Long service of Cookstown nuns celebrated at special Golden Jubilee Mass

Sisters of Mercy Cookstown wishing Blessings on Sisters Ita and Joan on their Golden Jubilee
Sisters of Mercy Cookstown wishing Blessings on Sisters Ita and Joan on their Golden Jubilee

A special Golden Jubilee Mass was celebrated for two Sisters of Mercy in Cookstown’s Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday.

Sister Ita and Sister Joan both joined the order in 1964 and taught several generations of local children.

Hailing from Strabane, Sister Joan taught in Holy Trinity Primary School and still works there on a voluntary basis.

Sister Ita, from the Kildress area, was a teacher in both the Primary School and Holy Trinity College. She now carries out visitation work within the parish.

The Golden Jubilee Mass was attended by members of the Sisters of Mercy community, including two Provincial leaders Sister Ann and her assistant Sister Paula.

Talking about the Golden Jubilee Mass, Sister Joan said they were both very pleased and it was a “very nice celebration.”

Parish priest Fr Gerard Tremer paid tribute to the work of both nuns and the invaluable contribution they had made to the life of parishioners over 50 plus years.

The Sisters of Mercy have a long association with the County Tyrone town - going back about 130 years.

They were invited to come from Lurgan by then parish priest Fr Thomas Rice.

Four nuns were led by Sister Mary Rose McCabe and took up residence in a private house in number 80 Chapel Street until the Convent was built adjacent to Holy Trinity Church.

Their initial focus was on providing evening classes at ‘Night School’ prior to concentrating their efforts in the newly erected primary school St Brigid’s, adjoining the Convent building.