MESAJE ... 2009

Dear Sisters, I was a student at St Joseph's FCJ Convent in West Hartlepool from 1956-1963. They were happy days of my life. I enjoyed every moment of it. Mother Cecilia was the headmistress in my first year and she was replaced by Mother Philomena who remained the headmistress for the rest of my time there. Mother Mary Agnes taught me Latin. I have happy memories of my time there. As well as the lessons and sport, the staff taught me to be polite, kind and thoughtful to all. I have enjoyed reading the history of the foundation of St Joseph's on the web site. Best wishes.
Angela Barnes nee McFarlane

sono massimiliano vercellino ho frequentato le elementari nell istituto fedeli compagne di gesu .....di torino in via lanfranchi  volevo salutare tutte le suore e la comunita in particolare suor bernardetta  della quale non ho piu avuto notizie ..........un saluto a tutti e grazie.........     
(Translation: I am Massimiliano Vercellino. I frequented the elementary classes in the Istituto Fedeli Compagne di Gesù, in Via Lanfranchi- Turin. I wish to say hello to the sistersof the community and in particular to Sister Bernardetta of whom I do not have any news.... A greeting to everyone and thanks. )
Max, Italy

sono un anziana "chassottienne" ho vissuto x 6 anni nel collegio di fribourg, ho uno splendido ricordo e mantengo ancora dei rapporti con le compagne di un tempo.... ringrazio mia madre per avermi concesso di vivere in un ambiente che mi ha formato culturalmente e soprattutto spiritualmente. stringo forte nel mio cuore i nomi di tutte, ma in particolare mére dolores, mére elisabeth, soeur claire,Mère odile, soeur jenne-marie,soeur raffaella, soeur irene, soeur emanuela et bien d'autres !!!!!! so che alcune di queste suore non ci sono più, ma vorrei testimoniare la mia gratitudine per gli anni che abbiamo insieme trascorso e per la loro abnegazione, anche di quei momenti di "cafard" che sono stati utili per forgiare il carattere.... un affettuoso saluto a tutte voi.
( Translation: I am an old "CHASSOTTIENNE", I lived in the College in Fribourg for 6 years. I have wonderful memories and I still keep in touch with my school mates 'd'antan'. I am grateful to my mother who allowed me to live in such a milieu which formed me culturally and above all spiritually. I keep close to my heart everybody's names, but in particular mère Dolores, mère Elisabeth, soeur Claire, mère Odile, soeur Jeanne Marie, soeur Raffaella, soeur Irene, soeur Emanuela, and many others !!!!!! I know that some of these Sisters have passed away, but I would like to express my gratitude for the years we spent together, for their self-denial, also for those moments of "cafard" which have been helpful to forge my character ... Fond greetings to all of you.)
Annabella Labadessa, Italy

I have wonderful wonderful memories of both my primary and secondary education under the tutelage of the FCJ's at St Margaret's Convent Paisley Scotland. The school anthem still echoes in my head "Loyale je serais durant ma vie" Memorable FCJ Mothers and Sisters… Mother Mary Francis, Mother Veronica, Sister Cecilia, Mother Patricia, Sister Berchmans….
Carol Brannigan, Scotland

I was a student at the Hollies in Manchester, UK from 1952 to 1954, as was my mother  (Mary Josephine London)  from about 1915 to 1924.  I emigrated to Quebec, Canada in 1954 where I have lived ever since. The education I received at the Hollies, particularly in music, was a fine one.  I will never forget the formidable Mother Mechtilde.
Patricia O'Rourke

In 1976, Sr. Mary John was at St. John's, Waterloo, Belgium.  Our son, Robert (Bob), should have graduated that year, but he failed to turn in an English assignment. After meeting with the teacher, we decided he should suffer the consequences.  He bravely attended the graduation of his friends and Sr. Mary John told him to come by her office the next day.  When he arrived, he was given a Bible and a card with the quotation "I shall pass through this world but once..."  I would like for her to know that Robert, thanks to his young wife, got his GED.  He then attained an Associates Degree in Computer Science.  Several years ago, they went to help an evangelistic group, Blood 'n' Fire, and  he has been the head of a household where young men come who want to be free of their addictions.  Graduates of the program have gone on to college and a solid work history.  Robert and Debbie have two children and two grandchildren now.  I have wanted to express my appreciation for some time and only recently realized the computer might be the way.  I don't know what was said when he came to her office, but it had a strong influence.  We thank God for her ministry. 
Betty and Trebor Morris, 730 Wild Turkey Run, Canyon Lake, TX  78132

I attended the FCJ convent in Edmonton, Alberta for my grade 6 (maybe 1958 or 1959). Mother Theresa was the teacher for grades 6 to 9. Mother Mary Bernadette was in charge of my dorm.   In grade 12, Mother Xavier was my home room teacher at St Joe's in Edmonton. I often think of the Sisters of FCJ and my year at the convent.  .  God Bless.
Marion Nielson

My name is Diane Luckham and I was a boarder at Gumley House about 1949 or 1950.  I have great memories of my time at school.  I would like to hear from other boarder from my time – Francis, Barbara (Polish) ? Pugh and of course any of my class mates.  I am now living in Toronto.  Seeing the photos of the old part of original building brought back memories of playing Lord Gumley's ghost and dressing up in a bed sheet and coming down the stairs into the wonderful black and white marble floor.  Looking forward to hearing from boarders and class mates.  
Diane Luckham, Canada.

Greetings to all staff and OGs of HHC Birkenhead, and those who came before us.  Have spent a nostalgic but spiritually uplifting hour re-living my very happy schooldays on the website.  I don't think that Miss Hayes would approve of my style, but it expresses what I am feeling!  The pictures of the Chapel and Red Corridor are as vivid as if I had been there yesterday. I will always remember being made a Child of Mary in the Chapel on 8 December 1954. I hope that the values that M.Monica and all the staff gave me have remained with me throughout my life,although the groundwork was laid by my parents.My mother and her sisters were OGs of the Hollies. A pity that there was no FCJ convent in Bristol for my daughter to attend, although there was La Retraite, where I was Head of History until it amalgamated with the boys' school, to form a VIth Form College.  I can see all the faces from Holt Hill as I write - M.Mary Clare Holland,who was Head in1949, dear M.Millicent and lively M. Pauline, serious Miss McKniff (later Smith),organised Miss Allanson and ironic Miss Hayes, to name but a few.  I have kept in touch with Patricia Elcock (Hearty), who has been my "best friend" for 60 years and a tower of strength when my mother died and then my brother, Peter, in 2006. At a 1999 Reunion I met up with Fioretta Lowry, Leslie Bailey,Ann O'Neil,Kathleen Short, Maureen Benfield and a host of other "girls" (always makes my grown up children laugh) and of course Maureen Lawson, another good friend over the years. Can it be 53 yrs. since Pat, Maureen, Helen McGrath and I stood in a 'phone box in pouring rain in Pwllheli whilst we got our AL results from school? No mobiles then, but the weather is the same! Enough. I think of you all and you are in my prayers. Perhaps another Re-union soon? As M.Mary-Clare would say "Have a happy and holy holiday" - or was it M.Monica ? Yours sincerely in JXt.  
Ann Green. (Williams)

Society mandala composite image. Dear FCJ Sisters. We are Gracie and Millie writing from Genazzano FCJ College Kew, Melbourne, Australia. Lately we have been discussing about the FCJ Sisters and our leader, Marie Madeline D'houet. We are all very interested in the FCJ society and how important it is. Genazzano is celebrating 120 years this year. We have celebrated this accomplishment by having a whole school mass towards the work of the school and taking whole school photos shaped as 120. As a school community we have talked about the history of the school and the way the FCJ sisters have impacted on other people's lives. You are an inspiration to all of us, and you are our role models. We respect you and the way that God is always first in your lives. You do so much to help other people and put your lives on the tight rope, and we value the way you do your work. Marie Madeleine D'houet our founder of the school has inspired us to take the steps that God takes. Our theme for this year is 'Tread gently upon this earth' and we are trying to do so. Together we are doing a project on Marie Madeline D'houet and we want to know about the life of the FCJ sisters.  Our RE teacher Ms Rennie has encouraged us to be people with courage, persistence, faithful and God's supporters just like you. You brought dimensions to our lives and make us think about other people's needs and we have you to thank-you for that, for you have led poverty to lower level because your courageous acts of kindness towards others. How is life being who you are and what you represent? How different is it for you being close to God? We want to know how you connect with God and why you chose to be a sister.
Be worthy of your beautiful name by your love for Jesus-
        a love shown not by mere words or barren desires,
                     but by courage in God's service

Gracie and Millie (Melbourne, Australia)

Hi All ... I was at St Aloysius in Phoenx Road, London, from 1951 to 1958 and went on to became a trainee secretary at Pirelli Limited. We had wonderful teachers, including Mother Patricia (the Head), Ms Russell and Ms Swan the sports mistress who coached those of us in the netball teams with great success. I have reunited with several old gels in recent years, and it would be great to hear from others who might remember me, or who were at the school around the same time. My folks still live in Hampstead and I visit them frequently.
Pat Leech (Stephen) in Wokingham

Hi everybody! I am currently at Genazzano FCJ College and will be until 2014. I find it so interesting, how many other FCJ schools there are around the world, and how they all started with Marie Madeleine d'houet and her order of sisters. My school, Genazzano, was founded in 1889, and we recently had a celebratory mass marking 120 years of our college in Kew. It was held at St Patrick's Cathedral, which was designed by William Wardell, just like Genazzano 's Wardell building was. Both of these buildings designed by Wardell have huge, luminous stained glass windows and detailed carvings and patterns on the roof, walls and doors;I thought it was in a sense symbolic to have the mass there because it almost feels like a part our school because of all its similarities in design and structure. I really enjoy school at Genazzano, and I think it's amazing how many people the FCJ sisters are helping and where they are travelling, they are really fulfilling Marie Madeleine's dream.

Dearest FCJ Sisters, We attend school at Genazzano FCJ College in Kew and we are in Year 7 this year. As a part of celebrating the glorious 120th year of our College, we held a lovely mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday 28th of June. We have also been learning about you and all your missionary work in our past Religious Education lessons. Marie Madeline D'Houet is indeed a true inspiration to us all. Being at an FCJ school is a great honour and also for us to say that we have communicated with you, the FCJ sisters from around the world. At our School we have many opportunities, catering for all tastes and interests, such as sporting activities, musical instruments, great library resources and stunning grounds. Being an FCJ school, we deeply appreciate your great contribution to our planet, so thank-you. Genazzano is a superb school, and with us following in your FCJ footsteps, all of the girls and staff have become much closer to God and his wise ways. With all our love,
Julia and Caitlin

Hi Everybody, Our names are Ella and Elisa and we attend Genazzano FCJ College in Kew. This is our first year at this wonderful school and already we feel like a part of the Genazzano community. This year is the 120th year of Genazzano and as a result of that, we are learning about the history of our school and the founders of our school in religion. Just recently we have read about Marie Madeleine d'Houet, who as you would know is the foundress  of the Faithful Companions of Jesus. We admire the unique qualities of Marie Madeleine d'Houet and how she became a leader for the society of FCJ.  Last weekend we celebrated the 120 years of our school. We celebrated this by gathering for mass at St Patrick's Cathedral in the City. The St Patrick's Cathedral was designed by William Wardell the designer of the main building at our school. The mass celebrated all of the things that have happened in the past history at our school, and by being at this mass, we were able to realise that being part of Genazzano is more than just pretty uniforms and hundreds of computers, it means that we belong, to be loved and cared for, and we all know it is a great feeling.
Ella and Elisa

I'd like to add to the FCJs Visitors' Book: We are Emma and Kristina. We're in year seven from Genazzano FCJ College in Kew, Melbourne. This year we are celebrating the 120th year of the founding of Genazzano FCJ College. We have been learning so much about our foundress Marie Madeliene d'Houet, as she is a big part of our lives at school. We have been reading books about her life and it has intrigued us. I never knew how important Genazzano was to the FCJ Sisters, and how the school originated from a group of French Nuns having a vision to build an incredible school. We have learnt about the type of work that you do around the world and how this sisterhood has changed the lives of many unfortunate people.  We are very proud to be known as an "FCJ" school and we acknowledge that regulary. Our religion teacher Mrs. Rennie told us about the order and I was amazed that this school was opened by a small order of nuns who didn't even have the money to pay for it.  In conclusion we would just like to say Thanks, for all the work you do and thank you for our school. Kind Regards,
Kristina and Emma

Genazzano school emblem.Hi my name is Kailah, and I am at Genazzano FCJ College in year 7. This year we are celebrating the 120th year at Gen and at the moment we are learning about Marie Madeleine D'Houet and the history of the FCJ Sisters. We have been reading books about Marie Madeleine's life and it has intrigued me. I never knew how important Genazzano was to the FCJ Sisters, and how the school originated from a group of French Nuns having a vision to build an incredible school. We have learnt about the type of work that you do around the world and how this sisterhood has changed the lives of many unfortunate people. We are very proud to be known as an "FCJ" school and we acknowledge that regularly. As it has been my first year at the college I didn't know what the "FCJ" order was and how it impacted Genazzano's history. But then my Religion teacher Mrs. Rennie told me about the order and I was amazed that this school was opened by a small order of nuns who didn't even have the money to pay for it. In conclusion I would just like to say Thanks, for all the work you do and thank you for our school. Kind Regards,

Hello FCJ Sisters! My name is Katie. It is wonderful to write to you. I am currently in year seven at Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia. Our school, Genazzano FCJ College of Kew was built by William Wilkinson Wardell. He was a born in 1824 to 1899. He was a famous English/Australian Architect. He also built other beautiful buildings in Australia, such as the Saint Patrick's Cathedral, in Melbourne and Saint Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. This year, here at Genazzano, we are all celebrating one-hundred-and-twenty years since we were founded by the FCJ Sisters and began educating young ladies. We had a large mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral, another grand, old building built by William Wilkinson Wardell. As many know, Marie Madeline D'Houet is our foundress and a massive part of our Secondary School. She was a wonderful, strong, independent woman and we reflect on her life's work, characteristics and faith as a picture of what we want to be more like. It was lovely chatting to you. I love Genazzano and I hope that you now love the great things you hear of us. Goodbye.

Hello. My name is Miriam and I am a 7 at Genazzano FCJ college. This year We are celebrating 120 years. We had a 120 year mass at ST Patricks cathedral, we looked at the banners of our 6 houses and we learnt about their role that they had to do at Genazzano, we learnt about our history and how the Wardell building (one of our main buildings,) was built. We are learning all about Marie Madeline D'houet, her life and how she grew up and about all of her qualities. This year we are also treading gently upon the earth. I am really enjoying my time here at Genazzano and I have learnt so much. Goodbye.

Dear FCJ sisters, this year, we are attending Genazzano FCJ college and we're in year 7. Ms. Rennie our religion teacher has taught us the history of Marie Madeline D'houet. We have enjoyed this experience very much and it has inspired us to look up to her as a role model and tread gently on the earth. Since the day we started learning at Genazzano, we've been inspired by the stories of our school. In Genazzano, we have a prayer time where we pray to God. This time allows us to thank God and talk about our sad experiences, we also get some meditating time that relaxes us from a day of hard work! We all are very thankful for God's  help for our school and the people that have difficulties in their lives.  Kind regards.
Moorina and Jennifer

Dear F.C.J. sisters, I am Monica in 7A at Genazzano in Australia. I have just begun my time at Genazzano and I feel as though I have learnt so much. Here at Genazzano in religion we have been learning about how from the first day we step into the grounds as students of such an amazing school that we belong to Genazzano. i was thinking with my dad about how everywhere there is a place for you; you just have to find it. I thought and thought about what this really means and about how we take nearly everything for granted… A few weeks later my dad and I got talking about how even though we take everything for granted we never actually do something about it. Then I thought about you, the sisters F.C.J. You saw your goal of educating people all around the world and achieved it with flying colours. I really do admire your work and contribution to the public as this is one of the many things you should be so proud of. Marie Madeleine d'Houet stood her ground and inspired so many women and girls around the world and even though her time came to an end nearly 151 years ago, her passion, determination and strength has lived on to see her wonderful order succeeding around the world. Thank you deeply for all of the work you have done… Sincerely.

I attended the Hollies Convent FCJ from 1955 to 1960 and was taught by Mother Mechtilde and Mother Victoire - just thought I would drop in on your lovely site - God Bless.
Jean Skitt (nee Gay)

En Cafayate, noroeste argentino, hicimos una Asamblea de Religiosos (CONFAR) en mayo del año 2009. Allí tuve la alegría de trabajar en la Secretaría con la eficiente Dra. Alicia Pérez (FCJ)...
Mañana - 14 de junio - nos reuniremos en Salta, el equipo de CRIMPO (Comunidades Religiosas Incertas en Medios Populares). ¿Qué hogar me recibirá? ¡¡¡ El de Alicia, Margarita y Rosita (FCJ)!!!
Somos Hermanos de la Sagrada Familia (HSF) y nuestro espíritu es "el de familia".
¡Sin duda, a la Fieles Compañeras de Jesús las impulsa el mismo Espíritu de Amor que nos impulsa a los Hermanos!
¡ GRACIAS COMPAÑERAS...! (sin connotación política alguna)
Alejandro FERRER (HSF), Argentina

(Translation: We had an Assembly of Religious (CONFAR) in Cafayate in Northeast Argentina in May 2009. There, I had the pleasure of working in the Secretariat with the efficient Doctor Alicia Perez, fcJ. Tomorrow, June 14, we will meet again in Salta, the team of CRIMPO ) Religious Communities inserted in the midst of the people. What home will receive me? That of Alicia, Margarita y Rosita! We are Brothers of the Holy Family and our spirit is that 'of the family'. Without doubt, the same spirit animates the Faithful Companions of Jesus as animates the Brothers. The Spirit guides us as companions on the journey towards announcing the reign of God to the poor. Thank you Companions!)

I was so happy to discover this site. I was a student at Adelphi from 1955-1960 and have very fond memories of my time there. I remember Mother Anna swishing down the corridors and my sewing lessons with Mother Margaret Mary when I always seemed to break the thread on the treadle machine! I remember Miss Davis who gave me a lasting love of history and Miss Mulrooney our English teacher who helped me discover the beauty of language. Some of my friends were Pat Bradshaw, Joan Greaves, Elizabeth Fay, Maureen Tetlow, Kathleen Threllfall. I am a retired teacher of English and I live in Istanbul, Turkey. I'd like to hear from anyone who remembers me. My email is
Joan Gural (née Sullivan), Istanbul, Turkey

Newlands (Middlesbrough) School Anthem

Hail Alma Mater unto thee
Our Newlands School we raise
Our loving hearts and proudly
Sing a grateful song of praise.
Full many years have o'er thee
Passed in sunshine and in shade-
Since holy hands first sowed
the seed – and deep foundations laid.

So Fortiter et Recte!
Our guiding star shall be,
Let honour be our motto
And courage keep us free.
O may each life a witness be
Of all we've learned from thee,
Of kindness, love and charity
And dangers we should flee.
To strengthen us, we look behind –
And see the pathway trod,
To cheer us on, we'll look ahead
And put our trust in God.

So "Fortiter et Recte!"
'Tis thus we should uphold
Our school's traditions handed down
Our future lives to mould.
With courage strong and honour bright,
Our motto ever true,
Through all life's precious years we'll strive –
Our loyalty to renew.

John Gardiner (Newlands School Staff 1978 to 1995)

Can anyone remember all the words of the School Anthem that we sang with so much vigour and gusto at Newlands Middlesborough - I would much appreciate it. My email is .
Sally Rochford (Power) 1942-46

Know of my thoughts and prayer for all of you. God Bless, Sharyn.
Sharon M. Seymour, Australia

Thanks for posting my message. You may add my e-mail address: . Que Dios le bendiga.
Nadine Ann Carr-Parr

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Atâta timp cât suntem mai unite
        prin legătura iubirii
               nimic nu ne tulbură.    (Marie Madeleine)