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90th anniversary celebrations

90th anniversary celebrations

Mount St. Anne’s Retreat & Conference Centre nestles in the very beautiful pastoral landscape of the midlands with distant views of the Wicklow/Dublin mountains to the east and the gentle slope of the Slieve Blooms to the south, combined with rolling parkland and stately trees to create an atmosphere of serenity.  One has the strong sense that the very walls and earth of this place have a powerful spiritual imprint immediately resonant with the life lived there by Presentation people over the past 90 years.

The beautiful building once residence to the Bishop of the Diocese, Dr. Cullen was sold to the Presentation Sisters in 1933 when the house was named Mount St. Anne’s.  The Presentation Sisters took up residence on July 26th 1933, the Feast Day of St. Anne.  On January 2nd, 1935 the first novices and postulants arrived, and on January 6th, Dr. Cullen solemnly opened the noviciate and imparted the Papal Blessing to the Community.

This year on the 26th July 2023, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the dedication of the Centre to St. Anne.

Mount St. Anne’s began its life as a Retreat and Conference Centre in 1978 offering retreats for students, adults and groups.  Within the modern and beautiful house that is Mount St. Anne’s today there are facilities for conferences, workshops and meetings and so much more.

The Presentation Sisters with the Staff Team there continue to warmly welcome individuals and groups, who wish to grow in faith, renew themselves in prayer and search for God’s plan in their lives.

Here’s to the next 90 years!!!

[Image: (L-R) Sisters Catherine Codd, Peig O’Rourke, Consilli Kavanagh and Anne McDermott who all completed their noviciate at Mount St. Anne’s].

Srs. Catherine Codd, Dympna O’Connell and Mary Cullinane who currently reside & work in Mt. St. Anne’s. ( Sr. Elizabeth Maxwell not in photo)

Note: The house is also home to a small community of Presentation Sisters, and the grounds also encompass a rather special HeartAflame! Visitor Centre  where you are immediately drawn in to explore, discover and experience who Nano Nagle was, and is now, for people all over the world.  The exhibition content invites you to meet and engage with the life and experiences of those who got to know Nano Nagle from the early days of the Sisters in Ireland in the 1700s, through to the present time.  The content is highly visual and interactive and mixes images and infographics with videos. See HERE

See also

To book please email:  ceo@mountstannes.com

For further information visit the website: Mt St. Anne’s » Retreats & Courses (mountstannes.com)  Mt. St. Anne’s Retreat & Conference Centre Killenard, Portarlington, Co. Laois Tel: +353(57)8626153.

A little bit of  history

The beautiful building that is Mount St. Anne’s was originally the home of the Landlord of the surrounding area, Edward Randal Skeffington-Smyth, with the construction of this Georgian mansion completed in 1820.  In 1823, the Skeffington-Smyth family took up residence in the house and lived here until 1922.  The last owner of “Mount Henry”  as it was originally known, was Major Randal Charles Skeffington-Smyth, born in 1864, son of colonel Edward Skeffington-Smyth who died in 1897.  His mother, Letitia, was a daughter of the first Lord Castletown.  Major Skeffington-Smyth left for London at the outbreak of the First World War and the house was left in the charge of a caretaker.  Around 1919/1920 the famous Dublin physician, Dr. Oliver St. John Gogarty, rented the house for one year.  In 1922 the house was sold to a Mr. Burke for the sum of £1,500, and in the late twenties he sold it to the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.  It became the residence of the Bishop of this diocese, Dr. Cullen, who, in turn, sold it to the Presentation Sisters in 1933.
The house ceased to be a noviciate in 1973 with the establishment of a central noviciate in Co. Limerick, and in 1974 Mount St. Anne’s became a “Liturgy Centre” where many people completed studies of Theology Liturgy, The Prayer of the Church, The Eucharist and Sacraments and many other related subjects.  The Liturgy Centre moved to St. Patrick’s College, Carlow in 1978..

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