Sr. Aloysius Tighe R.I.P.
Once again on the evening of 11th February 2021, a sense of loss and sadness was felt in Sallyville House, when Sr. Aloysius Tighe died peacefully in the presence of Sisters and Staff there. Sr. Aloysius had great devotion to Our Lady throughout her life, and so it seems fitting that she would make her final journey home to God on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Sr. Aloysius – Margaret Mary Tighe, (Rita to her family), hailed from Kylemalawn, Errill, Co. Laois. She was born on 4th November 1930 and was the seventh of ten children born to John and Teresa Tighe (nee Delaney). She attended the local Primary School and from there, in 1944, won a scholarship to Mountmellick Secondary School. Following school, Rita moved to Dublin and worked in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners for a few years, during which time she enjoyed her independence but the thought of religious life was never too distant from her mind. She continued the faith practices of her earlier years at home and was a regular worshipper in Gardiner St. Church. Eventually, in 1950, Rita entered the St. John of God Novitiate in Wexford, following her three sisters who had already joined the Congregation. On Reception she received the name “Aloysius”, which for her was significant, as he is the Patron Saint of young students and Rita had set her heart on teaching. She was professed in May 1953.
Following Teacher Training in Carysfort College, Aloysius spent her life in the ministry of education. She taught in Primary Schools in Wexford, Edenderry, Kilkenny, Rathdowney and Kilmore. In Rathdowney, for approximately ten years, she also taught Religion, French and Irish in the Vocational School, where she is remembered with respect and gratitude. When she officially retired from the Department of Education, Aloysius began working voluntarily as a Learning Support Teacher in the Vocational School in Kilkenny. It was here, when dealing with young people from the most deprived backgrounds, that her excellent teaching skills truly came to the fore. She inspired her students, who responded to her gentle manner and according to teachers in that school, she showed “extraordinary commitment and dedication …. and pupils, past and present, speak with great fondness of a wonderful woman”.
Aloysius was a woman of many gifts. She loved her family and connected with them regularly. Her years in Rathdowney strengthened those family bonds. She had a keen intellect and an enquiring mind. As a young woman she loved sport, and in her retirement years she enjoyed watching every hurling and football game. She knew the players by name and could recount their strengths and weaknesses! Above all, Aloysius’ commitment and compassion were always very much at the heart of her ministry. She had a deep faith and trust in God, which carried her through the many ups and downs of her life. As we grieve her loss, we thank God for the faithfulness of her life.
Very Rev. Martin Delaney, P.P. Rathdowney, who knew Sr. Aloysius’ family, celebrated her Requiem Mass in Sallyville House, after which she was taken to her final resting place in Foulkstown Cemetery, Kilkenny. Because of Covid restrictions, a small number of relatives and Sisters attended.
Sr. Aloysius was predeceased by her sisters, Maura, Breda, Teresa, Angela, Sr. Agatha, Sr. Dympna and her brother Paddy. She is survived by her sisters, Sr. Mary and Anne Kiernan, her nieces, nephews, extended family, St. John of God Sisters and many friends.
Leaba i measc na Naomh go raibh aici