Eileen: The Life of Eileen O’Connor Foundress of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor
St Pauls, $29.95
Eileen tells the story of a woman who, despite terrible pain and disability, not to mention opposition from several high ranking church men, founded “Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor”.
Eileen O’Connor, who suffered from tuberculosis osteomyelitis, a condition which often paralysed her and occasionally sent her into comas, managed to found and competently run an organisation dedicated to helping people who had no money to obtain medical assistance.
She did this as a secular, as she was considered too disabled to become a nun.
Although Eileen was a passionate Catholic, devoted to Mary, her work suffered most from the Catholic Church, particularly a poisonous man called Father Linkens who constantly tried to undermine her work.
John Hosie, a Marist brother, writes a well-researched book that paints a fascinating picture of a feisty, innovative, sometimes tactless advocate, who always sought to do her best for the poor.
The book also provides an interesting history of Australiain the early 1900s, where there was no government assistance for poor who were unwell.
This is a fascinating book.