Thursday, 14th December 2017

Convent of Mercy of the Sacred Heart

Posted on 07. Aug, 2010 in Parish Groups and Organisations

The late Very Reverend Thomas Canon Rice, PP, VF, was responsible for bringing the Sisters of Mercy to Cookstown. A man of vision, he, in 1887, requested the Lurgan Mercy Sisters to send to Cookstown a small Community who would provide education for the girls of the town. Because of work practices, these girls were unable to attend school during the day. The Canon’s suggestion therefore, to solve this important problem was that a ‘Night School’ should be established.

Consequently on the 5th May 1887, four sisters arrived from Lurgan. They 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.

The work of the Sisters initially was in the ‘Night School’, as the evening classes were then called.

In the year 1891, the Sisters commenced work in the newly erected Primary School ‘St. Brigid’s’, adjoining the Convent building.

As the years passed, because Secondary education was not as yet widely available, the Sisters started a Commercial class in the existing Primary school. This class grew in popularity and increased in numbers until new premises were necessary and were obtained in the building known as the ‘Reading Rooms’, now the Bosco Youth Centre. With the advent of Catholic Secondary education to the town, the Commercial class was discontinued in 1965 when Our Lady’s High School was opened. In that year some members of the community joined the staff of the new Girls’ Secondary school.

Another memorable milestone was reached in 1965 with the completion of a new Convent Chapel, designed and furnished entirely by Irish artists.

In 2001, the Sisters vacated the original Convent and now reside at 58 Fairhill Road, where they continue to serve in the local Parish community in Pastoral Ministry, Family Care, St Vincent de Paul, Apostolic Work and Healthcare

58 Fairhill Road, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, BT80 8AG

Tel (028) 8676 3363

E-mail mercycookstown@utvinternet.com

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