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MENSAJES ... 2010-2013

2013

Just to say how moved I have been by this week’s reflection:  the windsurfer - the Spirit – courage and confidence! Beautiful, powerful! Re-imagining! Thank you!
Mary Campion fcJ

I found this website quite by chance and have enjoyed reading everyone’s messages.  I attended St. Aloysius Convent from 1956 until 1960 when Mother Patricia was headmistress.  It was good to read Pam Harris’ memories but I can’t remember her as I think I was much lower down in the school.  I can remember Anne Beadle as an earlier  Head Girl and later Teresa White (who had a beautiful singing voice), then myself and then Paula Terroni.  My class friends were Sarah Spilka and Margarita Byron.  Teresa, Paula and Margarita became FCJs and I spent a short time in the Noviciate at Broadstairs with Mere Marie Helene and Mother Breda. A few years back  I met up with both Margarita and Paula when there were visiting Australia (Melbourne), which is where I now live. I’ve been married nearly fifty years (forty of which have been spent in Australia), have four children and nine grandchildren. Sadly I’ve lost contact with Sarah (married name da Costa but I think she still lives in Portugal). It would be lovely to hear from her, or news of her.  One of my daughters is her namesake! Yes, Pam I remember many of the teachers you mentioned – even Mother Agatha – and I have wonderful memories of Mrs Thomas putting on three Gilbert & Sullivans – The Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Mikado (for that production I have vivid memories of Mrs Thomas becoming unwell and Mother Christina, who was just visiting the convent, being hastily called upon to accompany us on the piano, transposing by sight as many of the songs were too high for some soloists (especially me!).  I was lucky enough to be in all those productions!  I would be overjoyed if anyone has any photos connected with any of the above as mine were lost in transit years ago.  Also I’ve been trying to find a photograph of an FCJ in the habit they wore in the 1950s.  My children are putting together a photo-board “This is your Life” for my 70th birthday, and it would be lovely to be able to add something from my schooldays. My email address is majoroos2optushome.com.au
Pat Sheehan – now Major)

Hello, we are students from Genazzano FCJ College in Kew, Victoria. At the moment we are learning about the foundress of our school, Marie Madeleine d’Houët. We are in Year 7E and are enjoying learning about her, she is a very inspiring woman who we look up to every day. We have learnt about her life in the French Revolution and her journey in supporting those who needed her tender, loving care the most. Her early life was filled with joy and happiness until the French Revolution came and took her father away from her. This was a great tragedy in her life but she continued to help her  mother around the house and with the duties in the country house.  In 1785, after her father was released, Marie’s father introduced her to her husband to be. Tragedy had struck Marie though and Joseph died not long after their marriage from a disease of typhus. Later she found more faith in God and founded the FCJ sisters. Marie Madeleine is a very inspirational woman and we all look up to her. We are learning about her because she is a good role model for us to follow. Every day we try to follow in her footsteps and trust in God in the way she did.
From Anna, Chloe, Sarannie, and Harriette

Dear FCJ Sisters, We are students from 7E, Genazzano FCJ College. Now, we are doing assignments on Marie Madeleine D’Houet. We’ve realised what an amazing and a supporting person she was and is. We are very interested in Marie Madeline D’Houet and her background, also the background of the school. Now, in Melbourne, it is winter, and the football season. As we sit in front of the fireplace, we are reminded of the people who aren’t as fortunate as us. We know how Marie Madeline helped the poor and sick and we are very mindful of how we can embrace her spirit today.
Ella, Amy, Stella & Lisa

We are current year 7 students at Genazzano FCJ College in Melbourne, Australia. We are now doing an assignment on Marie Madeleine D’Houët. We were really inspired by her life and how much she had helped other people. We were very intrigued by how she was so committed to God and even started the FCJ order. She is a very inspiring women, with a big heart and soul. It is a privilege to be at such an amazing and fantastic school, with the FCJ sisters. Our school theme this year is “Discovering God’s Grace in our World”. It’s chilly and cold over here, how is it over there? We would just love to say thank you for everything you people have done for us and our lovely school, everyone has a smile on their face every day. We are very glad to be studying about Marie Madeleine D’Houët. Kind Regards,
Hannah, Steph, Emma and Genevieve

Dear FCJ sisters,
We are writing to you from Genazzano FCJ College in Australia. Recently, we have been learning about Marie Madeleine D’Houët in Religion. We admire what you do for many less fortunate communities around the world and we honour your faith, compassion and mercy towards people. We had a special guest come to the school to tell us about a sleep out that teaches children how it feels to be homeless. We learnt a lot of facts from him and it really changed our view on how lucky we are. This year our school’s Religion topic is Discovering God’s Grace in Our World. We hope that by learning about Marie Madeleine we’ll also be able to live good lives and help others.
Stephanie A, Samantha, Sarah and Stephanie W

Dear friends in the FCJ worldwide community
My students are studying the life and times of Marie Madeleine and her founding of the FCJ Society. We thought it would be nice to send a hello from Melbourne. Please feel free to contact me as we would love to hear from another FCJ school. With all good wishes from Class 7 E at Genazzano.
Ann Rennie

As a man in his late 50's, I wouldn't expect to find inspiration in the stories of young women's decisions to join FCJ. Yet I do, seeing in each a yearning to be with and serve God. Thank you!
Sam Thayer

2012

Poles Convent FCJ Reunion: Sunday 20th January 2013: 12.30pm - Buffet Lunch at Hanbury Manor. Please send a cheque for £22 made payable to 'The Blue Cedars Association' to Francesca L. Meadway, Blue Cedars Association, 2 Philbeach Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 9DY. Alternatively, pay The Blue Cedars Association electronically: Barclays Bank Account no: 8339 2996 20-80-14 using your name as reference. Tickets will not be issued - Drinks are not included. NIL DESPERANDUM CHRISTO DUCE. Please join Blue Cedars on Facebook: Facebook.com/groups/73955990128/
Francesca L. Deacy

May l ask if there are any old girls from 1947 to 1949 who have been in touch with the fcj nuns I would love to hear from them. My email address is Thank you so much.
Anne Gash now Sampson

I attended the primary school at St Margaret's in Paisley from 1960 to 1965. I especially remember the kindness and holiness of Mother Mary Anthony, Mother Mary Patrick and Mother Patricia. These wonderful women provided for me a little safe haven from my often difficult home life, and I have never forgotten them.
Fiona McGregor

The class of 1992 from Laurel Hill Secondary School will hold their school reunion during the last weekend in October (25/26th) 2012. Niamh Nix was kind enough (and brave enough) to start organizing. Any of our year can be contacted on facebook or ) for details. All former staff are welcome. More details to come. Kindest Regards,
Pamela (nee Kearney)

Yesterday morning I received an email from her nephew Mark Readman informing me that Sister Maureen had died peacefully in her sleep “that afternoon.”  I thus assume that Maureen entered into eternal life on Monday, March 19, 2012.  She was indeed a Faithful Companion of Jesus throughout her life.  I grieve her loss for  but  rejoice greatly with the angels who lead her into paradise.  Having known Maureen since we first met at Cambridge University many years ago I can truly say Maureen was and is “a joy forever.”  I thank God for her life of sharing her many gifs.
Mary E. Green, 10200 N. 86th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Dear Sisters, I am a Canadian & I have seen the images of the early settlers in Canada from the Sisterhood posted on your site. Now as we enter a different time the warmth of your passion for charity has come again to our shores. I pray that our hearts open to the needs of our fellowmen & woman everywhere in the world....and helping others becomes our guiding light. With affection & love,
Toby Tylor ( Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)

Does anyone know whether Sister Michelle, St Mary's Convent School middlesborough is still alive? She taught me English Lit and Lang and gave me a lifelong love of poetry.
Lyn Chatwin  (nee Brennan 1964 -1971)

2011

Hello, My name is Mary McIlwaine, and I attended Vaucluse College, Richmond,Victoria Australia, from 1963—1969, and they were wonderful years. I was a boarder for 3 of those years and I found Peace, Spirituality and many friendships with the girls and particularly the sisters that looked after me and taught me. I was going through my trunk today with my daughter and she pulled out four books that had been awarded to me throughout my education at Vaucluse. One of those books was given to me by Sr Frances Kennedy who also attended my 50th birthday celebrations accompanied by Sr Celine. I often meditate and I use the Vaucluse school song, and I still thank God today, and I am 60 now, for my parents having sent me to such a beautiful college amidst the peace and beauty of the congregation, that I was so lucky to live amongst. My Mother was 91 on the 4/12/2011 and we were talking about the days of Vaucluse and I am so happy to have picked up the website to be able to express my feelings. God Bless all the FCJs sisters and may you all continue to reach out throughout the world.
Mary McILwaine, Australia

I read  Susan Stokeld’s comment and I was also in the “chain gang”  as we lovingly referred to ourselves.   Have  been in touch with Sue and would love to get in touch with others there during 1952-1956.  I would love to be able to purchase the whole school picture taken during those years.
Eileen Sayers Corba

hola mi nombre es Cristina tengo 19 anos, vivo en la ciudad de Querétaro, México y me gustaria irme de misiones unos meses, 1 ano o mas, antes de iniciar mi carrera profesional, ya he ido de misiones anteriormente pero solo 1 semana o 1 dia, ahora me gustaria extender mi tiempo. no se si usted podria darme alguna informacion o darme la información de un grupo que se dedique a irse por mucho tiempo de misiones Muchas gracias por su atencion y que Dios le bendiga mucho.
(Hello, my name is Cristina; I am 19 and live in Querétaro, Mexico. I would like a mission experience for some months, a year or more, before beginning my professional career. I have had mission experiences before but only for a week or a day. Now I would like to extend my time. I don't know if you are able to give me some information or give me information about a group which is dedicated to providing opportunities for long time mission work. Many thanks for your attention; may God bless you abundantly.)
Cristina Kruger, Mexico

I was a pupil at Gumley House from 1967 until 1974 and those years werte amongst my happiest times- thanks to all the wonderful staff and friends, notably Sister Josephine, Miss Mabey and Mrs Grosser. Many thanks and God bless.
Sydella Franses

Dear Everyone, I remember very fondly most of my years at St Margaret's in Renfrew Road, Paisley. 1968 - 1973
Sr. Patricia had succeeded the famous Mother Mary Patrick as Headmistress. There were several Sisters still teaching in the school then. Srs Berchmans, Veronica, Rita, Madeleine and a newer addition to the staff, Sr Norah, who taught science subjects.
I recall we were all encouraged to aspire. Were encouraged to have a sense of what was possible for (young) women to achieve. Anything! It was also a theme that our awareness was raised about the importance of community and we were encouraged to volunteer our time to help within the local community.  
After moving away from the area, I was later dismayed to find that the school and convent no longer existed and " regeneration" of the area had meant new houses were built on the property. The convent was a beautiful old building. We had our 5th year common rooms there and often went to the lovely chapel. Whatever happened to the wee cemetery for the Sisters? It was always a peaceful spot.
I think the FCJ Sisters contributed significantly to the confidence, development and holistic education of many young women (from poorer families in the local area), particularly after the changes to the education system in the 60s/70s.
For their contributions to my education, I am very deeply grateful.
Morag Sievwright

2010

Thank you for the insight into your lives and your world.
Jacqui Lovell, Project Lead, developing partners cic, Yarm Rd Methodist Church, Stockton on Tees, England

Dear Sisters, I was a student at St Ann's in the Adelphi, Salford and then St John's Girl's (Cathedral) School, Salford until 1961. Mother Bernadette was the Headmistress. I did make contact quite a few years ago but wonder if she is still around. We also used to have Mother Victoire. Best wishes,
Trish Sharkey, Australia

Dec.1,2010: Prayer Intention! Slow Recovery from the Death of Our Only Son and Other Ongoing Daily Hardships and Sorrows...Dear Community of Prayer, Please if Possible? Can you include my wife and I in the daily prayers of the Community in the days ahead....Dec...Christmas 2010, 2011....or as long as possible?? God's Healing,Protecting Peace and Hope in our broken hearts, health and shattered lives made worse by severe financial stress!! Feel free to pass or e-mail our prayer intention on to the Sisters and other Communities of Prayer that you know of in the World?? Thank you for praying with us in our long struggle to God's Peace and Hope!
Bill and Carol. Ohio. USA

I was a boarder at St. Monica's Skipton from September 1966 – July 1969 as the convent closed its doors. Passing through the town a few weeks ago I attended Mass at St. Stephen's after the death of my Mother. It was good to see the convent building was still there. It was very affecting to sit in the church and remember being a scared 13 year old away from home for the 1st time. I had had 2 years at a comprehensive beforehand, so it was a huge culture shock! I do have fond memories though, especially the lovely singing we did under the fine tutelage of Sr Winefide (RIP) I have attended one reunion many years back persuaded by Julie Jasper (Hely-Hammond) Do these still run?
Anne Scott (nee Sawyer)

Hello, My name is Angelica Preda and I have met Sister Maeve at St Joseph Nursing School in Bucharest, in 2002. I would love to thank her, for all the great help she offered me. If there is any chance, I would like to contact Sister Maeve Shannon. God bless!
Angelica Preda

At last my website (www.unabarry.com) has gone live today!   Peter Lurie, who is a very good South African tenor friend of mine whom I met whilst singing in Germany, designed and set up the whole thing for me.  He now works as a freelance designer of websites, so if you like mine, and you know of anyone who would also like a website, then can I suggest you contact Peter at   and his own site (www.lightworkerarts.com) is linked into mine - .
       Peter will be in London until the end of November before returning to Germany for a while.  He has good ideas, is reasonably priced for the amount of work, care and effort he puts into his sites. 
     There are some small minor corrections to be made to mine, some of which is my job to sort out, as well as put on some recordings and more recent photos from Africa.  But I am very pleased with what Peter has done and it's there for posterity in this fast moving age of technology!
Una Barry

Dear FCJ sisters, Am so grateful to have visited your site after being refered there by Fr.Paschal. I need to get in touch with any sister who can be my guide towards discernment as I pray that I am addmitted to join these sisters one time in my life. I am an a nursing assistant in Mid wifery and fully employed but ready to leave my job and join these sisters. Stay blessed to all of you.
Noreen Namwanje

My name is Marlene Lawrence and I attended Saint Victoires between 1963 and 1967 and then moved to the United States with my family.  It would really be fun to hear from any women that attended during those years.  I was saddened to hear that Mother Josephine died and think it would be a nice idea to have a London get together with other attendees or graduates.  If anyone remembers me and wishes to get in touch or would like to organize a reunion please say hello by email. F.S.F. always helped me keep my life together all these years and I will always be grateful to St. Vic's.
Marlene Lawrence

Memories of St. Aloysius: It was so great to find this site, and the first visitor's letter I see is from someone I remember from St. Aloysius! I was there 1953-1955, having gone to Bellerive (also FCJ) in Liverpool, 1947-1953. I remember Pam Harris, too, as of course Frances McKenna, with whom I ran around in school, together with Pat Collins, Mary Williams and Vivian Woodham, a friend of Frances. I also have very fond memories of most of the teachers and nuns mentioned, especially Mother Dorothy, who once chased me all around the school and caught me! She was one spry lady. I am so grateful to them all for what they taught me, although I did not know all of the ones mentioned by Pam. I also remember Miss Gorman (English) Miss Russell (Latin). After St. Aloysius, I went to La Chassotte, (another FCJ convent) in Fribourg, Switzerland 1955-1956, after which I returned with my parents to their country of origin, El Salvador. My name at that time was Ileana Serrano, I am now an American named Ileana Bash, and I live in Sandy, Utah, in the United States with my husband. I am so thrilled to have found this site and hope to find more news of people I knew when I was in Europe. I am also very grateful for all I learned at the FCJ schools I attended, it has helped me in life. I am retired military, but I'm still working as a translator, Spanish to English, locally.
Ileana Bash

Comme une flamme ardent: Mes cheres Soeurs, I am looking for details of dear Sr Thérese de Rancé's book, Comme une Flamme Ardente. My cherished copy was given to a French teacher and alas we no longer have a copy. For the present, I simply need date of publication and the name of the publisher. However if another copy could come to Australia that would be wonderful. Madeleine Bothams,nee Grogan,sister of Patricia Grogan FCJ died on June 26th 2010. I still have very happy memories of my tertain days at Rue de la Santé in 1979, when we were priveleged to have Patricia and Thérese inspire us with their own great love of Marie Madeleine. Those days with all the dear French sisters who lived there at that time made a deep and lasting impression. In companionship.
Margaret Claver fcJ

My name is Eileen Sayers Corba. I'm living in the US now and was just talking to Susan Stokeld. We would love to get in touch with anyone who remembers us. Kind Regards.
Eileen Corba

Hello, I would like to contact anyone in my class from 52 to 56...............susan stokeld of the 'chain gang'.............thank you! I would like to know how to contact chums from the fifties.....thank you!
Susan Stokeld

Does anyone have any photos for that celebration we had on that Saturday at the Metropolitan Cathedral. I was the soprano soloist who travelled up from London in all adversity, an old St Victoire's Convent School girl with Josephine Clayton as my head teacher, who died just after my Dad died just a few months before that Mass. I was unable to attend Jo's funeral as I'd only just buried my Dad, but came to sing and dedicate my solo to her. Have been trying to get some photos of that occasion for more than a year and there was a photographer there, so I just wondered where they photos went? Many thanks, and a very happy New Year.
Una Barry       (NOTE: webwriters do not have these photos!)

I found your website by accident and it brought back many memories. As Pam Harris I lived in Chelsea and still live nearby in Pimlico. I would love to hear from anybody who remembers me. 
      I have many happy memories of my time at St. Aloysius .Phoenix Rd. between 1951 and 1958. I realized long ago that the education I received there was second to none. We were encouraged to aim for the highest achievements academically, spiritually and personally. I am grateful for the care and discipline of the teachers and staff. I remember especially Miss Cunningham (English). Miss Worthington (Malhs), Mrs Hutchison (Science and Latin),  Mrs Thomas (Music).  Mother Theodore was headteacher followed by Mother Patricia. Mother Agatha was feared by all. She was the guardian of the skin length and uniform blemish as she stood on duty by the entrance, morning and evening. As I got older I recognised that behind her fierce appearance was a sense of humour. I also remember Mother Alice and dear Mother Dorothy.
     I worked in industry for five years, gaining HNC qualifications in Chemistry, before marrying and spending twelve years at home bringing up three children. During this time I gained a B.Ed.Honours Degree at London University followed later by a Diploma in Education. I taught at local primary schools in Pimlico for twenty five years and loved every minute of it.
     Thank you to the FCJs for the provision of such good education. Because of it I have lived a very happy and fulfilled life.
     I would love to hear from anyone who knows me. Some names I remember are Pamela Sabini, Eileen Devitt, Rita Skillen, Pattie Smith, Pat Fitzgerald, Joy Clatworthy, Julie Francis, Valerie Bryant, Maureen McNicholas and Patricia Collins.
      I saw on a message posted in 2001 from a Doug Shaw (Canada) the name Sister Francis McKenna.  I think this is the Francis McKenna I knew at Phoenix Rd. I remember her with much affection. She wore dark rimmed glasses and was very quiet and thoughtful but had a wicked sense of humour. She surprised as all at the end of VI form by announcing that she was entering the order of FCJs.
      I am retired now, have been happily married for nearly fifty years, have nine grandchildren and spend my time between London and Brighton. I am still very active (swim daily) and tutor grandchildren for GCSE in Chemistry and French.  I hope that schools such as St. Aloysius, now Maria Fidelis, continue to thrive and provide the same solid education for many years.
Pam Duley (née Harris), England

Buongiorno mia sorella, sono felice di fare la vostra conoscenza attraverso il vostro sito e sono stato toccato veramente dal vostro carisma e la vostra spiritualita ed amero servire il Signore nella vostra congregazione.  Sono in una famiglia impegnata nella chiesa cattolica ed io stesso.  Sono Gwladys Estelle NGUIGNONG, sono della nazionalita del Camerun e sono a Yaoundé per i miei studi.  Vi auguro un'eccellente festa.  
Gwladys, Camerun

Translation:
Hello Sisters, I am happy to make your acquaintance through your web site and I am truly touched by your charism, spirituality and loving service of the Lord in your congregation.  Both my family and I are committed to the Catholic Church.  My name is Gwladys Estelle Nguignog, from the Cameroon and I am at Yaoundé for my studies.  I wish you an excellent feast.

Hello to Carol Brannigan, Mary Mc Auley and Jacqui Lamb.
I was probably a year ot two ahead of you in school, so you may not remember me. However, it's always nice to catch up with peers! My name is Joan Mc Geough. I was a pupil at St. Margaret's Convent 1964-1970. Sr Patricia (RIP) was headmistress at the time. On leaving school, I became an FCJ sister, so you will now understand why I may be looking at the FCJ web site!
      I don't know what became of Mary Mc Laughlan, I'm afraid. I do remember a teacher, Mary Ross, who became a sister of Notre Dame de Namur.
      I hope you and all close to you are well,  God bless,
Joan FCJ, Brussels, Belgium

Hello all former FCJ Convent Pupils
I noticed that there was a message from a Mary McAuley and Carol Branningan - I think you may have been at St Margaret's in Paisley the same time as I was - 1965 - 1970. I then went to St Margaret's Convent in Edinburgh. I would dearly love to trace a wonderful teacher called Miss Mary McLaughlan - she became a Missionary - and I never saw her again. I hope you and your families are both well - it would be great to hear from you.
Jacqui Lamb, Scotland

I am delighted to learn about the final vows of 3 new FCJs ! Hooray!
Jennie Abbate, CiM , Portsmouth, RI

Dear Sisters, I was a student at St Aloysius, Phoenix Rd, Sommers Town, London from 1951 to 1956. I loved every moment and realise now how deeply I was influenced by the talented teachers ably led by the Headmistress, Mother Patricia. It was devasting for me when my parents decided that I should leave school. However I have since realised that learning is not just for the young. A move to Australia led to new opportunities and in due time I attended university. This resulted in a BA Hons and the discovery of a talent for research and writing. Having celebrated my 70th birthday last month I realise that there are some things I still need to do. First of those is a big thank to the FCJ Sisters for their guidance, example and  encouragement during my formative years. They played a crucial role in my life and I am grateful to them. May the mission of the FCJ Sisters thrive and grow so that many others can benefit as I have. I would love to hear from any of my fellow pupils especially Doreen Keane and Marie Rose Powell they have given me very fond memories. Does anyone know of their whereabouts? Wishing success and happiness to all.
Eileen Teresa Bonnell (nee Brierley)

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Mientras estemos unidas de cerca
        por el vínculo de la caridad
               no hace falta que nada nos preocupe    (Marie Madeleine)