My name is Sister Veronica Desmond. I was born in Ringrove, Kinsale Co. Cork on 28th March 1920 and was the third oldest member in my family of five boys and two girls. My parents were Jeremiah and Margaret Desmond.
I received the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation in my Parish Church in Ballinspittle Co Cork. I attended Ringrove Parish School and later the Convent of Mercy School Kinsale. To get to the convent school it was necessary for me to walk half a mile to the Pier where I boarded the ferryboat which took me and my fellow students across the Bandon River to Kinsale.
I was introduced to the Dominican Sisters by Mother Gregory Coffey OP who visited my home in August 1937. Mother Gregory was visiting her family in Bandon Co Cork when she met my aunt and in the course of conversation enquired about my aunt’s sister Margaret, who was my mother. She expressed a wish to visit my mother and meet her daughter (me). Mother Gregory arrived at our home and was warmly received and entertained and shared some of her life’s experiences as a Dominican sister which gave us food for thought. I had prayed that God would guide me on my life’s journey. Mother Gregory told us that she had three prospective candidates who were travelling to Rosary Priory in a few weeks. I was very keen to go with them and even though my parents were surprised at the speed of my decision they supported me in preparing for the new stage of my life’s journey. At the age of seventeen and a half years I left home with my parents blessing and joined a group of three other prospective Candidates who were leaving from St Albert’s (our Convent in Cork) for the Dominican Convent, Rosary Priory Bushey Heath where we were warmly welcomed and began the happy adventure of our Religious life. Here we joined with a group of six young women who had arrived a few weeks earlier.
In September 1937 five of us Postulants were sent to Villa Rosa (our Convent in Rome) to begin our Novitiate. After six months as Postulants we received the Dominican Habit and on April 8th 1939 I made my Temporary Profession as a Dominican Sister. Shortly afterwards we returned to Rosary Priory where I made my Final Profession on August 2nd 1942.
I had the joy of celebrating 70 years of religious profession in 2009.
Throughout my religious life I have taught in our schools. I taught in St. Thomas School Stanmore, St James Burnt Oak and St Dominic’s Ponsbourne Park. I taught and studied in the United States from 1953 to 1959. On returning to England I again taught at St. James School. I became the Head Teacher of St James in 1969 and remained there until my retirement from teaching in 1984.
Since my retirement I have lived and worked in our Convents in Rome, Rosary Priory, Cricklewood, Edgware and am now enjoying life at Rosary Priory. I still have a keen interest in developments in our schools and delight in meeting with friends and past pupils. It gives me great joy to witness the contribution these fine women and men make to our society today.