Much loved former School Principal and Sister of Mercy

Chris Brennan


Chris Brennan


Tuesday 14 December 2021 7:18

The death has taken place of Sr Mary Aloysius McConville.

Former Principal of St Josephs Convent Primary School in Newry, Sister Mary Aloysius passed away peacefully at Avilla Nursing Home, Bessbrook on December 5th.

Beloved daughter of the late Bernard and Caroline McConville, the deceased was the much loved sister of Carrie Turley, Kathleen Conlon, John and the late PJ and Bernard.

Requiem Mass was celebrated on Tuesday last in the Convent of Mercy Chapel followed by internment in St Mary’s Cemetery, Rathfriland

Sr. Aloysius was born on 29th August 1929 in Lessize, Rathfriland, Co. Down.

Her parents were Bernard and Caroline McConville.

She was baptised Marie Celine and was the eldest of 6 children.

She had a very happy childhood in Lessize and attended the local Primary School. At the age of 11 she went as a border to Our Lady’s Grammar school in Newry.

On 15th August 1947 she entered the Convent of Mercy, Newry and began her Novitiate as a Sister of Mercy. She was given the name Sr. Mary Aloysius.

On 22nd July 1950 she made her Final Profession, i.e., Final Vows.

Sr Mary Aloysius attended St. Mary’s training College, Belfast and began her studies to become a Teacher. Her training was completed in 1954 and she took up a teaching position in St. Joseph’s P. Newry.

During her teaching career she taught in Newry, St. Dominic’s School, Mobile, Alabama, USA & Convent of Mercy, Rostrevor.

After her retirement from teaching in 1989 she went to St. Anthony’s Parish, Craigavon as a Parish Sister.

During these years she worked with the St. Vincent De Paul Society. She found her years in Craigavon very fruitful.

Sr. Aloysius had a deep faith in God which was manifested in her love for the underprivileged and the marginalised. This was evident during her teaching career and her work as a Parish Sister.

Her one great passion was nature. She could name every bird, animal, tree, plant and flower. She loved to watch Nature programmes on TV and study the sky at night. She attributed her love of nature to her Father. She spent a summer in Iceland to allow the Sisters there to have a holiday.

This was one of the highlights of her life. She was able to visit the outstanding geographical wonders of that country.

When Pope Francis initiated the encyclical Laudate Si, she was delighted and quote

“He is a man after my own heart”

Her love of nature brought her close to God. She loved to pray outdoors close to nature and close to God.

She loved her family especially her siblings. She took a great interest in her grand nieces and nephews. She liked to travel for a holiday. Her holidays were not sitting on a beach but seeing the sights and the natural habitat of the country she visited.

Sr Aloysius loved to sing and listen to music. She liked to read spiritual books and books about nature especially National Geographic magazine.

She was a kind and generous person, full of life and fun.

She had good health until a few months ago.

Sadly, she passed peacefully on 5th December to her eternal home.

Sr Aloysius was led to rest with her parents in her native Rathfriland.

It was fitting that storm Bara was raging as she was led to rest. It was as if the elements of nature which were her passion were welcoming her home.

May her gentle soul rest in peace. .

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