The Sisters of Charity leave Bristol
Sisters Angela Murphy and Florence Kavanagh from Hackney community travelled to Bristol to attend the closing mass of Bristol convent.
Bishop Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton, was chief celebrant assisted by Fathers: Michael Derrick, parish priest of Christ the King, the local parish, Richard McKay, parish priest of St Nicholas parish, and Michael Healy of St Pius X. The sisters are well known for their work in these parishes. Sr Rita Dawson our Provincial Leader also attended. Father Cavan McElligott chaplain to the Bristol University Hospital was unable to attend.
The Mass was celebrated in the Convent chapel and it was full to capacity, with some people having to take part in the hallway of the house. It was a very prayerful liturgy. We were also very aware of the sisters who had played a part in the history of the Sisters presence in Bristol.
In his homily Bishop Declan talked about the work of the sisters over the years since before the convent was built. Their work was based on their charism, the sisters worked in teaching, parish visiting, catechetics, parents groups, after school groups, in fact they worked for and with the parishioners wherever the need arose. They were also involved in building up the ecumenical group. They will be missed very much. The celebration was a joyful occasion but also tinged with sadness.
I firmly believe that the parishioners will continue to work for the parish and that God in his wisdom and mercy will guide them.
At the end of Mass, the Bishop gave a blessing to all. Then he joined the people for photos, and shared some very welcome refreshments, there was great laughter and chat whilst people recalled stories of the past.
Sisters Jackie Doherty and Maura O’Loughlin were specially thanked.