(1839-1923), benefactor, was born in Pergamino, the eldest
daughter and second child of William Mooney
(b.1810) and his wife Mary, née Murray (b.1814). In 1862
Margarita married Eduardo Morgan (b. 1833), son of Edward Morgan
(d.1860) and Kathleen O'Farrell (c.1790-1882). They had nine
In 1896 Margarita Morgan donated the
altars of Ss. Patrick, Brigid, Columcille, Malaquy, and
Rose of Lima to be installed at Luján basilica. She was
also a major supporter of the Clonmacnoise school and the Irish
Convent in San Antonio de Areco. In 1900 Morgan started a
hospital at San Antonio de Areco. It was named after her
daughter Maria Clara Morgan (1864-1893), who died in Chicago. During Maria Clara's sickness, the Sisters of the
Little Company of Mary looked after her and her mother
wanted to compensate their labors with a new hospital. But the nuns could not
establish in Argentina at the time, so she donated
the hospital to the diocese of La Plata and the Saint
Vincent of Paul nuns. In 1912, however, Morgan convinced
the sisters of the Little Company to come to Argentina. On 13 May
1913 four nuns travelled from Chicago to Argentina, and began managing the
with ten beds each one. The hospital was expanded with
other buildings and fully-equipped surgical facilities,
as well as a ward for contagious diseases.
In the 1890s, Margarita Morgan
visited Ireland and in Roscommon town she made the
arrangements for donating the altar, built with Caen stone
and Sicilian marble, and including a large golden heart
over the tabernacle door. The Sacred Heart church, which
opened on 18 June 1903, was built partly thanks to £2,000
in donations offered in Argentina to Fr. Thomas Cummins
and Fr. Richard Gearty during their fund raising trip in
Morgan donated the St. Patrick's chapel of San Antonio
de Areco in 1902, which was administered by the Irish
chaplains. In 1932, after the death of Fr. Gearthy, the
Pallotine Fathers were responsible for the church and the
adjacent Clonmacnoise school. Thirty years later the chapel was
elevated to parish church, and its first priest was Fr.
Alfredo Kelly (murdered in 4 July 1976 by members
of the Argentine navy together with Fr. Alfredo Leaden,
Fr. Pedro Duffau, and seminarians Salvador Barbeito and
Emilio Barletti). Clonmacnoise school closed in 1940.
Another donation was the
beautiful chapel at St. Brigid's school, Buenos Aires. The building began
in 1911 and the chapel opened in 1913 with the presence
of the bishop, Dr. Espinosa. It was dedicated to the
memory of the Irish chaplain Fr. Anthony D. Fahy (1805-1871). In 1908 Margarita
Morgan was awarded the Pro Ecclesia
et Pontifice recognition by the pope, in
appreciation of her important donations to hospitals and churches.
Morgan died 31 October 1923 in San Antonio
Rev. May 2007
Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su
Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p.
Martin J. 'A Gift to Roscommon from the Pampas' in The
Roscommon Association Golden Jubilee Yearbook (Roscommon, 2002), pp.
- San Antonio de Areco
(www.arecoturismo.com.ar) accessed 19 September 2003.