February 06, 2006

Sister Michele O'Leary to be Remembered (Americas)

An ecumenical service will be held in St.Patrick's Cathedral Armagh on Thursday 23 February, at 2.30pm in memory of Sister Michele O'Leary, an Irish American Sister of Mercy, who co-founded the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh in 1989. Her aim was to promote mutual understanding between the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Northern Ireland and to further economic development in the whole of the island of Ireland. As part of a strategy to achieve this goal she set up the Wider Horizons Programme which brought together groups of unemployed young people from both sides of the border and both religious traditions, and organised them to come to Pittsburgh for a three months job training programme. She was also instrumental in encouraging investment on the island of Ireland and to this end led trade delegations of business people from Pittsburgh with a view to setting up businesses here. Many will remember her indomitable spirit, her courage and enthusiasm, her sense of humour and astuteness in dealing with the challenges that faced her during the' era of 'the troubles.'

The service in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh on the 23 February will mark the passing of this outstanding nun who worked tirelessly in pursuit of peace and prosperity. It is hoped that those who knew Sister Michele and shared her vision for the promotion of economic growth, allied to peace and reconciliation on both sides of the border, will avail of the opportunity to attend.

Messages to Ethel Bignell rsm MIA Administrator

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