Convent Of Mercy, Callan
The Sisters of Mercy came to Callan in 1872 at the invitation of the Bishop of Ossory. They lived at first in Callan Lodge.The Bishop brought them primarily to help restore peace to the Parish torn by the Callan Schism through visitation of home and service of the sick and the poor.
On the 10th of February 1873, four Sisters – Sisters Gertrude Mooney, Philomena Keatly, Evangelist Keogh and Josephine Bennett – arrived from Shrewsbury in England to establish a convent in Borris-in-Ossory. They taught in the local primary school.
In 1883 the Sisters began nursing in the Workhouse Hospital. They taught in the Workhouse School from 1883 to 1922. The Sisters took over the Callan Lodge Poor School in January 1873. A Pension School was set up in 1873 and continued until 1928 when it merged with the Girls National School.
The new Convent was opened in 1881. In 1884, the old building was set up as St. Brigid’s Missionary School. This continued until 1959.
Foundations were made from Callan to Thomastown and Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny, to Kilkenny City, to Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, and to Parramata, Sydney, Australia.