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Dease, Mary Teresa, Mother


Missionary; b. Dublin, Ireland, May 7, 1820; d. Toronto, Canada, July 1, 1889. She was the eldest child of Oliver and Ann Dease and was baptized Ellen. In 1847, immediately after profession at the Irish motherhouse of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Rathfarnham, she became a pioneer missionary to Toronto, Canada, new episcopal see of Bp. Michael Power, who died within a week of the sisters' arrival. The sisters were harassed by the severity of the climate, poverty, and insecurity; within two years, three of them died. In 1851, youthful Mother Mary Teresa, as superior, accepted responsibility for the first convent of her institute in America. She was superior general until death, at which time Loretto schools flourished in many cities of Ontario and in Illinois. A simple monument marks her grave in the gardens of Loretto Academy, Niagara Falls, Ontario.

[m. f. madigan]

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