The Holy Rosary Sisters Story

Since 1924 Ireland has been home to one of the outstanding missionary endeavors. Young women left Ireland to bring education, health care and, most important of all, the Christian message to the African peoples. The Sister’s courage, commitment, and dedication, made an enormous contribution to developing countries. Their contribution may never be fully appreciated or recognized. The Sister’s journey began in Killeshandra, County Cavan, Ireland. They were members of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, and their convent, the mother house of the congregation, was situated a few miles outside of the town. Throughout the length and breadth of Ireland the sisters were simply and affectionately known as the ‘Killeshandra Nuns’. Their Story is that of some of the most dedicated women ever to leave Ireland’s shores.

Founded by Bishop Joseph Shanahan in 1924 when he realized that missionary efforts in Nigeria were focused on the male population. Women were not being adequately catered for by the missionary movement. The bishop had approached various Societies to address this need but they were unable to commit at the time. Therefore the Bishop determined to form a new missionary congregation for women, to empower the girl child.

Many Sisters have spent over 50 years bringing education, health care and the Christian message to the people of Africa. They have suffered many diseases, faced adversity and suffered through civil war. They have lived the credo “Women Empowering Women”.

They initiated educational, health, pastoral, development and human rights programs which empowered the local population, male and female, to take on the responsibility of continuing their work.



We are both honored and excited that The Honorable Sabina Higgins has agreed to serve as the Patron of the organization. Mrs. Higgins has a close relationship with the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary through her cousins Sister Goretti and Sister Breda who are members of the Congregation.


All funds raised by the Sisters were used for the missions, not thinking of their own future and care.

Over 200 Sisters returned to Ireland in their later years, their accommodation was not adequate for their needs and numbers, requiring them to borrow from their retirement reserves to adequately accommodate the retiring Sisters.

The Campaign

All past students follow the Sister’s legacy of giving back. Many past pupils have gone on to be successful leaders in government, finance, sciences, and even teachers themselves. Seek to support elderly Sisters in the twilight of their lives.

To provide for the retirement of the women who gave their lives to make sure that education was guaranteed to girls of all ages in developing countries in Africa and the Americas.