Gortahork born nun celebrates her 102nd birthday

Sr. Berchmans (Hannah Phaidí Phrionsias) who was born in Derryconnor, Gortahork celebrated her 102nd birthday recently.

There will be a big celebration to mark the milestone in the Loreto Convent, Navan where she now resides. She was born on the 29th July, 1920 and was baptised on the 31st July. She entered the Loreto Order in Rathfarnam, Dublin in 1943 and was professed in 1947.

She served at the Loreto Convent, North Great Georges St. Dublin from 1947 to 1953.


In 1953 she moved to County Donegal and she was assigned to Loreto Convent, Letterkenny and served there from 1953 to 1961.

She then moved to Falcarragh and she served at the former Coláiste Bhríde, Falcarragh from 1961 to 1991.

She moved back to Letterkenny in 1991 and was attached to the Loreto Convent from 1991 to 1996.

She served at the Loreto Convent at Deilginis, Dublin, from 1996 to 2003, Loreto Convent, Blackrock, Dublin from 2003 to 2017, Loreto Convent, Letterkenny from 2017 to 2020, and afterwards moved to Loreto Convent, Navan, Co. Meath where she now lives. She has spent over 79 years as a Loreto Sister.

Two years ago Sr. Berchmans returned to the house in Derryconnor where she was born to celebrate her 100th birthday.

Her grand-niece, Moira Ní Ghallchóir renovated the house and she lives in it now.

A fluent Irish speaker she has fond memories of all the places in Donegal she served during her lifetime.


She took the name of Berchmans in memory of John Berchmans.

He was born in 1599. He was a young holy man who entered the Jesuits Order in 1616.

He passed away five years later.

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