Finglas, Dublin: 1957 – 1996
The Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus came to Ireland in 1957 and located in Finglas, Dublin, where they ran a Retreat House; had night Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar throughout every Thursday night to which the laity were invited to share with them. They also ran a Youth Club for girls; opened a Commercial College; were a base for Diocesan Catechetics, “Crinniú”. Besides this, they dedicated themselves to hosting day Retreats for Secondary School pupils accompanied by their teachers from disadvantaged areas throughout Dublin. Here the Sisters worked for 39 years having to close the Retreat House in 1996.
In 1966 the Sisters opened an International Residence for University Students in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. This house also became a House of Studies for the young Handmaid Sisters in Formation. Here the young Sisters spent their summer holidays preparing foreign students for official English Language exams. With an invitation from the archbishop of Dublin to take over a Primary and Secondary school in Stillorgan the Sisters closed the house in Blackrock in 1972.
Stillorgan, Dublin: 1971 – present day
In 1971 the Sisters took over a Primary and a Secondary School in Stillorgan which were renamed from St. Philomena’ and Marillac to St. Raphaela’s Primary and Secondary schools after the canonization of Raphaela Mary. The two schools continue to prosper to this day. The university Residence also transferred to Stillorgan and continues to this day under different management. The school premises are also used for local functions.
The Community still has that great spirit of hospitality and friendship towards all who come to share the Eucharist and Adoration with them and they constantly assist Sisters, Priests and others wanting to study English.