Mission Possible

Documentary on Newstalk airs the premiere of ‘MISSION POSSIBLE’ produced by award winning pro...

09.40 12 Apr 2023

Share this article

Mission Possible

Mission Possible


09.40 12 Apr 2023

Share this article

Documentary on Newstalk airs the premiere of ‘MISSION POSSIBLE’ produced by award winning producer Grainne McPolin. The program tells the fascinating story of five religious Irish women who worked in the missions abroad; why these women chose the life that they did and the challenges they faced not only on their missionary posting but also the difficulties encountered on return home to Ireland 

It takes a special kind of person to be a missionary, to sacrifice home and family life and dedicate your life serving the poor, vulnerable and those on the margins of society in a foreign country thousands of miles away from everything you know to be familiar. Can you imagine to not only overcome language and culture barriers but also be the target of rebel groups and gangs?.  This is the story of how the extraordinary Irish women religious attained: ‘Mission Possible’ 

“I’ll never forget the day I entered the convent for the first time, you built up to this thing leaving home and all that but really I wasn’t aware of my emotions until it was time to say goodbye to my family at the convent and I even stood behind the door and cried, I didn’t want them to see me upset’”. – Sr Mary D 


‘Mission Possible’ offers an insight into the women`s early life in the convent, living in a community with other women, the challenges faced by the Irish Missionary Sisters and the bravery and sacrifice made by so many in their efforts to make a positive contribution to the lives of others.   

“At that time, they only came home every seven or eight or ten years from Africa, so they would be half dead by the time they’d come back and they had to have a lot of rest and medical care” - Sr Mary 

“There was no running water, no electricity, no entertainment, no phones; I never had a phone for the seventeen years” - Sr Mary Rita 

'MISSION POSSIBLE’ will air on Newstalk on Sunday April 16th at 7am, and Saturday April 22nd at 9pm, and will be available as a podcast. 

The programme explores the impact of Vatican 2 on the sisters’ lives both at home and on the mission and finally their life on return to a fundamentally different Ireland in retirement  

“When I came home in 2016, there was huge hostility towards the church and I got the feeling when I read the papers or listened to the news that people thought that every priest and religious brother and religious sister was a criminal, it was a shock to me really” – Sr Mary 

‘Mission Possible’ is a story about hope and empowerment in the face of adversity. 


‘Mission Possible’ was produced, recorded and edited by Grainne McPolin.   

Assistant Producer: Kelly Crichton 

Music: composed and arranged by JJO’Shea 

Music: ‘African Percussion’ Pollypony

Studio facilities Thanks to Kerry College, Monavalley Campus, Tralee, Co Kerry 

Photo Courtesy - Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, Cork Left to right Sr Ann Cahill, Sr Eithne McDevitt, Sr Mary Rita O’Mahony

Special thanks go to: 

Missionary Sisters of St Columban 

Missionary Sisters of The Holy Rosary 

Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles  

Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul 

Dr Carmen Mangion Historian Birkbeck University of London 

Dr Yvonne McKenna Sociologist and Author of ‘Made Holy: Irish Women Religious at Home and Abroad 

Sr Kathleen McGarvey OLA 

Mr David Rose Secretary General AMRI 

Sr Susanna Choi Congregational Leader Missionary Sisters of St Columban 

‘Mission Possible’ documentary is dedicated to the memory of Radio Presenter Sheila O’Regan RIP.

‘Mission Possible’ was funded by a grant from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee

Share this article

Read more about

Convent Life Documentary On Newstalk Grainne Mcpolin Mission Possible Nuns Sisters Vatican 2

Most Popular