Sr. Mary Kevin of Our Lady of Lourdes, (Nellie Gillic) was born in Oldcastle, Co. Meath on the 3rd April, 2015, the fifth of eight children to William and Mary Gillic. Her Father was the local teacher and they lived in the teacher’s residence until he retired when they moved to 143 Leinster Rd., Rathmines. Dublin. Her father had one sister, who became a teacher also and was headmistress in Rosscastle School, Co. Westmeath.
Her mother, Mary (Callary) had just one brother, who became a Priest of the Meath Diocese, later becoming Vicar General of the Diocese. He wrote a book on Tara.
On finishing her primary schooling she was sent as a boarder to the Secondary School, run by the Loreto Sisters, recently come to Navan.
Her sisters, May & Margaret were already there and later, Kathleen and Breda.
Sr. Kevin did her matriculation and then went on to do dress-making and desiging in the College of Commerce, at the end of Leinster Rd., Rathmines. On obtaining her diploma, her Mother was taken seriously ill and Sr. Kevin stayed at home to look after her until she died, on the 3rd Nov., 1940, R.I.P.
She entered St. Damian’s on the 11th Feb. 1941, was received on the 10th Feb. 1942, making her First Profession on the 11th Feb. 1943 and her final Profession on the 11th Feb. 1945.
She continued in her usual good health and regular observance until the 26th October, when she took ill just after Midnight. Fr. McGarry anointed her before Mass in the morning, the doctor came and suggested getting the Hospice Home care team to help. Mary, one of the nurses came in the afternoon and again the following day. As we prayed around her bedside, a few hours before she died, at about 9.00 p.m. Sr. Kevin opened her eyes and the expression on her face was totally changed, it assumed its normal colour and she seemed to see something. We thought it was the end but it quickly passed and she resumed her slow breathing again. We feel she got a great grace and a strengthening for the end.
Caroline, a nurse from the Hospice Home care team was to stay for the night of the 28th Oct., she came at 11.00 p.m. and Sr. Kevin quietly breathed her last at 11.30 p.m.
Fr. McGarry offered her funeral Mass at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday, 31st Oct., concelebrating were Fr. Provincial, Fr. Hugh, OFM., Fr. Pat Younge, our Parish Priest, Msgr. Lorcan O’Brien, P.P., Fr. Powell, S.D.S., Fr. Reynolds, C.S.Sp., and Bro. Liam - C.S.Sp. - deacon assisted and said the prayers at the graveside. It was a most beautiful afternoon, the sun shone and the birds took over the choir in the cemetery. Sr. Kevin’s sister, Kathleen, was here of course, and three nephews and one grand-niece and many relatives, friends and benefactors of the community.
We miss her quiet and gentle presence but trust that she is pleading for us in the happiness of Heaven.