Sister Mac, left, with her friend and colleague, Sister Theophane
Published: 11 May, 2012
by PETER GRUNER
ALWAYS kind and thoughtful, Sister Mac, who worked tirelessly for her parish at St Mellitus Church, Tollington Park, has died.
She was 94.
The Catholic Sister – real name Mary Immaculate Purcell – will be buried at her home back in Kilkenny, Ireland.
The church held a Mass for her yesterday (Thursday).
Father David Ardagh-Walter, who conducted the Mass, said: “The parish owes her an immense debt for her decades of work here, both in the school of Christ the King and later as Parish Sister.
“She was physically tiny, but with a huge personality."
"We shall miss her.”
Sister Mac, who lived in the Convent of St John of God at Wray Crescent, came to Islington in 1956 when she began teaching at Christ the King Primary School in Tollington Park.
She later retired and worked at St Mellitus as a Parish Sister until a few years ago when she decided to spend her remaining years back home in Ireland.
Peace campaigner Bruce Kent, a member of the congregation, described Sister Mac as the “best of Irish nuns”.
He added: “She was small, determined, active kindly and with twinkling eyes."
"She should have been a Parish Priest, she was always an open ear for people who wanted to unburden themselves.”
Eileen Hanifan, a friend and also a former teacher at the school, described Sister Mac as very much a “people person”.
She added: “She was obviously a religious lady and a nun and she took her responsibilities to the community very seriously."
“She was a wonderful teacher and everyone loved her and knew they could talk to her about their problems.”