Emmanuel Chapel

Charles Russell, Lord Chief Justice of England had a brother who was President of Maynooth College and as such, was highly respected, as indeed was his nephew and brother of the Mercy Sisters, Father Matthew of the Jesuit Order. 

Yet in relation to the character, ability and disposition of all these persons, it was said of mother Emmanuel,

‘There is more common sense in Emmanuel’s little finger than there is in the Jesuit, the lawyer and the President, all together!’

And of her sister, Mother Baptist in California, an eminent doctor declared:

‘She is as much above the London chap (her brother, Charles!) as I am above my Johnnie!’ Johnnie was his coachman who was efficient as such but of limited intelligence!

For the last three years of her life a severe eye infection caused Mother Emmanuel extreme pain and, towards the end, almost complete blindness enveloped her. Despite this she went up the rugged mountain above Rostrevor to visit two old ladies. 

‘What a lovely view there must have been from their house’, she remarked, no longer able to enjoy it.

‘I could easily imagine it as of course, I could not see it’.

To the end she knitted pullovers for the poor, fingers having long since memorised stitches that eyes could no longer see.  

One of Mother Emmanuel’s last acts was to approve the plans for the new Convent Chapel (pictured). It was funded largely by her sister-in-law. Lady Russell. It was dedicated to Our Lord under the title of Emmanuel.

Unfortunately Mother Emmanuel died in March 1902, a few months before building commenced.

She could not have a more fitting memorial.

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