Centenary Celebration of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary, Marked by the Retirement of Sister Ruth Kidson from Christ the King, Coventry

By Con McHugh

Following Fr Tom’s sermon at the 12noon Mass on Sunday 23 June Sister Ruth Kidson, living in Christ the King parish since 2002, spoke about the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary and then her life as part of the Missionary.

Bishop Shanahan founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary (MSHR) in Killashandra Co Cavan, Ireland in 1924. This year it is celebrating a Century of MSHR in Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, England, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, USA and Zambia.

Sr Ruth said: “I had wanted to be a missionary since I was in my teens” and started training in Killashandra Co Cavan in 1960 along with Sr Anne Bagnall. Sr Ruth started her missionary work in Nigeria and has also worked in Cameroon and South Africa.

“Life as a Holy Rosary sister is never dull," she said.

In 2002 there was a surprise move to Coventry to help a Sister Anne look for a house. To her surprise, Sr Ruth discovered she was going to live in that house as well. 

“No going back to Nigeria. I was going to live in the house," she said. "I've been here ever since, and we thought we came for retirement!

“In Coventry my own ministry was more ecumenical. Because of my background, I've been able to mix with people from other forms of Christianity.

“So I want to thank you very much for all your years of friendship and sharing in mission here in Christ the King and to this city. I shall always be happy that I came to Coventry. I think it's a wonderful place. I hope you do too. God bless.”

Fr Tom responded: “So it's lovely to have Sister who give us that account of her very full and interesting life. And you won't believe it. She's 93 next month. I hope you have a well-deserved retirement.”

The parish had had a collection for Sr Ruth. She said: “I don't really need anything, at my age,” and asked that the collection went to the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria.

Fr Tom continued: “We have Sister Julie, Sister Felicity, and they will be joined by another Sister, to take Sister Ruth's place. That's a great blessing, for our parish to have the presence and the hard work that the sisters bring to the parish.” 

At the end of Mass Fr Tom again congratulated the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary and wished Sr Ruth all the best for her upcoming retirement. He thanked all those visiting to support the Mass including the choir. He also thanked those who had contributed to the collection of the work of the Sisters.

Sr Ruth will be retiring to join Sr Rita in Bettystown at the Sisters’ retirement home. 

Following Mass there were refreshments in the parish centre. 

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Centenary Celebration of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary and the Retirement of Sister Ruth Kidson from Christ the King Coventry

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Watch Sister Ruth talking at the Mass:


Christ the King website

Missionary Sisters Centenary Year