TRIBUTES have been paid to Fermanagh nun Sr Bridie Rogers, who passed away at the weekend following a long life dedicated to helping others.
Sr Rogers, who spent 70 years serving as a Sister of Mercy, passed away on New Year’s Eve surrounded by her family and fellow nuns, and was laid to rest at the Convent cemetery following funeral Mass at St Michael’s in Enniskillen on Monday.
Born in 1930 in Tonagh, Derrygonnelly, Sr Bridie was raised in Gortnalee, Belleek. A former Mount Lourdes pupil, she entered the convent in 1954 and was professed in 1959, and was well known as an educator throughout Fermanagh and beyond.
After completing her teacher training in Manchester, she taught in the Convent Primary School in Enniskillen, before moving on to the Dungannon Mercy Convent Secondary School.
In 1961 Sr Bridie became a founder member of staff for the original St Fanchea’s College. It is fitting to note Sr Bride passed away the day before the feast of the famous Fermanagh saint, from whom the college takes its name. St Fancea was also a nun and founded a convent on the banks of the Erne in the fifth century.
In 1971 Sr Bridie was asked to be a member of the new Sisters of Mercy Community in Clogher, where she took up the post of principal at St Macartan’s Primary School there.
Mgr Peter O’Reilly paid tribute to Sr Bridie, “She was a marvelous educator, giving the pupils a broad education and enabling each to grow their gifts and realise their potential. She helped many of them to participate in competitions.
“She was a regular visitor to the people at home in the parish and offered great practical help in the local parish.”
Mgr O’Reilly said Sr Bridie had also played a strong role in the congregation of the Sisters of Mercy over the decades, holding roles of responsibility and leadership at local and diocesan level. She was also involved with the Aisling Centre, and spent time on missionary work in East Africa.
After retiring from edcuation in 1988, she spent a sabbatical year in Spokane, USA. Upon her return she was heavily involved in parish work in Irvinestown.
Throughout her life of service, Sr Bridie remained in close contact with her family, who often visited her in the convent, where she will be fondly and gratefully remembered.
“Sr Bridie was always a most helpful, obliging and active community member, a fully committed Sister of Mercy with a deep sense of God at the core of her life,” said a spokesman.
Sr Bridie will be missed by her sister Kathleen McManus, Lisnaskea, her brother Denis in Canada, and her nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brothers Eddie, John and Frank, and nephew Donal McManus.
Her nephew Fr Brendan McManus SJ said his aunt was a “remarkable woman” who “dedicated her life to helping others.”
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