Saturday, 28 January 2012


My good friend, Ed O'Neill, is an artist of the first water.  His videos of various parts of the beautiful Southern Shore are a delight and ensure a great feeling of homesickness & pride in all of us exiles.  Anyway, Ed, being the generous man that he is, has given me permission to post this video on our St Patrick's blog.

As you are aware, Mother Bernard Kirwan was the Superior of the little band of Presentation Sisters who came out to Newfoundland from Galway in 1833 to establish the first Presentation Convent outside Ireland.  Mother Bernard is therefore the foundress of the Presentation Congregation in Newfoundland.

Mother Bernard now rests in the peaceful soil of Port Kirwan, Fermeuse.  Her grave is lovingly tended by the kind and generous people of that beautiful community. 

Port Kirwan was formerly known as 'Admiral's Cove'.  In his article 'Early Years' in the Port Kirwan Book, 'Kind Hearts and Gentle People' Ed tells us; 
"Father Thomas J Moakler was behind the new name for Admiral's Cove, a change that took place during his tenure as our parish priest (1958-1963)."    Ed goes on to quote Fr Moakler.  "I renamed Admiral's Cove when the Federal Post Office complained there were too many 'Admirals this and that' all over Newfoundland and Labrador, and we would have to get a new name or lose our post office in the Cove.  The community was renamed in honour of Sister Bernard Kirwan, who founded the convent in Admiral's Cove in 1853, the third convent of the Order in Newfoundland."

Now have a look at Ed's great video and see the heritage that, as St Patrick's girls, is ours.    You would also be doing yourself a great favour if you took a trip up the Shore and paid a visit to Mother Bernard's grave.  There is no spot on God's good earth more beautiful that Port Kirwan, Fermeuse.

Once again, Ed, many thanks for your generosity.