Sister Elizabeth Anne McAteer
1922 - 2012
Born: 14th May 1922
Entered Religious Life: 8th October 1945
Died: 24th October 2015
Anne Teresa McAteer, daughter of James McAteer and Elizabeth Donaghy was born in Shannagh, Co. Donegal on the 18th August 1922. Having received her early education in Loreto College, Falcarragh, she attended Carysfort Teacher Training College, where she qualified as a Primary School teacher. She taught with the Sisters of Mercy in Baggot Street for a short time. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Charity on 8th October 1945. Her sister, Sr. Carmel de Montfort, was professed in May of the same year. She received the habit and the name Elizabeth Anne on 1st May 1946. She made her Profession of Vows on the 4th May 1948.
After her profession she spent a few months in Cappagh where she was involved in Housekeeping. She was then missioned to St. Vincent’s, Cork, where she taught in the primary school for three years and in 1951 moved to Gardiner Street. From 1951 she was engaged in the ministry of primary school education until her retirement in 1987. With the opening of the first foundation in America she was very excited at the prospect of being missioned there. She was disappointed that she could not go due to ill health. Instead she was missioned to Bray where she taught for one year. In 1955 she was missioned to Milltown to start the school in Farrenboley where a new housing estate had been built. The children from Farrenboley were taught in the Marian Hall in Milltown for two years. In 1957 when the new school was ready the classes moved there and she travelled by bus each day. In 1958 she was missioned to Blarney where she spent six years. In 1964 she went to Baldoyle and remained in the school there until she retired in 1987. In 1987 she was appointed Local Leader in Walkinstown.
Sr. Elizabeth Anne was very caring, kind and thoughtful, friendly and approachable at all times. She was an excellent teacher who was long remembered by her students. Recently a former student of hers was enquiring where she was living and mentioned that she had always intended visiting her as she had made a lasting impression. She served as Chairperson of two of the Primary School Boards of Management and always kept in touch with education, her former occupation. She took a lively interest in the Social Service Centre in Walkinstown and, while she was able, paid frequent visits to the functions organised there.
In 1993 she was missioned to Airdrie, Scotland where she was engaged in the ministry of Reception and took a keen interest in the fundraising. She was instrumental in bringing the idea of the ‘Light Up A Life’ Christmas Tree to Airdrie Hospice as she had seen that it was popular in Harold’s Cross. She was a welcoming, gentle presence to all who entered St. Andrew’s Hospice. During her time in Airdrie she became an ardent fan of Celtic soccer team. Perhaps some of the excitement and her enthusiasm for Celtic was due to the fact that many of the players had Donegal connections. The Donegal GAA team was also very close to her heart and even when she could no longer watch games on the television she listened to the radio and was frequently heard to say, ‘Up Donegal’.
Up to about two years before her death she visited Donegal at least once a year. Early in December each year there was a family anniversary and both she and her sister, Sr. Carmel, always attended. She had family members who made sure that this could happen.
Sr. Elizabeth Anne suffered from acute arthritis for many years, but was never known to complain.
She retired to Lakelands in April 2000. For some years she was able to help out answering the telephone. She also made relics of Mary Aikenhead and cards. In recent years she became more frail. She was always grateful for any little act of kindness and her most frequent expression was ‘Thank you’. She was a woman of faith and had great devotion to the Mass. Up to her last days she insisted on attending Mass and when she received Holy Communion she responded loudly and clearly ‘Amen’.
Sr. Elizabeth Anne died peacefully at home in Lakelands on the 24th October 2015. Her remains were received back in the Convent Chapel on Sunday 25th and she was removed to Star of the Church in Sandymount on Tuesday 27th for her Requiem Mass which was celebrated by her nephew. She was laid to rest in Donnybrook Cemetery. May she rest in peace.