Sister Marie Angelus Hayden
1935 - 2013
Born: 3rd May 1935
Entered Religious Life: 5th October 1970
Died: 28th September 2013
An Appreciation of Sr. Marie Angelus Hayden
Mary Anne (Maureen) Hayden, daughter of James Hayden and Anne Byrne, was born in South Circular Road in Dublin on 3rd May 1935. The eldest of five children, Maureen had two brothers, Willie (who died at 12 years of age) and Bobby, and two sisters, Bríd and Angela. Maureen entered the novitiate in Milltown on 5th October 1970 and was given the name Sr. Marie Angelus at her reception on 21st April 1971. She made her religious profession on 21st October 1973.
Since her childhood Sr. Marie Angelus had been plagued with delicate health but despite this she was determined to enter religious life. She was a woman of prayer and had great devotion to Mary Aikenhead. Her life was one of suffering and ill-health and yet she was always cheerful and good-humoured and ready to help all those in need. Sr. Marie Angelus had a great gift for sewing, knitting, crochet and crafts. These skills she learned from her mother at an early age when she was unable to attend school due to illness. She never gave in to self-pity and constantly used her gifts in the service of others. Until her final years, when she was no longer able to do so, Sr. Marie Angelus knitted and sewed with great joy and amazing dexterity! Many a Sister in the Irish Province proudly wore a cardigan lovingly knitted by Sr. Angelus!
After her first profession, Sr. Marie Angelus was missioned to St. Patrick’s Kilkenny to minister to the children with special needs. But this was not to last for long and after a few months she was asked to move to Lady Lane in Waterford to use her skills by helping in the workshop. Once again, however, after a short period of eighteen months in Waterford, Sr. Marie Angelus was missioned on 5th May 1975 to Mount St. Anne’s, Milltown. Here she did tremendous work for over twenty years with the children from the Travelling Community who attended St. Anne’s school. These children were brought by special bus to Milltown every morning during the school term. Before they attended class, Sr. Marie Angelus looked after all their physical needs, giving them a nourishing breakfast which was followed by a hot shower. The children then put on their school uniforms and were taken to their classes. At the end of the school day, they returned to Sr. Marie Angelus, who then helped them back into their ordinary clothes which she had already washed, dried and ironed while they were at school. She did all this each day with great joy, love and good humour. She was loved and respected by the children and their parents in return.
When Mount St. Anne’s closed in 1995 Sr. Marie Angelus was missioned to St. Mary’s, Merrion. Here she helped in catering for the needs of the blind residents. In 1998 when the Sisters vacated the main Convent she became part of Shalom community in Merrion. From here, and until her health began to seriously decline, she ministered in Caritas Convalescent Centre and Loyola House. Soon she became so incapacitated that she needed nursing care and so, in 2007, she cheerfully accepted being admitted as a resident in Loyola House. She never complained about her suffering and always had a cheerful word for everyone she met. In 2010 when even the nursing care in Loyola House was not sufficient for her needs, Sr. Marie Angelus was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospice. Here, in Marymount ward, she was lovingly cared for by the staff of Our Lady’s Hospice who enjoyed her good humour and enthusiasm for living. Her family visited her regularly and were very appreciative of the care she received.
Sr. Marie Angelus became seriously ill in September 2013 and died very peacefully on 28th September 2013. She was laid to rest in the community cemetery in Donnybrook.
May her gentle soul rest in peace.