan, a brother of Sister Kathleen.
In his introduction, Fr Michael reminded the congregation of the invaluable contributions made by each of the sisters to the parish of Kilfinane and its surrounding parishes, and of their lifelong contribution to education in South Limerick and beyond. In addition, Fr Michael spoke of the sisters’ parochial work and their living out the words of the orders foundress, Genivieve Dupuis, ‘Do your best for the children’. ‘The motto of Scoil Pól – ‘All things to everyone’ – embodies the sisters’ lives in their service to others, given freely and always,” he added.
Education in Kilfinane
Students from Scoil Pól presented symbols to the altar at the start of Mass. Introduced by Mrs Elma Power, the symbols encapsulated the sisters life of prayer, service and the provision of education in Kilfinane.
The prayers of the faithful and second reading were recited by more Scoil Pól students who are completing the Saint John Paul Awards. These awards are just one of the many innovations Sister Patricia has been instrumental in starting at Kilfinane, bringing a greater involvement of young people in the day to day lives of their Church.
Lives shaped
After Mass, principal of Scoil Pól, Michael O’Hara, on behalf of Scoil Pól past and present, spoke briefly of the role each sister played in the provision and development of the school. Thanking the sisters for the faithfulness and dedication to Scoil Pól, Mike reminded everyone that each and every individual has had their lives shaped and influenced by the their interaction with the sisters.
“Our lives are better for this interaction in the most positive of ways and has shaped us in all that we do,” he said.
“They have influenced us by how they have lived their lives, in their daily living of the teachings of Saint Paul and have been fundamental in the building of character and morality in all who have had the privilege to work with them,” the Scoil Pól principal added.
Marking the occasion
Representatives from the Board of Management of Scoil Pól and Scoil Fhionáin then presented each of the sisters with a memento to mark the special occasion.
A specially commissioned painting by retired art teacher, Maura Doherty depicting Faith, Hope and Charity was presented, along with a present from the community and school.
Following a standing ovation for the sisters, the community was invited to Scoil Pól for some light refreshments and chat, where old friends had the opportunity to catch up and share stories.