Good Shepherd Sisters
A Mass of thanksgiving will be celebrated in St. Columb’s Church, Chapel Road, Waterside, Derry at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday 29th September to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of a Good Shepherd Convent in the City – 29th September 1919.
The chief celebrant will be the Bishop Donal Mc Keown together with priests who have served in the Waterside Parish over the years. All parishioners are welcome to join the Sisters in this celebration. Following the Mass refreshments will be served in the Parish Hall.
The Good Shepherd Sisters have had a presence in Derry since 1919 when 3 members of the congregation, Sr. Ita Rice, a grand-niece of Blessed Edmund Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers, Sr. Agnes Quinlan and Sr. Sacred Heart O’Connor arrived in the city.
They came at the invitation of the Waterside parish priest, Fr. Walter O’Neill and with the approval of the Bishop of Derry, Most Rev. Charles McHugh. Times were turbulent, both in the city and the country. It was just after the First World War, 3 years after the 1916 Rising and 2 years before Northern Ireland was partitioned from the rest of Ireland. Fr. O’Neill recognised the need of a Good Shepherd Home to care for women and girls in the city who were in need.
For the first 50 years the Sisters were involved primarily in institutional care, hence their ministry was within the convent grounds. From the early 1970’s onwards, the Sisters branched out from residential care and became more closely involved in parish activities in the Waterside and beyond.
As the Good Shepherd Sisters celebrate 100 years of ministry in Derry, they are indebted to the Bishops, Priests and People of the diocese and in particular the parishioners of Glendermott and Ardmore for the tremendous support afforded to them over the years. On this significant milestone in the history of the Good Shepherd Sisters we thank God for their witness and pray for God’s blessing on their ministry in the years ahead.