Anniversary Mass to celebrate Eileen O’Connor to be held tomorrow at Coogee

A Mass will be held at 10am tomorrow (Thursday 10 January) at Our Lady’s Home in Coogee to mark the 98th anniversary of the death of Eileen Rosaline O’Connor, the co-founder of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor. Eileen O’Connor was recently recognised as a Servant of God by the Holy See.

Archbishop of Sydney Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Anthony Randazzo and Bishop Emeritus of Broken Bay Most Rev David Walker DD will concelebrate the Mass. 

Other attendees include other priests, representatives from the Sisters of Charity, Missionaries of Sacred Heart, Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious orders – and of course, our many, many friends from throughout Australia. 

Mass will be followed by morning tea at which Bishop Walker will officially launch the revised edition of Eileen O’Connor – A saintly inspiration (Rob Ditessa), a copy of which will be presented to all attendees.

Book lovers can also buy reprints of Our Lady of Coogee (by Mary O’Connell), And here begins the work of Heaven (by Jocelyn Hedley) and Eileen O’Connor – A Remarkable Life (by Br Oswin McKinney) will also be available.

After morning tea, visitors are welcome to return to Our Lady’s Chapel to pray at Eileen’s open vault, join in a recitation of the Rosary or sit in quiet, restful meditation. Attendees are also welcome to visit the museum or place petitions in the intercessory box.

Who was Eileen O’Connor?

Born in the Inner-Melbourne suburb of Richmond on February 19, 1892, Eileen Rosaline O’Connor suffered a crippling break in her spine at age three. She lived her short life in constant nerve pain from what was later diagnosed as tuberculous osteomyelitis.

The O’Connor family moved to Sydney when Miss O’Connor was 10 years old and despite her poor health and immense suffering, she co-founded the Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor with local priest Missionary of the Sacred Heart Father Edward McGrath in April 1913.

At the time there was no publicly funded health care available, so Miss O’Connor instructed her “daughters” to care for the sick and dying poor in their homes.

At just 115cm tall, the nurses lovingly referred to Miss O’Connor as “Little Mother”.

Read more about Eileen’s path to sainthood

The invitation from Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor

Photos courtesy of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor


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Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle