The College of Health and Agricultural Sciences Remembers Sister Margherita Rock

The College of Health and Agricultural Sciences was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sister Margherita Rock on the 29th of July 2019.

Sister Margherita had a long association with the Mater Misericordie University Hospital. She began her career in 1957, when she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy at Carysfort, Blackrock where she completed her diploma in Teacher Training. Following this she went on to complete a diploma in Social Science at University College Dublin. She obtained a Master's degree in Social Work in 1965 from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC and completed a Higher Diploma in Management in Education at Trinity College Dublin in 1990.

All through Sister Margherita's career she was involved in programs and initiatives surrounding the advancement of child care. She was passionate about the care and education of young people and children. Her compassion and advocacy was evident in the projects and developments she was involved with. Sister Margherita was a founding member of the Mater Child Guidance Clinic: the Mater Child and Family Centre in Ballymun; St Paul's Special School for Autistic Children, Beaumont and the Catherine McAuley School for Children with Dyslexia, Baggot Street. She also worked with the VEC Diploma Course for Child Care on Cathall Brugha Street and the Association of Workers for Children in Care. 

For almost 30 years, Sister Margherita was a member of the multi-disciplinary team of the Mater Department of Child and Family Psychiatry. From 1965, she served the Child Guidance Clinic as a pyschiatric social worker afterwhich, she became an Administrator of the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry during the 1980's and 1990's. Sister Margherita was appointed Executive Chairperson of the Board of Management of the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in 1987 while also serving as a member of the Executive Council. In 2002 her role as Executive Chairperson ended, however, she continued in an administrative role as a member of the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors of the Mater as a representatve of the Mercy order. 

Sister Margherita was a member of numerous other boards and trusts, including the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street; C.I.C.T. (Charitable Infirmary Charitable Trust) Jervis Street Hospital ;the Mater Trust; the Dublin Neurological Institute; and MCHD (Mater and Children's Hospital Development) She was also a member of several sub-committees in the Mater including the Patient Care Committee, Suantraí Créche, and the Ethics Committee.

On June 13th, 2003, Sister Margherita was conferred in O'Reilly Hall, Univeristy College Dublin with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the National University of Ireland. The long established collaboration between UCD and the two major Associated Teaching Hospitals; The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St. Vincent's University Hospital were ackowledged with this honorary degree.

Sr. Margherita Rock in the centre, front row at her Honorary Conferring Ceremony in UCD.

Sister Margherita was well known among the wider Mater community and was especially known for her great compassion, driving force, supportive presence and absolute committment to her work. During her tenure as Director of Mission Effectiveness (2003-2016) many changes were seen throughout the Mater. It was Sister Margherita who ensured that the values and mission of the Mater remained steadfast throughout and never wavered in her continued support to patients and their families. She was instrumental in the development of a Mission Effectiveness Programme which led to many now frequent events taking place in the Mater Hospital such as Mission Effectiveness Week, the Mission Effectiveness Annual Conference, the Compassion Awards as well as staff health promotion days.

She will be sadly missed, however Sister Margherita leaves behind a lasting legacy along with as the countless lives she touched throughout her life.