Anna McDonald was born in 1924 in Shanagolden, Co. Limerick. She entered the Good Shepherd Convent in Limerick in 1941 and trained as a primary teacher in Carysfort College Dublin. She studied Theology in Rome and Maynooth and, in 1946, she taught in the Good Shepherd orphanage in Limerick. Sr. Anna describes her time there in great detail. In the mid-1970s, she was appointed Reverend Mother in Dunboyne Convent which operated a mother and baby home. She later returned to teaching in Clonsilla, Dublin and retired to Limerick in 1991 to the Good Shepherd orphanage in Limerick.