Obituary for Sister Judith Egan, FMSJ

Posted on: 13 September 2022

Author:Sister Joan Kerley


Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of
who died at the Convent of St Francis, Cork on Monday 12th September 2022


Mary Egan was born on 2nd June 1926 in Kilkenny, Ireland, one of five children of Joseph and Mary Egan. She is predeceased by her parents and her sisters, Anne and Margaret and survived by her sister, Philomena in Canada and her brother John in England. She was educated at the Presentation Convent in Kilkenny and entered the Congregation on 25th March 1946 in Blackrock, Cork before being transferred to Altrincham on 14th June 1946.

Mary received the religious name of Judith and made her First Profession on 12th March 1948. Her first appointment was to the nursery in Didsbury until in March 1950 when she was appointed to teach in Sarawak, Borneo. She remained there teaching in Kanowit, Sibu, Seria and Kuching until 1962 when she went to Cork University for three years and obtained a degree in English, French and Spanish. Returning to Kuching in 1965 as Principal of the school, she was later also Principal in Seria, Brunei. She returned to the UK because of sickness in 1976 and was resident for some time in Broughton Hall. She also did some teaching in Blackburn and in Heathfield Preparatory School.

In 1981 Judith was appointed to Kaplong in Kenya and returned to Broughton, again because of sickness in 1983. She spent some time doing further courses in French in Dublin and then after living in Burn Hall, Drywood, Broughton and Marygate, she returned to Cork in 1991 and taught English to foreign students. She retired there permanently in 2003.

Sister Judith had a very gifted intellect and for many years even while sick she undertook various courses in a variety of subjects and also taught herself several languages, listening to radio programmes in these languages in order to further her understanding and learning. As the years went by Judith, who suffered from severe arthritis, became increasingly immobile and more dependent on others. She never complained and somehow retained her ready smile and her quick sense of humour. She was cared for in Cork by Sister Mary with help from Sisters Bridget Ann and Katherine but in time required more care and a local care service sent in carers three times a day to help her. Judith often surprised them with her funny and witty remarks. She found that she had actually taught English to one of them.

Above all, Judith was a woman of prayer. She had studied Scripture and tried to live by it. In later years she spent much time alone in her room and was often found saying the rosary when people visited her. On the evening of Sunday 11th September she became a little unwell and died very peacefully the following morning just after 7am. Sister Kevina was with her. Judith will be received back at the Convent on Thursday 15th September at 4pm and the Requiem Mass will be celebrated there on Friday 16th at 11.00am prior to interment at St Oliver’s Cemetery.