Decade by Decade
Events and Memories

1881 -1890 1891 - 1900 1901 - 1910 1911 - 1920 1921 - 1930
1931 - 1940
1941 - 1950 1951 - 1960 1961 - 1970 1971 - 1980
1981 - 1990
1991 - 2000 2001 - 2010

1881 -1890

19 Nov - Seven Sisters arrive from Roebuck to Kilmacud Manor
20 Nov - First Mass and Foundation of St Joseph's Monastery, Kilmacud

A small altar stone from the Penal Days was presented to the nuns - it had been found in one of the fields by the previous owner of the house, Mr William Fitzpatrick

The altar-bread industry began, which continues to this day! In the early days breads were cooked in a coal fire using tongs. The coal-house was c
onverted into a "Bake House" and oil machines were purchased later.


Statue of St Joseph (right) donated for outside monastery by Mrs O'Connell, mother of Mother M.Albert.  This is still visible today, although Joseph's "saw" was stolen during the building work of 2003/4!!!

1891 - 1900

The first greenhouse was built

Death of the First Foundress - Sr. M.Vincent

"Hand printing" machine was donated enabling nuns to print grace-books, procession manuals, etc..

Foundation stone of the chapel laid by His Grace Dr. William Walsh on 4th June (above)

30 Sept - Death of St. Therese in Lisiuex

24 Dec - Dedication of the new chapel by Very Rev. Canon Matthews, PP of Dundrum. (See also our page on the chapel history here).

Small loom for weaving cotton was purchased from Foxford Mills.

Orchard laid by gardener of Chief Baron Christopher Palles

6 July - Cemetery in the enclosure was consecrated by His Grace Dr. William Walsh, Bishop of Dublin (below)

1901 - 1910

Hen houses built by the nuns themselves, doing all carpentry, cement paths and painting work themselves. The structures took four days to demolish in 1923.

A weaving loom was donated by Mr Potter, father of Sr. Alphonsus, and used until 1958 (right).

A corrugated iron fence was erected as the enclosure boundary
This year the first links were formed between Kilmacud and Lisieux Carmel thanks to a woman called Madeleine Sampson, who was a spiritual daughter of Mother Agnes, Prioress at Lisieux.
1911 - 1920

Entrance of Madeleine Sampson to Kilmacud Carmel. She spent much of her time in Carmel translating books on Therese of Lisieux from French to English.

Sanctuary walls overlaid in marble, but this was interrupted due to the war and matching marble could only be procurred several years later (see modern photo right of the marble still in place).


Publication in English of "Thoughts of the Servant of God Therese of the Child Jesus", translated from French by Sr. Therese de L'Enfant Jesu (previously Madeleine Sampson)
1921 - 1930


Irish republican activist Rory O'Connor was executed during the Irish Civil War. His mother spent that day in the parlour at Kilmacud Carmel, as her two sisters were members of the community here - Sr. Teresa Joseph and Sr. Mary Angela.

Publication of "The Little Way of Spiritual Childhood" by Rev.G.Martin
and assisted by Sr. Therese de L'Enfant Jesu (previously Madeleine Sampson)

Building of brick hen houses (picture left taken in 1970's), gift of Colonal Morgan O'Connell, brother of Mother M.Albert

Refectory on ground floor and overhead cells built, gift of Colonal Morgan O'Connell (see refectory picture right)

Canonisation of St Therese of Lisieux

Publication of "The Spirit of Saint Therese de l'Enfant Jesus"
, translated from French by Sr. Therese de L'Enfant Jesu (previously Madeleine Sampson)

Electric lights replaced oil lamps in the chapel
1931 - 1940

The Eucharistic Congress took place in Dublin, and years later, one of the nuns spoke of her childhood glowing memories of hearing John McCormack singing Panis Angelicus in the Phoenix Park.

Life size Pieta donated for the cemetery by Miss Farrell, sister of the sculptor Sir Thomas Farrell (right)

Visit of Cardinal Villeneuve of Quebec

Publication of "The Little Catechism of the Act of Oblation of St Therese of the Child Jesus"
, translated from French by Sr. Therese de L'Enfant Jesu (previously Madeleine Sampson).

Infirmary wing built with three cells (see left - the three infirmary cells are on the ground floor to the right of the building).

Building of greenhouse started by Mr Patrick Rochford, but the work was not completed due to the war

Publication of "At the School of St Therese of the Child Jesus"
, translated from French by Sr. Therese de L'Enfant Jesu (previously Madeleine Sampson)
1941 - 1950


Rationing during the war years meant that often no butter was available and sisters used jam instead!!

Death of the last foundress - Mother Conception

Cement Hen Houses built (picture left)

Electric washing machine and AGA cooker installed
1951 - 1960
Outdoor statue of Our Lady of Fatima donated by Mr. Keegan in honour of Sr Clement's silver jubilee of entrance, 2nd Nov 1948 (see right)

Central heating was installed

 An important year, as
the Community had the privilege of making Solemn Vows. This had been suspended since the Penal times in Ireland. Because of this, the rules of enclosure were tightened - grilles in parlour were doubled and black curtains were used for all non-family visitors. The enclosure boundary was fixed and marked by plantation of trees between wire fencing.

Also this year, the famous
"Audience Invisible" took place. This was a radio broadcast from Pope Pius XII to all enclosed nuns. In Kilmacud a radio was set up in the choir, near the pipe organ. The nuns sat around listening to Pope Pius.

A new boundary wall of cement blocks was constructed this year.

Weaving material ceased due to the difficulty of procuring suitable thread.
1961 - 1970
Beginning of the Second Vatican Council which greatly changed religious life. In the years following the Council outdated and obsolete customs and practices were abolished and there was more dialogue and collegiality in community life.

Water pipes laid to the henhouses

The greenhouse building which was started in 1936 was completed by Mr Patrick Foley and his sons (see right)

Electric multiple cutting machines purchased for altar-bread work
1971 - 1980
Two sisters attended a meeting outside the monastery for the first time at Muckross Park, Donnybrook

Parlours renovated and new iron grilles erected to replace the double wooden grilles and black curtain (right).

Reconstruction of the sanctuary and altar in the chapel in line with Vatican II (below right - photo shows the original altar moved forward)


New vegetable garden planted

Old vegetable garden and lower field sold for building

Boundary wall built

Pope John Paul II visits Ireland. Eight sisters from Kilmacud went to the Phoenix Park and three went to Maynooth to see the Pope (see one of our Sisters on the day in the photo left!).

1981 - 1990

Centenary celebrations - read our special page here

1982 & 1983 - Radio Masses for the Sick at Christmas on RTE

Greenhouse rebuilt and wayside crucifix (right) made and erected by P.Devery

Extension of small parlour and reconstruction of chapter room

New altarbread bakehouse built and automatic baking machine purchased (see left)

Glass conservatory built

Boundary wall between Kilmacud House rebuilt

New orchard planted (see below)

Visit of Fr Patrick Peyton

1991 - 2000
The nuns received new Constitutions

The Association of Carmels in Ireland was set up. This was a very significant event for Carmel in Ireland. Visit the Association website here
Four dwelling houses built near enclosure wall


Outdoor statue of St Therese donated by the Oblate Fathers when their property was sold (see left).

New hermitage purchased (see photo below)

The grille between the nuns choir and the sanctuary area of the chapel was removed.
Visit of Fr William McNamara and Mother Tessa, founders of NADA Hermits, Colorado, USA
Visit of Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) and his wife Sunanda

Visit of Bishop Francis Micallef - Apostolic Delegate of Kuwait
New choir stalls were made, so the nuns were no longer sitting facing each other back to the walls, but were able to sit facing the tabernacle during Mass, and also turn to face each other during the Divine Office (there is a photo of new stalls in our page on the chapel history).

Visit of Mother Angelica (of EWTN) and Sisters Margaret Mary and Grace Marie from USA

4th June - Celebration for the centenary of our chapel, chief celebrant of the Mass was His Excellency Lucian Serreo (Apostolic Nuncio)

In the centenary year of her death, St Therese was proclaimed a doctor of the Church
Sr. Mary Gabriel went to assist with the foundation of a Carmel in Lithuania
Visit of
Sr Helen Prejean author of best-seller "Dead Man Walking"

14th October - Sr Mary Philomena and Sr Mary Kevin join the community after the closing of Blackrock Carmel

30 March - Visit of President Mary McAleese

2001 - 2010
Visit of the relics of St. Therese - read our special page on the visit

Sr. Mary Gabriel returned from Lithuania to assist with planning the new monastery


1st October - foundation stone of new monastery is laid

During building work, the community lived with the nearby Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who run the primary and secondary schools of St. Raphaela's in Stillorgan. We are ever grateful to the Handmaids for sharing their home with us for eighteen months, and have many happy memories of our times with them.

17th March - official opening of new monastery - read our special page on the new monastery here

Return visit of the relics of St. Therese

Back to the History Index

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