Callan Lodge was vacated in September 1881 when the new Convent, St. Mary's, was opened and blest. However it did not remain empty for long. In 1884 the Sisters opened St. Brigid's Missionary School
In the 19th Century there was a resurgence of missionary activity in the roman Catholic Church. The Callan Sisters were influenced by this missionary movement, their foundress, Mother Michael Maher having had a life-long desire to serve on the foreign missions. in 1881 she conceived the idea of establishing, in the now empty Callan Lodge Convent a missionary school where girls desiring to be nuns could be educated and trained. Bishop Moran gave his full support to this suggestion and the first Aspirants (as these girls were called) were enrolled in St. Brigid's missionary School in 1884.
This Missionary School was the only one of its kind in Ireland. (A similiar one for students for the priesthood was in Dublin - All Hallow's College) In the seventy five years of its existance, approximately 2000 girls attended this school which was a "kind of pre-novitiate".
The seeds of missionary zeal sown in this school continue to flower in foreign lands around the globe. We must pay tribute to the generosity and dedication pf those brave girls who left their homes and families for unknown lands, many never returned to their native land. Happily in more recent years some sisters have revisited their Alma Mater and recalled their early days in St. Brigid's Missionary School.
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