Hallahan, Margaret Mary

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Foundress of the English Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena of the Third Order of St. Dominic; b. London, Jan. 23, 1803; d. Stone, Staffordshire, England, May 11, 1868. She was the only child of poor Irish parents who died when she was nine. She received a rudimentary education during the next two years at an orphanage at Somers Town before entering nearly 30 years of service as a maid and nurse. In the employ of a Catholic family, she went to live in Bruges, Belgium (1827), and there became a Dominican tertiary (1837). After failing in her effort, about 1840, to establish a community of tertiaries at Bruges, she was sent in 1842 to work as a schoolmistress under William ullathorne, who was then in charge of the Benedictine mission at Coventry, England. In 1844 she began there a new community of tertiaries. Moving to Clifton (1846), she made another foundation in the Potteries (1851). This was transferred to Stone as the novitiate and motherhouse (1853). John Henry newman, a close friend, preached at the opening of the church (1854). Mother Hallahan's devotion, energy, and administrative ability led her subsequently to found five convents, several schools and orphanages, four churches, and a hospital for incurables. Her motto was "God alone." Her cause for beatification was introduced in 1936, and the diocesan stage was completed in 1957. Her writings were approved in 1963.

Bibliography: t.cooper, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 8:980. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time, 5 v. (London-New York 18851902; repr. New York 1961) 3:96102. a. t. drane, Life of Mother Margaret Mary Hallahan (new ed. London 1929). f. w. gumbley, Mother Margaret Hallahan (London 1938). sr. mary catherine, Steward of Souls (London 1952).

[d. milburn]