Sister Benignus was born Annie Mary McMahon in 1901. She joined the Loreto Sisters and died in 1964. After forty years buried in the convent grounds, she was then exhumed along with a large group of nuns’ remains going back 130 years. They were re-buried in a new location in 2004.
There was something of a nuns’ network in the family. Two of Annie’s aunts were nuns – one in France and the other in Colorado, United States. Her second cousin – the daughter of her grandfather’s sister – was also a nun in the United States, living in New Jersey by the 1920s. She wrote in 1927 from the US to congratulate Annie on becoming a “spouse of Christ” and taking the name Benignus.