Sister Rosarii retired in 1992. Well, sort of retired.
She retired from teaching back in 1992 after completing what was by any standards a full term in both the boys and girls national schools in Acragar in Mountmellick.
But Sister Rosarii is not the retiring type. While she was teaching she also took on the responsibility of parish sacristan at St Joseph’s church in Mountmellick in 1971. She continues to serve as sacristan.
She is training in a new sacristan, Annette Dempsey.
Sister Rosarii obviously enjoys working and the people and parish of Mountmellick took the opportunity last week to recognise her decades of selfless service to her community and the Church.
And Sister Rosarii was the recipient of a special honour bestowed upon her by Pope Francis.
Also recognised on this occasion with a special Mass at which the chief celebrant was Bishop Denis Nulty was former Mountmellick Parish Priest, Father Frank Mc Namara. Also celebrating this Mass were Fr Michaeál Murphy PP and Fr Noel Dunphy CC.
Father Mc Namara, who is originally from Rathangan in County Kildare, resigned his post as PP in 2012, but continued working in the parish and the diocese.
He retired fully from active ministry in August of last year and this was an opportunity for parishioners to say, thank you to him also. Father Mc Namara was ordained in 1960.
Fr Mc Namara was presented with a beautiful painting by Mountmellick artist Gemma Guihan. The painting was a west of Ireland scene featuring an old fishing trawler.
And the presentation was unique as it was made on behalf of the parish by Marie Clear. Marie was the first person that Fr Mc Namara baptised when he came to Mountmellick in 1989.
Mountmellick parishioners were joined by family, friends and relations of Sr Rosarii and Fr Mc Namara for the occasion.
Sister Rosarii is originally a Fennelly from Stradbally.
She was born in 1928 and took her first profession of vows as a Presentation Sister 70 years ago in 1949. She has devoted herself to decades of dedicated service to the community and church in Mountmellick all her life.
This devotion of service to others and the Church was described by Father Micheál Murphy PP as “truly remarkable”.
It was for this remarkable service to the Church that Sister Rosarii was awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Francis and it was presented to her at the special Mass in Mountmellick by Bishop Nulty.