This July we will celebrate 200 years of Carmelite life in New Ross.

It all began in 1769 when Mary Teresa Kavanagh was born. Her Father Dr. George practiced in number 2 John St. New Ross, while the family residence was at Ringwood, The Rower, Co. Kilkenny. In 1775 Dr. George and his son became Protestants so they could keep their property. This was the time of the Penal Laws. Teresa became a Carmelite Sister in Dublin and harboured a secret wish to found a monastery in New Ross in reparation for the family abandoning the faith.

It happened that the Parish Priest of New Ross was also anxious to found a convent in New Ross for the education of children. Dean Chapman was the brother in law of Teresa’s sister. So when he applied to the Carmelite monastery in Dublin for a few Sisters to make the foundation he got a favourable reply. Sr. Teresa Kavanagh lead the small group to New Ross on July 18th. 1817.

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