Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Frs John Knight and Paul Smithers pray before Eileen O’Connor’s coffin (The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni-Portelli)

Servant of God Eileen O’Connor will be honoured at a Mass on the anniversary of her death on January 10 in Coogee, the Sydney neighbourhood where she once lived and ministered to the disadvantaged. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

Eileen, a laywoman, who died in 1921, is revered for having co-founded Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor in 1913, a religious order committed to nursing the sick and poor in their homes.

The official cause for her canonisation was opened in February 2020 and she is on track to one day be made Australia’s next saint.

Sydney Bishop Emeritus Terence Brady will be the principal celebrant at the 11am Mass on January 10 at St Brigid’s Church, Coogee.

The public will then be invited to Our Lady’s Nurses Home in Coogee to pray at Eileen’s tomb.

Sr Margaret-Mary Birgan from Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor said she has seen growing interest in Eileen O’Connor’s remarkable story since her cause for canonisation was officially opened.

“The 10th of January has always been a day of pilgrimage for us and many people come to our home to pray to Eileen. They come with their sorrows and their intentions and their love for her”, Sr Margaret-Mary said.

Eileen O’Connor died aged 28. She endured tremendous suffering, spending most of her life confined to a wheelchair due to a debilitating condition known as transverse myelitis.

Sr Margaret-Mary said despite her great suffering, Eileen never lost sight of serving others and offered up all her suffering to Christ.

“I liken Eileen to the Little Flower, St Therese of Lisieux or St Bernadette since her whole life was one of expiation and of suffering which she endured without complaint,” Sr Margaret-Mary said.


All welcome on Eileen’s Day (By Michael Kenny, The Catholic Weekly)