Maria Nugent had the unique distinction of being the first Presentation postulant and the first Mercy postulant in Newfoundland, and consequently in North America.

Maria was born in 1799 in Waterford, a city in southeastern Ireland that had significant commercial connections with Newfoundland at that time. Little is known about her early years, except that she had received a superior education and was accomplished in French and Italian literature, as well as in the Greek and Latin classics. Her skills were such that she translated several French and Italian works, one of which was used in Catholic schools throughout Ireland. She was said to have received her musical education from her uncle, Reverend Doctor Hurley of Kinsale.

Download the short biography by Charlotte Fitzpatrick rsm