I am Carmel Ryan and the eldest in a family of three girls and one boy from Cork.  I attended Maria Immaculata Secondary School, in Dunmanway, Co Cork.  It was here that I first met the Daughters of Charity.  I entered the community at a very young age and have been involved in education most of my life.

As a teacher and chaplain at second level, I have been “kept young at heart” from my encounters with students and staff.  The ministry of education has many joys and celebrations, it also provides experiences of despair, disappointment and tragedy. It was this mix of the unexpected alongside the everydayness of life that gave me courage, compassion, excitement and humility as I went about the ministry of education both as a classroom teacher and school chaplain.

My life as a Daughter of Charity has always been fulfilled and challenging, with support and encouragement from the sisters I have lived with during the years. It has been the support of like-minded companions and a deep relationship with God built by daily prayer that has helped me to undertake all the ministries and tasks asked of me.  Would I change my life? No. if I were beginning again would I change anything? Yes, enjoy each day more deeply and be grateful for all the blessings I have received.