On Tuesday evening, 29th June 2021, in the presence of Sisters and Staff at Sallyville House, Sr. Magdalen Doyle went home to her eternal reward. She had returned to Sallyville the previous week after spending a few days in Wexford General Hospital and seemed in good form, but she signalled to some staff members that she would soon be following Sr. Liguori, who had died in early June. Death came more quickly than any of us expected, when she passed away peacefully a couple of days later.
Sarah Ann (Sadie) Doyle – Sr. Magdalen was one of seven children born to Andrew Doyle and Mary Larkin at Ballytarsna, Ballycullane, Wexford. The family subsequently moved to Haggard, Ramsgrange. Sadie attended the local school and later completed her secondary education in the Loreto School, Wexford, after which she entered the St. John of God Novitiate in October 1949. Following Profession in 1952 Magdalen trained in General Nursing at the Co. Hospital, Wexford and was assigned to Courtenay Hill Hospital, Newry, where she ministered for the next twenty-five years. When the newly-built hospital opened there in 1967, she was appointed Matron. With her administrative skills and dedicated commitment, she guided that hospital through its early years, upholding ethical standards and maintaining a high level of efficiency.
Magdalen was very creative and artistic and evidence of this is to be seen in many of the places where she ministered. Following her long stay in Newry, she did a Spirituality Course in Regina Mundi, Rome and returned to various ministry roles in Wexford, Waterford Convent, Ballyvaloo Retreat Centre and Newry Parish, before eventually retiring to Wexford Convent in 2010.
While she gave up active involvement in the work of the Congregation, Magdalen never lost interest. She always kept aware of happenings in Church and Religious Life and remained a devoted member in her heart and in her prayer. She came from a family of strong faith – a gift which sustained her throughout her life. She suffered many bouts of ill-health, but always faced those challenges with courage and acceptance. That spirit of faith and courage was truly evident when she had to cope with the amputation of her leg a few years ago.
Magdalen was pre-deceased by her brothers Andrew, Paddy, Philip and Fr. Nicholas and by her sisters Bernadette (Bebe) Murphy and Sr. Gonzales S.S.J.G. She is sadly missed by her brother Shaum, her sister Betty (Sr. Winifred I.B.V.M. Peru), the St. John of God Sisters and her many friends.
The Requiem Mass for Sr. Magdalen was celebrated in Rowe Street Church on 2nd July. Very Rev. Anthony O’Connell, Chaplain Sallyville House was principal celebrant, assisted by Very Rev. Denis Doyle A.P. (nephew) and Very Rev James Curtis A.P. Clongeen. Following Mass she was laid to rest in the Convent Cemetery, Newtown Road.