North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Margaret Jennings [1824-1901], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down

 Margaret Jennings was the daughter of Charles Jennings [1780-1855], Monaghan Street, Newry, County Down, and his wife, Sophia Corley daughter of Patrick Corley of Clones, County Monaghan. She was baptised in Newry in 1824.
Margaret Jennings Dr. (daughter) to Charles. Sponsor  brother(s). £2.2 [1]
Margaret and her younger sister Letitia became Sisters of Mercy.
Margaret had first applied to join the Presentation Order in 1862, where her sister Elizabeth was Reverend Mother Superior.
1796.06/26/1862 Letter from Sister M Magdalen, Presentation, Youghal, to Bishop Keane, requesting permission to admit Revd. Mother's sister, Miss Margaret Jennings, into the convent. Includes an account of her character, 24 April 1862.[2]
Margaret appears to have then become ill but she applied again in 1864.
1796.06/30/1864 Letter from Sister M Magdalen, Presentation Convent, Youghal, to Bishop W Keane. 2 years ago he gave them permission to receive a Miss Jennings. She waited until she was completely free of an ailment and now wishes to join. She asks the Bishop if they may still receive her. 25 April 1864.[3] 
Margaret, for whatever reason, chose instead to become a Sister of Mercy.
Margaret Jennings, the daughter of Charles and Sophia Jennings of Newry Co. Down, was born in 1824, entered the Convent of Mercy in Charleville, County Cork on 31 July 1867, took the name Sr Mary Alacoque and professed her vows as a Sister of Mercy on 18 March 1870. In May 1887, she was elected by the Charleville community as Mistress of Novices and re-elected to that post in May 1880. The Mistress of Novices was in charge of the novices or trainee nuns who joined the community with a view to becoming Sisters of Mercy. In 1879, the Charleville community established a branch convent in New Inn, County Tipperary. Mother Alacoque was the first superior of the community and when her term of office expired in 1884, she returned to Charleville. She died in Charleville on 19 December 1901 and is buried in the convent cemetery.[4]

The Charleville Annals noted her passing:
On 19th Dec 1901 Sr. M. Alacoque Jennings died, sweetly and peacefully as she had lived. She was distinguished in the community by her refined and elegant manners, her charming frankness and simplicity and by her spirit of prayer.
Her death was also reported in a Newry paper:
Death of a Sister of Mercy. Recently there died at the Convent, Charleville, a venerable member of the Community, Sister Mary Alacoque Jennings. The deceased lady belonged to a very old Newry family, being the daughter of the late Mr. Charles Jennings, an extensive and highly respected merchant, who carried on business on Merchants’ Quay his residence being the house now occupied by Mr. McCrink at the corner of Monaghan Street. Other lady members of the same family embraced the religious life, two of whom are still living – one in the Convent, Warrenpoint, and the other in the Convent, Youghal, of which she is the Reverend Mother Superioress.[5]

[1] Parochial records of Newry, 1818-1827.
[2]  NAI Formno:  1764 Repository:  Cloyne Diocesan Archive
 Access:  Restricted Collection:  Bishop W Keane Main reference:  Box U Century:  19th.
[3] NAI .Form no:  12224
 Repository:  Cloyne Diocesan Archive Access:  Restricted Collection:  Bishop W Keane Main reference:  Box BBCentury: 19th)
[4] Archivist Mercy Congregational Archives
[5] Newry Reporter 24 Dec 1901

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