The Sisters of the Infant Jesus, known in the south of Ireland as the “Drishane Sisters”, were founded in France in 1662, to serve those children and adults who were still being deprived of a basic Christian education and the skills for living. The Congregation spread to Ireland in 1909, where the Sisters opened a boarding school, a school of housecraft and a knitting factory at Drishane, Millstreet, Co. Cork. The knitting factory constituted a local employment scheme well ahead of its time, and the boarding school and school of housecraft answered a need of the period, especially in rural Ireland. As well as providing a well-rounded, integrated education for students, Drishane served as a powerhouse and home base for many Sisters who left to work in mission lands. In this way Drishane fostered an awareness of mission, social issues and internationality among the students and local people. Its magnificent rural and historic setting opened many minds to issues of conservation and care for our planet.
St. Joseph’s, Model Farm Road, at the very heart of Holy Spirit Parish, continues the tradition of mission awareness and internationality. The house serves as a nursing home and place of rest-care for Infant Jesus Sisters, many of whom have worked in ministry abroad and maintain close ties with their places of mission. Sisters home on leave also find here a warm welcome and a place in which to regain their strength and ‘rest a while’. An active group of Sisters with the help of a dedicated staff, both nurses and carers, looks after the running of the house and ministers to those in need of care, while fostering links with the surrounding parishes through their involvement in community building, music ministry and language teaching to immigrants. The most vital link, however, is the prayer ministry of all the Sisters, who see themselves as actively supporting, and being supported by, the priests and parishioners of Ballineaspaig Parish.